The £4 million Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre opened its doors of 31st January 2017. The centre has a very unusual design as it is cantilevered eight metres out from the banks of the River Tummel towards Pitlochry Dam Wall. This provides excellent views over Pitlochry dam, the hydro station and River Tummel. It is particularly spectacular when the dam has water passing overs its spill way. There is a live feed tv in the centre to allow visitors to look into one of the pools.
The Visitor Centre has exhibitions on Heritage, Pitlochry Dam, the Life Cycle of the Salmon, Power from the Glens, Green Energy in Scotland and Managing Habitats. You will hear the vision of Tom Johnstone in the early 1950s led to the creation a network of tunnels, dams and hydro stations and those such as the ‘Tunnel Tigers’ who helped build such Highland hydro schemes as Pitlochry.
The Visitor Centre is a dog-friendly zone. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. This is a great new benefit, as so many people walk their dogs from the main street car parks on the circular Pitlochry dam and fish ladder walk. This allows a stop at the visitor centre too.
Today it is hard to believe that when it was built, there was massive local opposition. One of the reasons for this was as it is built directly over the old Pitlochry Highland Games field. As Alastair Phillips-Davies, the Scottish and Southern Energy Chief Executive said, “When Pitlochry Dam and Power Station was first given the go-ahead there were fears it would lead to the ‘ruination of tourism.’ There was great local opposition, but is that not the story of change, whenever anything new and challenging is proposed, there are always those we are against.
Pitlochry Dam Attracts some 550,000 people annually who cross the dam and Fish Ladder, the new visitor centre is an added popular attraction for the short walk from Pitlochry town centre.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 10.00am to 4.30pm.