We focus on ‘Pitlochry for kids’ highlighting all the things to do with kids in Pitlochry and kids in Perthshire.
1. Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre – it is free entry. The car park below the visitor centre near the dam, is free too. Down stairs in the visitor centre there are hands on displays that allow the kids to understand how the salmon travel up through the Pitlochry dam fish ladder. Also how electricity is generated and a short film describing how the Tunnel Tigers created the tunnels that go to our hydro dams. There is an excellent café upstairs with brilliant views over Pitlochry Dam. (Our guesstimate is this would eat up an hour to two hours depending if you have a scone or not). You could combine this with The Pitlochry Dam circular walk over the dam, along the river, over the foot bridge, down Pitlochry main street and back to the dam Visitor Centre car park.
2. Pitlochry Putting Green. For the whole family with younger kids. The 18 hole putting green is can be great fun for the whole family. Because we know your kids will love it. Divide yourselves in to teams, so there is a bit of competition, it always adds a bit of banter. Putters and balls provided. Located a short walk from Pitlochry main street, just under the railway arch as you walk to the Pitlochry Dam and Fish ladder.
3. Pitlochry Driving Range and 6 hole Pitch & Putt. For those with older kids, there is a 6 hole pitch and putt, clubs can be supplied, where you can play in groups of 4 and play up to 2 balls each Great fun. There is also a very good Golf Driving range. The Red Deer Restaurant is open to all, serving very good value mills, teas and coffees and drinks.
4. John Muir Trust located opposite McKays Hotel in Pitlochry main street has a number of kids interactive activities about wildlife and the outdoors. There is also a short video. Free entry. (Our guesstimate is this would eat up half an hour or so).
5. Pitlochry Recreation Ground has an excellent active kids park, with climbing frames, trampolines, swings creating an outdoor kids activity centre. There is a free car park too. Better still walk there. (There is a lot of quality activities here, so difficult to estimate as we are sure it would depend on your kids).
6. Atholl Palace Hotel Museum. In the ground floor of the Atholl Palace Hotel, there is a museum showing you what a hotel looked line in the late 1800s. There is also a film. So you learn how the servants were treated and how the hotel became a school during the Second World War.
7. Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder circular walk. This is a short walk about a mile or so. From Pitlochry main street to Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre, over Pitlochry Dam wall, down past the Pitlochry Fish Ladder. Through Port na Craig hamlet and over the River Tummel via pedestrian foot bridge. This takes you past the Pitlochry Recreation Ground with its children’s activities, and back up on to Pitlochry main street.
A short drive out of Pitlochry there are a number of excellent kids activities in Perthshire. These are our top suggestions.
1. Wee Adventures. This has to be Perthshire’s top Kids adventure activity provider. They organise kids activity days during the school holidays aimed at 5 to 12 year old children. These are aimed at getting kids to make decision at an early age, developing their confidence and independence, which are important life skills. Each Kids Adventure Day runs from 9:30am to 3.30pm or 4pm in the summer. The Wee Adventures promise, is to return your kids muddy, wet, tired and inspired children to you at the end of their day. At any time of year, they also do bespoke adventure days for families with kids or just a group of kids while their parents enjoy some time to themselves in the area.
2. Highland Safaris. This an excellent place to spend a lot of time with kids. This must be one of the best outdoor kids activity centres in Scotland. There are a whole host of activities from gold and gem panning, which many kids really enjoy trying to find those gems. The bike skills cycle track is good safe fun (away from traffic), you can take your own bikes or hire them. The track is an off road loop. Ride your bikes here as long as you like. Also a nature trail, at the visitor centre is free. Follow the clues round a loop that overlooks a herd of red deer.
Highland Safaris has a drop at the top cycle route. They transfer you with your bikes (hired or not) to the top of the glen and you cycle back. Take picnic lunches or buy from their excellent café. Another idea is watch Mum or Dad drive one of the land rover over the impressive 4X4 off road course. Not forgetting the Highland safari trips which are great fun for the whole family.
3. Mains of Taymouth Riding Stables. Under the supervision of a professional and enthusiastic team, you and/or your kids can have 1 or 2 hour treks, pony rides, family rides. Lessons and evening rides. Beginners welcome. Minimum age is 4 years old.
4. Visit the Beatrix Potter Garden and Exhibitionat Birnam, by Dunkeld. For ten years from the age of four until she was fourteen, Beatrix Potter stayed annually with her family for their summer holidays at Dalguise House by Dunkeld. It was her relationship with the local postman, Charles Macintosh, that started her interest in nature. She first wrote f about Peter Rabbit here. '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. The Beatrix Potter garden has some of her characters in in it, which children will enjoy finding. There is an excellent Beatrix Potter Exhibition with interactive areas for children. The shop has all the Beatrix Potter books and may other items. A very good place to spend a couple of hours with smaller children.
5. Take them swimming, an ideal Pitlochry Swimming Pool. The Steading Spa pool has a toddlers pool, Jacuzi, Sauna, Steam Room and a multi gym. It is open from 10am each day. The pool is beside the Loft Restaurant, so ideal for a swim and something to eat. First right on Golf Course Road, (behind the Old Tilt Hotel in the middle of Blair Atholl). PH18 5TE Tel 01796 481600
6. The Scottish Crannog Centre. Found across Scotland and Ireland dating from the Iron Age over 2,500 years ago. See the underwater archaeology that tells us how they lived. Hands on activities of the early loch-dwellers. Meet the people living the life and hear their stories. This is an excellent way to spend a few hours with kids in Perthshire. Sit in the crannog above Loch Tay and imagine what it must have been like to have lived here.
On the road to the Scottish Crannog Centre, between Aberfeldy and Kenmore, you pass Croft Moriag 8 standing stones dating back to 300BC. We are sure the kids would enjoy stopping and looking at these wonderful structures.
7. Loch Tay Marina Water Sports. Offers a wide choice of Kids Water activities from open Canadian Canoes and double Kayacs, Single Kayaks, Stand up Paddle Boards includes wetsuits. 4 x giant paddle boards, takes 8 per board, includes wetsuit. Motor Fishing. Inflatables (Trampoline + Ice-burg) includes wetsuits.
8. Blair Atholl Bike Hire. Blair Atholl has a good choice of on and off road bike trails. You can hire bikes of various sizes to suit the whole family or take your own. The Visitor Centre beside the Food in the Park and Museum has cycle route booklets with excellent maps and route notes available for purchase. Free car parking. Tel 0845 5482270
9. Pitlochry Walks - We have a walks page, highlighting some of our favourite walks. Many of these are good for families looking for outdoor kids activities in Pitlochry and Perthshire.