Dunkeld Things to Do

  • The Wolf of Badenoch
    The Wolf of Badenoch
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  • Things to Do
    by ettiewyn
  • Things to Do
    by ettiewyn

Best Rated Things to Do in Dunkeld

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    The River Tay

    by ettiewyn Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    The River Tay flows only a minutes walk away from the town centre, very close to the cathedral. I just enjoyed the nice view from the green lawns surrounding the cathedral, it was such a peaceful and calm place.

    In the background, you can see a big bridge made of stone. This bridge was constructed by Thomas Telford, the famous Scottish engineer and architect who designed bridges and other things all over Scotland. The bridge was constructed in 1809.

    With 193km length, the Tay is Scotland's longest river!

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    The market square

    by ettiewyn Written Jul 7, 2012

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    Dunkeld has a small and pretty market square with a traditional market cross made of stone. This was one of the first ones I saw, but later I saw these market crosses all over Scotland.

    When Dunkeld was a busy market town in the middle ages, the cross marked one end of a long thoroughfare, leading from the cathedral to the market square - it was along this route that people sold and purchased their goods every friday. Today, the cross is surrounded by pretty white houses.

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    Stroll around Dunkeld town

    by ettiewyn Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    A stroll around Dunkeld is really worth it, there are many nice buildings. Dunkeld is popular because of its white-washed houses that have been restored by the National Trust. The buildings are mainly from the 17th century, with some Georgian parts added.
    Dunkeld is very, very small, and it is surrounded by green meadows, woods and hills. From Bridge Street and Cathedral Street you have nice views of the green surroundings.

    If you don't have much time, it is a good walk to start at the cathedral, then walk along the river to the bridge, then along Bridge Street up to the market place, and then along Cathedral Street until you come back to the cathedral. This is only a short walk of a few hundred metres.

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    Dunkeld Cathedral

    by ettiewyn Updated Jul 7, 2012

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    The cathedral is Dunkeld's main highlight, although most of it is only in ruins today. It is hard to believe that such a small town has such a big cathedral, and to understand that Dunkeld had such an important status in the past.
    In 850, Dunkeld was proclaimed "ecclesiastical capital" by the early Celtic church, and the first part of the cathedral was constructed in the 12th century. The choir was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and other parts were added later. However, during the reformation most of the cathedral was destroyed.

    Today, these parts are still in ruins, and the former choir is now used as the church. It was restored in the 16th century and since then is used as parish church, while the rest of the cathedral remains a roofless ruin.
    It is a little confusing if you don't know about it, because you see this big cathedral, and when you enter, it is only very small because only the choir is still used as a church! It is very pretty, though, and I saw some interesting effigies, carvings and tombs. There is also a small museum about the history of the cathedral.

    Opening times: April to September 09.30am – 06.30pm, October to March 09.30am – 04.00pm

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    Dunkeld Medieval Cathedral

    by weewatty Written Nov 30, 2004

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    East End Elevation

    Perched in wonderful grounds on the banks of the River Tay you will find Dunkelds most famous landmark, Dunkeld Cathedral.

    Dating back to the 13th Century this Catherdral is set in an idyllic location.

    It is reached on foot through the narrow streets of Dunkeld which lead you to its ornate gates.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Dunkeld Cathedral

    by Drever Updated Apr 3, 2014

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    Inside Dunkeld Cathedral
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    During a two day stay in Pitlochry while returning from the Orkney Isles we made a short drive south to the small town of Dunkeld. Its importance in history outweighs its size for Dunkeld was once the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. For more than a thousand years this has been a place of Christian worship.

    There appears to have been a Christian settlement here as early as the 6th century. The first building of mud and wattle were replaced by a stone church, which in time was replaced by a cathedral. Situated on the banks of the River Tay surrounded by the Perthshire hills and sheltered by forest trees, the Cathedral of St Columba is considered to be one of the most picturesque cathedrals in Europe.

    Columba was an Irish nobleman, priest and missionary. He founded a monastery on the island of Iona and travelled widely in Scotland, Ireland and Northumbria. Dunkeld became the centre of the church in Scotland when relics of St Columbia were brought here for safe keeping during the Viking raids of the 9th century.

    Church organisation then was based on monasteries and abbots in contrast to the dioceses and bishops of the Roman church. The abbot was appointed by the king and was usually a member of the royal family or a senior noble. Abbots were allowed to marry and the office was often hereditary. Abbot Crinan of Dunkeld was the father of King Duncan in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    Dunkeld lost its status as the ecclesiastical capital when the relics of St Columbia were moved to the town of St Andrews in the 10th century. The monastic church became a cathedral in 1127 when King David I of Scotland established a system of church government based on bishops and dioceses in line with the Church of Rome.
    The cathedral was in two distinct parts: the nave for the laity and the choir for the clergy. The clergy held seven services and at least two masses every day.

    In the late middle ages the cathedral was richly decorated. There were several altars adorned with fine plate and vestments. In the 16th century reformers swept away ornament and elaborate ritual, and sought to return to a simple preaching of the bible. In 1560 the Privy Council of Scotland ordered: ‘Take down and burn all images, alters and monuments of idolatry in Dunkeld Cathedral but protect the woodwork, windows, glass and ironwork’. These instructions were ignored and instead there was an orgy of destruction. Worse followed for in 1689, following the Jacobite victory at Killiecrankie, the cathedral and much of Dunkeld was devastated by fire.

    This once magnificent medieval cathedral is now partly in ruins, but restorations have been undertaken over the years, most notably of the Choir in 1908 and 1975. The cathedral remains an active church, within the community of the Church of Scotland. Its 13th century choir is now the parish church and is open daily. There is also a small museum in the 15th century sacristy, which can be entered through the choir. The ruined 15th century nave and tower of the cathedral are in the care of Historic Scotland.

    Built predominantly of grey sandstone, the cathedral proper was begun in 1260 and completed in 1501. Because of the long construction period, the cathedral shows mixed architecture. Gothic and Norman elements are intermingled throughout the structure.

    The Cathedral is open daily.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

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    Half Day in Dunkeld

    by WorldRunner100 Written Jul 15, 2009

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    This was a stop on a Haggis Adventures backpacking tour. We were only there for about an hour, which is all you really need to see the cathedral and the town. It was a very pretty town. The only reason I gave it a 3 instead of higher was that it is really not a necessary stop for any traveler. I think we only stopped there so that everyone could stretch their legs. It was a nice place, but not amazingly interesting. I posted some photos and a more detailed narrative on my travel blog at:
    http://adams-travel-blog.blogspot.com/2009/07/scotland-day-1.html

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    River Walk

    by Asa111 Written Jan 27, 2007

    Take a walk along the Tay. You'll find it relaxing and picturesque. The Birnam Oak, Niel Gow's tree and the confluence of the River Braunn are fine destinations.

    Walk to the top of Birnam Hill.

    There are other walks all over the area. Just ask any local resident.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Faery Hill (Stanley Hill)

    by Asa111 Written Jan 27, 2007

    Behind the Tourist Information Centre you will find the Faery Hill also known as Stanley Hill. It is a magical place. Local legend says that if you ask the faeries a question as you are walking to the top...and the faeries find you worthy...your question will be answered. It worked for me.

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    The Hermitage

    by weewatty Written Mar 17, 2005
    Railway Bridge Cutting through the Hermitage.

    This is the official spiel on the Hermitage as taken from the sign at its car park -

    'The Hermitage Pleasure Ground is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Scotland. For over 200 years it has been a stopping point for the grand Scottish Tour. Today you are following in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Turner, Mendelsshon and countless thousands others'

    A fantastic array of countryside walks set amongst a spectacular backdrop, with loads to discover on the way. Do not, i repeat, do not drive past this must see area.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

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