Yes, maybe it should be in the “places to stay” or “restaurant” sections, but as I haven’t stayed or eaten there...
Unless you count a packet of dry roasted peanuts, of course.
What I have done is sit at one of the outside tables to enjoy a pint of their Braveheart beer, and recover from a 3 hour jaunt up (& down) nearby Ben y Vrackie.
It has it’s own brewery! So, the beer truly is “theirs”. And very good it was too. Only complaint was it didn’t last long enough (and with an hour’s drive home, 1 pint was my limit). The brewery is behind the hotel.
The menu looked interesting enough to make me think about eating there if the opportunity comes up again. The inside of the bar looked like a really warm atmospheric place to eat & drink in cooler times.
It is located just 5 minutes walk from the car park at the start of the Ben y Vrackie trail, so ideal for R&R afterwards.
This dam was built across the River Tummel to create Loch Faskally as a permanent water reservoir. Construction was completed in 1951. You can walk upon it and have a look at its technical construction. What attracts more people here, though, is the salmon ladder that can be seen between April and October. The ladder was constructed to help the salmons swim upstream to their spawning grounds, it was completed in 1952, just one year after the construction of the dam. There is a visitors centre with an underwater viewing where you can watch the fish climbing the ladder.
As I came here in February, I missed it, and the small visitor centre located here was closed, but I walked across the dam anyway and had a look at the structure. You also have nice views on the river from the dam. Although it was low season, I met quite a lot walkers and hikers here.
Loch Faskally is a loch very close to the town centre. You will pass close to it when you walk to or from the dam, and I walked over the lawn to get there and have a closer look. There is also a walk leading around the loch, but I did not have time for that and only did the beginning.
Loch Faskally was my very first loch in Scotland, so yes, I was appropriately moved by the occasion! However, it is not a natural loch but a man-made reservoir that was created by damming the River Tummel. It still is pretty, though, and certainly worth a look if you are in Pitlochry!
You can only see one part of the loch from this point close to Pitlochry - the loch is much bigger than you can see from here!
Atholl Road is Pitlochry's main street. There is not much more to the town centre than this street.
It is lined with Victorian buildings made of a grayish material (I read it is granite, but I am not sure), like one long, grey parade. It looks quite pretty, but I must also say that it is very commercial. There are many, many hiking shops, as well as souvenir shops of the "Edinburgh Woolen Mill" kind. I did not really find anything interesting and had quickly walked from one end of the town centre to the other.
Some of the buildings are quite interesting, though, and I think it is quite special that the whole street seems to be so uniform because they all have a similar colour and design.
Queen's View is a view point close to Pitlochry. It overlooks Loch Tummel and provides wonderful views of the Loch and the mountain Schiehallion. It really is spectacular, like the Scotland of the postcards, table books and novels - to good to be true.
The viewpoint was originally named after Queen Isabella, wife of Robert the Bruce, who used it as a resting stop. It was later reinforced because Queen Victoria visited here in 1866 - she declared it to be the best view in Great Britain!
Hm, I actually think that this is debatable - it is a beautiful view indeed, but I imagine that views like this are around every corner here. The whole area is simply stunning, and every five seconds I wanted to yell "stop" in order to take pictures (which was of course not possible). The landscape is so dramatic and scenic, Queen's View is just one part of it!
The Auld Smiddy Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Pitlochry. It was previously a blacksmith's shop, and today houses a pub. The building looks really historical and the exterior has hardly changed since it was constructed in the 19th century.
I did not eat here because I had brought a sandwich for lunch, but otherwise I would have gone here for some chips or so. But even if you don't eat there, it is worth a quick look because of its quaintness.
Edradour is the smallest distillery in Scotland, producing only12 casks per week. Edradour started up in 1825, and they still use a more old fashioned process than most distilleries. They used waterpower until they got electricity in 1948, so they located by a stream. Peat smoke is still used to dry the malted barley.
Hours: Mon-Sat – 10 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., depending on season. Sundays, noon to 4 or 5 p.m. (closed Sundays, Jan-Feb)
Admission charge for tour - £5 (includes a sample)
I’m really not sure if this should be in the “things to do” category, “restaurants” or “places to stay”.
It’s a hotel, but I haven’t stayed there. I ate lunch there, but that was as part of the meeting I attended. Is it fair to judge an eating place on how it deals with a group of 60?
As it happens, the buffet lunch was excellent judged by the standards of mass catering in Scotland. We were in lovely part of the restaurant, with picture window views over the river, the valley and the hills to the south.
The bar was expensive - almost £15 for 2 pints and a glass of wine. It’s a nice cosy bar, however.
The hotel is set in magnificent grounds - see photos.
It’s not “my kind of place” as far as hotels go. I suspect it attracts a genteel elderly crowd who appreciate the sedate atmosphere. It will get rowdy wedding receptions at the weekends. (In the interests of transparency, I'll be 60 later this year - but I'm neither genteel, elderly nor sedate.)
So I’d recommend it if you’re in town and want a gentle stroll somewhere quiet and pleasant, with maybe afternoon tea or a G&T when you get there.
Yesterday (Sunday, 19-5-12) after my meeting I took a short, gentle walk through the Pass of Killiecrankie.
It was a wonderful sunny, spring afternoon. Great to be wandering through the trees by the river.
It’s a National Trust for Scotland property, having some significance resulting from the battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. This was during the first Jacobite Rebellion against English rule - Bonny Prince Charlie led the second one. Us Jacobites won that day.
There’s a visitor centre for those so inclined, and a wee cafe with outdoor seating. Great for coffee and cake in the sun.
Some parts of the track are steep and rough, so it’s not an ideal spot for anyone with restricted mobility. Otherwise, a lovely place to spend a couple of hours.
Surprisingly - as it’s not on Speyside or Islay - the town has 2 distilleries. Edradour has the cachet of being Scotland’s smallest. The other - Blair Athol - is the one I’ve visited.
It is owned by drinks mega multinational Diageo (what a silly name for a company) and originally its product just went into tankers and down the road to be put into the Bell’s blend. Now that malt whisky is such a big thing, the distillery’s malt is marketed on its own. I’ve no idea about the quality (I was driving the day we took the tour).
It was not in production the day we were there - a bit disappointing because the smell is part of the experience. It’s a typical tour (I’ve taken a few) with well stocked gift shop at the end. It feels a little more “big business” than (for example) Glenfarclas, which definitely has a family feel to it.
It’s a cute building - all ivy covered walls, and dating back to 1798.
Worth a visit. Check the website for opening times, and phone to ask if they’re in production.
So, a salmon ladder of all things.
Well they’re not that clever...
Years ago Scottish Hydro Electric built an 86m dam across the River Tummel at Pitlochry for hydro-electric power. That would have cut off the salmon from their spawning grounds upriver from the dam.
To explain further, after Atlantic salmon hatch they go downriver to the sea, then disappear into the Atlantic until they’re old enough to breed. Then they return to the river where they hatched to spawn.
So, when the dam was built they created a “ladder” on its western side for the fish to swim up, bypassing the dam. It’s series of pools, each higher than the other. The fish are used to jumping waterfalls, so they easily figure it out.
The public can get next to the pools to see the fish, and they also have viewing chambers so you can see them underwater as they wait to jump.
Trick is to visit when the salmon are moving upriver - not sure when that is, but that’s why Google & Wikipedia were invented.
You must visit a distillery. . . so why not visit the smallest distillery in Scotland. Not only is it tiny; it is beautiful. The little white buildings are tucked into a valley just outside Pitlochry with a stream running through and in the spring, daffodils blooming on the lawn. Beautiful.
I'm told it's free although we were on our way to Cromarty early in the morning so didn't stop for a tasting. They are open from 9:30 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from noon until 5:00 PM.
"FREE guided tour and tasting, audi-visual presentation, exhibition, shop"
This is a bit more than a walk. It is a 79-mile hike from Drymen to Pitlochry. It has been planned so the sun and wind will be at your back. If you don't mind sun and wind in your face, you can go from Pitlochry to Drymen. LOL
The Rob Roy (MacGregor) Way is associated with Rob Roy, but it is not one of the official walks of Scotland so it is not waymarked. This means you really need to get maps and booklets so you don't get lost.
The web site below will give you a section by section listing and it also tells you where to get the booklet and maps you will need.
Whenever we go to a new place, we take a walk. It's a great way to get oriented and you are forced to slow down and see things you would never see if you zipped through on a bicycle or in a car. You an peek into courtyards, make brief visits to stores, check window displays, sit in a park . . . all lovely ways to meet a town.
Climbing some of the hills around Pit afford you some great views and a chance to get away from everything and enjoy the fresh air. Ben-y-vrackie is one of the highest hills in the area and on a sunny day (if you are lucky) you will have a great view of Perthshire. Pitlochrys hills are marvelous and if you have any spare time it is worth the effort to go and climb one of them to get a glimpse of the Scottish countryside.