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While I dearly love Edinburgh, Scotland, there are so many beautiful cities, villages and areas in the country to visit. I haven’t covered every square mile of Scotland during my travels there. However, I have explored from the Borders in the south to the wild Scottish Highlands in the north.
One town that immediately snagged my heart is Pitlochry. My cousins and I enjoyed an afternoon in this charming Victorian town in 2014. We loved our time there.
If you wonder why you should visit Pitlochry Scotland, read on!
This town of 3000 people sits right in the middle of the country, at the gateway to the Highlands.
Pitlochry developed into a popular tourist stop after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the area in 1842 and bought a highland estate at Balmoral. The arrival of the railway in 1863 contributed to its popularity as well. The quaint town continues as a tourist destination today and is known for the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, salmon ladder and as a location for hillwalking.
Pitlochry is also famous for its plants and flowers that are evident throughout the town.
Why You Should Visit Pitlochry Scotland
Check out these reasons for spending a day…or a week…in beautiful Pitlochry.
*Note…I visited this area just as I began my blogging journey. I did NOT take enough photos at that time, unfortunately.
The Town Oozes Charm
Always my favorite way to explore, walking the streets of Pitlochry is a wonderful way to get to know the town. Small shops and restaurants line the streets. Victorian houses share space with stone buildings. And in every small patch of ground and hanging basket flowers bloom.
I was delighted with everything I saw. My cousin Mindy remarked that Pitlochry is the “Eureka Springs of Scotland”, referring to the equally charming town in Arkansas.
We found a lovely tea house, Mackenzie’s, for afternoon tea.
Take In the Queen’s View
Named after Queen Victoria, The Queen’s View overlooks Loch Tummel and part of Tay Forest Park. There are many hiking trails in the area. And a visitor center with a cafe at the peak for refreshments after the three mile walk to the View.
One of the Oldest Distilleries in Scotland is Here
Explore Blair Athol Distillery, one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. Located at the foothills of the Grampian Mountains, Blair Athol’s ancient source of water – the Allt Dour – contributes to the whisky’s mellow and smooth finish. Take a tour, enjoying an educational guided walk through the distillery, as well a delicious dram of Blair Athol Single Malt Whisky.
There’s an Enchanted Forest Event Every October
Faskally Wood, within the Tay Forest Park, is home to a wide range of tree species, some more than 200 years old. It also hosts the popular Enchanted Forest event in October each year.
This multi-award winning show combines creative talents and nature to create an outdoor experience that ignites the imagination.
Amid dazzling visuals and an original musical score, visitors experience a light show that is out of this world.
Learn About Plants at the Explorer’s Garden
At the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, learn the stories of the brave men who risked their lives travelling the globe to find new plants and trees for cultivation and conservation. Tour the gardens, visit the exhibition that celebrates Modern Scottish Plant Hunters, or participate in workshops including Scottish Gin Tasting, Tea Tasting and How to Grow a Meconopsis.
You Can Explore the Atholl Palace Museum
Located in the former servant’s wing, the Atholl Palace Museum leads visitors through the colorful history of the Atholl Palace Hotel, from its opening in 1878 to reopening after World War II. Discover intriguing tales, learn about Victorian history, and explore audio dramas, short films, a games area that brings this fascinating place to life.
See Black Spout Wood Waterfall
if you love the energy of waterfalls, don’t miss this one. Walk south from Pitlochry town center through the Black Spout Wood to a platform that offers spectacular views of the falls.
Visit the Home of Scotland’s Most Awarded Chocolatier
Experience the unique flavor combinations of the international award-winning Velvet Truffles by Iain Burnett, the Highland Chocolatier.
Enjoy a gourmet tasting flight of five chocolates, experience the delights in the Chocolate Lounge and end the visit with a stop by the gift shop.
Watch Salmon Jump Up Specially Built Ladders
Pitlochry Hydroelectric Dam is close to the town center. Because it blocks the River Tummel…and the salmon who swim upstream to breed…a series of 37 constructed pools create a ladder for the fish to leap into. Once they reach the top pool they are able to continue upstream .
There’s also a visitor center and cafe on site at the dam.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre is a Unique Phenomenon
The mission of Pitlochry Festival Theatre is to bring Pitlochry to the world and the world to Pitlochry.
The theatre accomplishes this by creating performances that excite, engage and challenge. It seeks to inspire imagination, adventure and a sense of belonging and to nurture an environment in which the performers, audiences and the community can connect and grow together.
During the summer season the theatre performs six shows, all of which are played in daily rotation. That means attendees can see a different show every day.
Have I convinced you to visit this beautiful little town, the next time you are in Scotland? I’ve convinced myself! I look forward to a return visit and further explorations during an extended stay.
Have you visited Pitlochry, Scotland?
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