Attractions and Places to Visit in Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, Aberfeldy, Dunkeld, Rannoch
Highland attractions, unique to this part of Scotland include castles, Queens View probably the most photographed view in Scotland, to the Scottish Crannog Centre, a unique recreated lochside dwelling on Loch Tay.
Other highland attractions that are unique to Highland Perthshire are the Hermitage at Dunkeld described as “one of the most elaborate furnished decorative garden buildings in Scotland,” to the Blair Atholl Watermill, the oldest working watermill in Scotland.You will find all the details on all the highland attractions below.
The Dunkeld Hermitage, was created by John Murray the 3rd Duke of Atholl, in the mid to late 18th century as part of his home. Ossian's Hall was built in 1757-58, to spark excitement as a viewing platform for the dramatic falls of the River Braan. Today it has not lost any of its splendour, the sight of salmon leaping the falls, all add to the visit. Run by the National Trust for Scotland. It is located just off the A9 heading north after the Dunkeld, a £2 per car parking fee helps maintain the grounds. A 1km walk from the car park through some magnificent Douglass Fir trees, some of the tallest trees in Britain. Open all year round.
The Highland Chocolatier has a dedicated free entry chocolate visitor centre, where you can learn about the wondrous ways of turning cocoa into the most sought after and adored of all confections. Multiple video screens, tell the story of chocolate from how cocoa is grown on a Caribbean cocoa plantation, how it is harvested, fermented, and processed to chocolate sculpting, at a pioneering chocolate production co-operative in Grenada. You can pre-book a tour or take one of the new audio guided chocolate tastings. In the retail area, customers can pick and choose their own selection or, order online. Open 7 days all year.
The Atholl Palace Hotel Museum is all about hotel life some 140 years ago. The 15 minute film 'The Story of The Atholl Palace' is excellent. It tells the story of the hotel and how it was built in the grand Scottish Baronial Victorian style with turrets and cantillations. You hear about the strict temperance principles of the 1870s, the benefits of healthy clean air and the stories of the people who built, worked at and stayed at the hotel. Open every day, all year, from 10am to 5pm. Ask at the reception desk for directions.
Blair Atholl Watermill is one of Scotland's oldest working water mills dating back to 1590's, one of just eleven working watermills still operational in Scotland. You can watch it, free of charge, (provided there is enough water to turn the water wheel) as oatmeal and flours are stoneground for sale and for use in its own tea room, for its bread, buns and cakes. The Watermill’s tearoom has an excellent reputation for its lite meals, teas and coffees. Open 30th March to 31st October from 9.30am to 4.45pm (last servuing 4.30pm)
Bolfracks Garden is an ornamental garden with its origins dating back to the mid 18th century. It is renowned for their impressive collections of rare and unusual plants, including a superb collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, acers, old fashioned roses and an array of herbaceous perennials. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the many tranquil spots in the garden. Bolfracks Garden is a member of Scotland's Gardens Scheme. Open from 1st of April through to 31st October each year.
Queens View is probably the most photographed view in Scotland, with very easy access along a short specially constructed path, allowing the view to be accessed by wheel chair users too. The small shop which offers a good selection of inexpensive Scottish gifts. The Café offers excellent teas, coffees, cakes and lite meals. The £2 per vehicle parking fee, helps cover the costs for upkeep and maintenance of this very popular site. Queens View is a short drive (approximately 15 mins) from Pitlochry. Open all year.
Birnam Arts has a year round programme of high quality diverse exhibitions, music, theatre, dance and comedy performances, as well as a wide range of workshop activities for children and adults alike. There is also the popular Café and pretty Beatrix Potter Garden. A permanent Beatrix Potter exhibition commemorating the Potter family's long summer holidays here, from May to the end of the salmon season in October. It was during these holidays that inspired Beatrix's development both as an artist and scientist. It was whilst in Scotland that Beatrix wrote a 'picture letter' which provided the basis for her first book 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'. The tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle' was published in 1905 and is almost certainly based on the Potters' old washer woman at Dalguise, Kitty MacDonald. Open 7 days all year 10am to 4.30pm.
McKays Hotel and Restaurant, has been providing hospitality for over a hundred years, offering a traditional Scottish good value pub food. The pub entertainment caters for the whole family. Live Music, Events and Themed Nights in Pitlochry. You can also watch live sports or listen to live musicians or join in their themed nights, which run throughout the year. Open all year, food served from 9am onwards
The Scottish Crannog Centre, a 5 star visitor and educational centre, was built as a result of underwater discoveries dating back 2,500 years. You can see some of the discoveries in the exhibition area before walking over water into the Iron Age Crannog. Special regular events include featuring artists, musicians, skilled craft workers and other specialists who, together with the team of Iron Age guides, actively bring the past to life. There is a small gift shop and a small, light and healthy refreshments snack bar. For opening times please check the Crannog Centre website.
One of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, starting life as a farm distllery in 1798 by John Steward and Robert Robertson. The original name for Blair Athol Distillery was called the 'Aldour'. Named after the Alt Dour burn (stream) from which the distillery draws its pure water. In 1933 Arthur Bell and Sons purchased the distillery. The Mash Tum Bar offers a whisky and cheese pairing, using local Strathearn cheese. The distillery is an easy 1/2 mile walk from Pitlochry town centre on the road in to Pitlochry from Perth.
Castle Menzies was home to the Menzies Chiefs from 1488 to 1910. The Menzies have been in Highland Perthshire since records began from the middle of the 12th century. The Castle is a sixteenth century Z-shaped building designed not only as a residence but also was required to provide some protection from enemies. You can see the Menzies Claymore (sword) used by the chief at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, the final battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Open daily April to October each year.
Highland Safaris judged the 'Best Visitor Experience' in Scotland for its Land Rover Safaris, Red Deer Centre, nature trail, biking track and Perthshire's only Gold and Gem Panning Centre. The Safari Experience explores the magnificent views and untouched wilderness in 250,000 acres of Highland Perthshire Estates. Off-Road Driving on the UK's highest course with their experienced instructor. The café offers simply prepared local produce, the shop is also well worth a visit in its own right. Open 7 days all year.
Top hotels, family run guest houses and B&Bs, self catering, campsites in Highland Perthshire.Find Out More