History of Backmuir Wood
Backmuir Wood was once part of the Earl of Moray’s estate, and was most likely planted in the 18th century to provide cover for game.Read more
This lovely mix of ancient broadleaved woodland, conifer and open glades was once part of the estate belonging to the Earl of Moray. It’s home to a wealth of wildlife, including red squirrel; has a varied flora and some fascinating fungi; and offers breathtaking views over the Firth of Tay and the Sidlaw Hills.
Each area of Backmuir Wood has its own character. In the older sections, weathered birch trees close in on the path, and there are stands of towering beech – near the centre of the wood, look out for the huge, ancient specimen that’s at least 200 years old. Towards Muirhead, conifers dominate and a springy carpet of fallen needles cushions your footsteps. In the south west corner, you can explore the section of new woodland created to mark the millennium, with its commemorative standing stones.
The wood’s diversity makes it a haven for wildlife. You can watch the antics of the red squirrels, spy roe deer hiding among the trees, and listen out for the distinctive drumming of woodpecker in the early months of the year.
In springtime, there are bluebells, primrose and splashes of bright daffodil. The wide variety of tree species means glorious autumn colour, with a rich array of golds, russets and reds – especially stunning when lit by a late afternoon sun. And you can collect a good crop of wild raspberries.
There’s an amazing array of weird and wonderful fungi too, often aptly named. Look out for the multicoloured fan of the turkey’s tail, the luminous white porcelain fungus and the deep mauve amethyst deceiver.
With walks to suit all abilities, fascinating flora and fauna, and easy access from Dundee, Backmuir Wood makes an excellent destination for a family outing.
The 57ha (140-acre) Backmuir Wood lies between the villages of Muirhead and Liff, to the east of the Carse of Gowrie, around four kilometres (2.5 miles) northwest of Dundee.
OS Explorer 380; Landranger 53 and 54, Grid reference: NO341339
The main pedestrian entrance is from the car park at the southern end of the wood. There are other entrances off the Liff Road, one entrance from the Coupar Angus Road (across a field and not signposted), and another from The Logan (a path to the west). Entrances are either pedestrian gates or squeeze gaps of at least 1.2m wide.
There is a network of around 9km (5.6 miles) of paths, including a 1.5km (one mile) all-ability surfaced path which runs from the entrance nearest Muirhead on the Liff Road to a seat on the western side of the wood. Some routes link to the wider Sidlaw Path network. Apart from the surfaced path, most trails are rough, with exposed tree roots and stones, and may be muddy in places.
Buses run regularly between Dundee and Muirhead. The nearest stop to the wood is Edward Place (on Coupar Angus Road, near the Post Office and opposite Liff Road).
The nearest train stations are Dundee (11.3km/7 miles) and Invergowrie (5.8km/3.6 miles).
From Dundee, take the A923 towards Muirhead, turning left onto Liff Road. There is a car park with space for around 12 cars about one kilometre down Liff Road at the southern end of the wood. You can also park in a layby around 500m (550yds) closer to Muirhead or on Muirhead's residential streets. There is a disabled car park for two vehicles off the Liff Road, accessed through a gate with a radar padlock.
OS Explorer 380, Landranger 53 and 54, NO341339.
The nearest toilets with disabled facilities are at Camperdown Country Park, around 3km (1.9 miles) in the direction of Dundee.
There is a café at Camperdown Country Park and a good range of places to eat in Dundee.
Accommodation and tourist information
Visit TripAdvisor for ideas on hotels and B&Bs in Dundee.
Dundee Information Centre is at 16 City Square, Dundee, Angus. DD1 3BG (tel: 01382 527527), or see VisitScotland.