Lying some 5 miles to the northwest of the busy Perthshire town of Crieff and close to the majority of the major cities in Scotland makes the Munro, Ben Chonzie (pronounced: byn-y-hone or byn honzee(locally)) a popular destination throughout the entire year. The translation of the peaks name from Gaelic to English is Mossy Hill.
There is access available from all three of its surrounding glens (Glen Lednock, Glen Turret and Glen Almond), although the first two points are the more popular access points used. The route from Glen Lednock begins at Coishavacum and the Glen Turret route starts from the Loch Turret reservoir.
The mountain is the highpoint of large expanse of moorland that stretches between Strath Earn and Loch Tay. There is no real outstanding characteristics to this peak as it's summit is basically a flat, broad ridge that runs roughly from south to north, with the summit cairn lying on its northeastern flank. There is a fence that runs close to the summit that eases any route finding difficulties that you may encounter, unless this is covered by the depth of the snow.
To reach the summit of Ben Chonzie and return to your starting point should take approximately between 4 and 6 hours depending on your level of fitness and your chosen route of ascent and descent.
If arriving in Scotland and making your way to Ben Chonzie, near Crieff, then the best airports to arrive in are;
Car directions to Ben Chonzie, Crieff from Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh can be seen on the embedded map below. Click on the view larger map link for more detailed directions. From Crieff you must then travel to either of the two best access points at Loch Turret Reservoir or Coishavachan. Car parking is available at both points.
View Larger Map
The nearest train station to Crieff is eight miles away at Gleneagles. Train links to Gleneagles are available from all major cities in Scotland, although connecting trains may be required. Train timetables are available at National Rail Enquiries
Bus services from Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh are available via Scottish Citylink
Local bus travel in and around the area can be found at the following link;
Auchterarder & Crieff Area local public transport guide
There is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
Knock Castle Hotel and Spa
Braidhaugh Holiday Park
Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland and can be done in various locations close to Ben Chonzie. This is due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 that was mentioned earlier.
Here are some of the basic rules that should be adopted when wild camping;
- The larger the group, the harder it is to keep impacts to a minimum. Keep groups small.
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
- Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
- Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country's outstanding scenery and wildlife as well as the wilderness experience.
- Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently and do not stay for any longer than 3 nights in the same place.
- Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
- Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Take extra care when camping near burns and lochs, and try to avoid camping immediately beside them.
- Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
- Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf.
- Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Think ahead and only carry in what you are prepared to carry out.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides an invaluable leaflet providing a full breakdown of the dos and don'ts of wild camping in Scotland. Wild Camping, A guide to good practice.
Mountain/Weather ConditionsThe weather conditions in Perthshire can alter rapidly and you should ensure you are fully prepared for all weather eventualities. The following websites will provide invaluable information on the expected conditions for your planned trip.
Southeastern Highlands Forecast
Books & Maps
The Central Highlands by Peter Hodgkiss
The Munros (SMC Hillwalkers guide) edited by Donald Bennet & Rab Anderson
Ski Mountaineering in Scotland by Donald Bennet & Bill Wallace
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
The Munros by Cameron McNeish
OS sheet 51 Loch Tay & Glen Dochart
OS sheet 52 Pitlochry & Crieff
OS Explorer 368 Crieff, Comrie & Glen Artney
Walk the Highlands
The Scottish Mountaineering Club
Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland
Crieff Visitor Centre
Scottish Towns - Crieff