I've wanted, nay, needed to come here for years, ever since two family trips in the area failed to get me up here. The trick is, not to bring the whole family, no problem there now.
Parked at the bottom of the hill in Acharn and then followed the river up hill, though of course the river is on it's way down. I like a good waterfall, there's plenty of them in my not so local Snowdonia, but their not like this one. Lots of small falls all leading to the big one and it is a biiig one, trees overhang the gorge at every opportunity, and across the gorge is a cave like grotto from where one can watch the many splendoured thing that is the falls of Acharn.
But we are here old stoning and one must almost physically tear oneself away, but the loveliness doesn't end with waterfalls, once your on open ground following the just about driveable track uphill the mountain views start to unfold. And they are very good views, I don't know the names of them all, nor could I pronounce them if I did, but Ben Lawers and Scheihallion are, well pretty famous, aren't they?
It is here, just over half way up that we pass by the fabulously placed tumulus called Acharn Burn, it's nowt when compared to the stone circle but it is a good place to sit and wait for your legs to catch up.
The stones finally come into view on there little mound/hillock, Eric thanks the Lord out loud, I let out a long windy sigh that agrees with him whole heartedly, it has been a long haul in the midday heat of another typical Scottish heatwave.
We've made it, hot and bothered but glad all over, we slump to the ground in a heap in the shadow of the big wide stone. We sit there for an age, then I walk the walk, touch the stones, curse the wall builders and try my best to photograph the site. I must admit that ive not been so giddy and goosebumped at a stone circle since the ring of brodgar. I love this place, it is beautiful in the extreme, and the stone circle, though some stones are down and one is getting buried beneath the grass of ages is more than enough to keep one here for ever, all we need now is a passing Golden eagle to do a fly by, but nature doesn't do requests, or perhaps it does, but only one at a time.
On the 25th of March we visited the Acharn Stone circle again. It was so mild, the sun was shining, it was so peacefull and we even managed to do some soundrecording while beeing there. The birdsong was so scottish with redshanks, peewits and other moorland birds.
The stones of the Acharn Falls circle are arguably the best-positioned in Perthshire. Standing at a height of 378m above sea-level, the site commands breath-taking views across Loch Tay towards Ben Lawers and Schiehallion. Apparently formerly within a plantation, the stones now stand out in the open, and even a dry-stane dyke bisecting the circle doesn't diminish it's impressiveness.
A much disturbed site, of the original nine stones, four are still upright, while two others lie close to their original positions. Amongst debris from the dyke are what look like the broken-up remains of the missing three stones.
Excavation in 1924 revealed a shallow patch, around 0.60m square, of burnt earth, charcoal and calcined bones. Around this the soil was red in colour, which Burl suggests is where a pyre once burned.
Driving past Croft Moraig there was a wedding taking place in the middle of the stones! They didn't look like they were going anywhere soon (the people getting married that is) so the decision was made to push on to Acharn. The village is very quiet with parking available at the foot of the path to the falls (in front of the local shop).
The climb to the falls themselves is long and steep. Once at the head of the falls follow the 'proper' road as it curves up to the right (don't worry it goes left on the next bend). Thinking we could find a short-cut we ignored this road and got hopelessy lost and ended up retracing our steps, a cautionary tale!
It's a hell of a climb but as noted elsewhere there is something a little bit special about this circle. It could be the views up and down Loch Tay and it could be that the stones themselves have masses of character with their faces unbelievably weatherbeaten and lichen encrusted.
Thursday 1 May 2003
Reasonably plentiful parking in the village, the walk up to the falls themselves is breathtaking in more ways than one. Quick stop at the spectacular falls viewed from the ‘balcony’ of the ‘Hermit’s’ cave, then onwards and upwards.
It’s only a few years since I last walked up to this circle, but it seemed a bit further than I remembered! Have they moved the bugger?
As is generally agreed however, ruined but far from sad, and with views unparalleled by just about any other circle I’ve ever been to*, this is one to crawl over broken glass to get to if necessary!
Luckily the clouds were just high enough for an unimpeded view, and we spent a while just drinking the place in. Soon it was time to get moving and we returned by the same path as far as the falls, continuing down the other side of the circular walk.
AND we were lucky with the weather for the whole walk – the sun was even out for a while. Perfect timing!!!
As can be seen from the photos, the views are well worth the climb. The site had been 'added to' by some idiot who had built a small cairn/altar in the centre. This had been removed by the time we left.... (see my last photograph) leaving the original 6-stone site as it is meant to be seen, allowing for the fact that a wall had been built through it in the past!
Falls of Acharn, Perthshire
Aug 95 (and 94?)
We've been up here on a couple of occasions- it' a great (signposted) walk up the Falls of Acharn which are pretty spectacular. The day we ventured up here in August 95 was rather overcast and grey. Stopped off at the folly which is marked as 'caves' on the OS map, but clearly man-made. There are a few places round here that have similar structures- at the Hermitage near Dunkeld, above Dunkeld itself (at NO019439) and down by Taymouth Castle. Once at the top of the walk a gate leads out onto the hills and passes Queens Wood on the right. Previously we have come up here in search of the cup and ring marked rock in this wood at 764429. We spent ages trying to find it, but to no avail. This time, all of the woods have been felled so we vowed to have a look for the rock on the way back down from the circle. The circle itself is quite ruined and has a dry stane dyke running through it, but these facts don't detract from the outstanding position this site has overlooking Loch Tay. Many of the stones have fallen, but four of them remain upright. Whilst we were exploring the site a Landrover came up the track and a couple of men came over- turns out one was the landowner and the other a photographer from 'Country Life'! We got speaking to the landowner who was a nice enough chap and he explained 'Country Life' were doing an article on him and his estate- so we had our pics taken for the magazine in the middle of the stones whilst studying a map! I never did check out the mag to see if those shots made it in! They bade us farewell and left us with the stones and view. On the way back down we hunted for about an hour or so for the cup and ring marked rock, but the tree felling meant the land was in a terrible state and once again this site eluded us. Oh well- maybe one day.
Buy a ticket, go to Loch Tay in Perthshire, travel to the south of the lake to Acharn, walk up the signposted circular walk to the Falls of Acharn. At the top end of the walk carry on up the farm track for an hour and you will sit looking at a small, ruined stone circle, straddling a dilapilated old farm wall, high on a hill, overlooking the fabulous Loch Tay and Ben Lawers. You won't regret it.
We did this walk, wondered if we were ever going to find the circle, had we gone the wrong way, and were about to give up when Pip spotted an upright above us on the hill. It's totally worth it. The location is so clearly worthy of reverence and worship of whatever, that it seems no real surprise that there is a monument here and it felt a real privalage to sit there in the sun, the world at our feet.
Directions - Head N from Perth on the A9 (sign-posted Inverness). After approximately 30.0km take the turn-off to the right for Aberfeldy on the A827 (this is a fairly major junction). Follow the road round and back over the A9, passing through Logierait before reaching a junction after about 6.0km. Turn right here towards Aberfeldy, which you will reach after a further 9.0km. Continue straight on into Aberfeldy, and at the cross-roads with traffic lights at the centre, keep heading straight on the A827. After approximately 10.0km, while heading downhill, the road curves sharply to the right just before Kenmore. Instead of following the road round the corner, take the minor road straight ahead of you which runs along the S side of Loch Tay.
Pass the Crannog Centre on your right, and keep going for around 2.0km until you reach the village of Acharn. Keep driving until you have crossed the Acharn Burn, then turn immediately left where there is space to park. There are sign-posts here for the Acharn Walk.
Follow these signs up the steep track (do not be tempted to bring a car up here, you won't make it!), passing the hermit's cave and Falls of Acharn viewing platform on your left. Shortly after the Falls, the track forks - take the left track and cross the Burn. Follow this track around the edge of a small hillock, after which it straightens out. Keep your eyes peeled for a small barrow on your left. Further along the track forks again - straight on is Balmacnaughton farm, but take the track to the right and it will lead you right to the edge of the circle. The walk there and back takes about an hour and a half.