The area around Pitlochry is known locally as Highland Perthshire, this comprises of five distinctive areas:-
- Aberfeldy – General Wade’s Tay Bridge built here in 1733 is decribed as one of his finest and least military in design. The square in modern Aberfeldy, a market town, was laid in 1802 and the Black Watch Monument on the banks of the River Tay, by Wade’s Bridge was built in 1887.Aberfeldy is constructed by the use of the ancient word burn (stream), ‘Pheallaidh’ (pronounced ‘feldy’). ‘Aber’ is the prefix that indicates a confluence of where two rivers (where they meet), in this case with the River Tay. Hence the name for the town of Aberfeldy.
- Blair Atholl – An estate village established in 1823 following construction of the new Bridge of Tilit in 1823. The Atholl Arms Hotel was built in 1832, some 30 years before the arrival of the railway in 1863.
- Dunkeld and Birnam –
Followers of St Columba are thought to have established a monastry here in the 6th Century. The remains of the 13th century cathedral are well worth a visit today. Thomas Telford constructed the bridge over the Tay in 1809, intially a toll bridge for the Duke’s of Atholl.
- Pitlochry – The village of Moulin on the northern outskirts of Pitlochry is the ancient settlement in the area. Modern Pitlochry started life as a result of General Wade’s Military road built in 1728 that was to the south of Moulin. Today the Victoria town of Pitlochry is the area’s largest town in the area attracting literally hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
- Rannoch and Tummel – “It is quiet and very lonely here! I might say that the stillness rings through the noise. Just now the door opened of itself. This is a Highland Inn. The little boys with their kilts and bare knees and gay coloured bonnets, the waiter in his tartan, old people with pig tails, talk helter-skelter in their unintelligible Gaelic” Letter from Tummel Bridge 3rd August 1829.
The five regions that make up the Pitlochry area,
each have their own distinct identity offering very different landscape, attractions and activities. While Pitlochry offers the major transport links, road and rail with the rest of Scotland it is by far the largest accommodation base.
Pitlochry is one of Scotland's top tourist towns mainly due to three things. The railway, Queen Victoria and its distinct Scottish Baronial architecture. Many of the Victorian homes are today delightful hotels and guest houses. The town has a packed year round events calendar, its own pipe band, distillery and dam with fish ladder. There is much to see and enjoy. READ MORE
Blair Atholl has always been strategically important being located in the very centre of Scotland, with all routes until the 19th century from north - south and east-west passing through the flat plane of Atholl. A castle was built here by the Wolf of Baddenoch in 1263. Today's village was build by the Duke of Atholl in the early 19th century, 30 years prior to the arrival of the railway in 1863. READ MORE
Rannoch and Tummel
The drive to Tummel and Rannoch passes Queens View with spectacular views of Loch Tummel before reaching the village of Tummel. Tummel has a hydro electric power station and a simple arched Wade's Bridge. The drive to Kinloch Rannoch is best enjoyed with a circular drive around Loch Rannoch. READ MORE
Dunkeld has a long history. It is the oldest settlement in the Perthshire highlands. The town was rebuilt after the Jacobite battle of 1689, when the old town was burnt down. The architecture is 18th century with a cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Here you can often see salmon fisherman patiently casting from a boat in the hopes of that monster fish. There are two hotels in the town, with Queen Victoria believing the Atholl Arms was good enough to stay. READ MORE
Aberfeldy and Kenmore
Aberfeldy is a market town that is situated on the confluence of the rivers Tay and Moness. It is where the famous Scottish Regiment, the Black Watch regiment was first mustered. General Wade built a bridge over the River Tay here in 1733. It is still very much in use today. Robert Burns visited the Birks of Aberfeldy, which is to this day has a delightful circular walk to the falls. READ MORE