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.