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The Great Outdoors: Picturesque Pitlochry is perfect for views, walks, whisky and enchantment

© Shutterstock / Ross PearceQueens View of Loch Tummel, north west of Pitlochry.
Queens View of Loch Tummel, north west of Pitlochry.

When it comes to Scotland’s most amazing scenery, it’s hard to top Pitlochry in Perthshire.

Sitting on the River Tummel, Pitlochry is a small, Victorian town with fewer than 3,000 residents. What this scenic town lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty, history and fun.

For outdoor activities, the River Tummel is the perfect fishing spot. Day permits can be purchased from Pitlochry Angling Club for salmon fishing on the Pitlochry Bank.

The town’s golf course is not to be missed. At the foot of Ben Vrackie, Pitlochry Golf Club is among Scotland’s most arresting, an 18-hole course with spectacular views of the wider Tummel Valley.

Elsewhere outdoors, Pitlochry is known as a haven for hillwalkers attempting one of the nearby mountains. Ben Vrackie, to the north, stands at an impressive 2,759ft.

The mountain is visible from all over Pitlochry and spectacular views await once you reach the summit, which is easily accessible from the town.

If a walk is on the agenda, but Ben Vrackie – or the nearby Munro of Schiehallion at 3,547ft – isn’t for you, then Queen’s View might offer the perfect stroll.

Often assumed to be named after Queen Victoria, who was astounded by the incredible view over Loch Tummel when she visited in 1866, the eponymous Queen is in fact Isabella of Mar, the first wife of Robert the Bruce.

A short wooded walk up to the Queen’s View takes you to the visitor centre, with not only fantastic panoramic views of the River Tummel below, but also a café, if a spot of lunch is called for.

You’ll even find two whisky distilleries nearby. Blair Athol Distillery is a large operation, founded in 1798.

The distillery produces 12-year-old Blair Athol single malt and offers tours all year. It is home to The Mash Tun Bar, with more than 50 single malts to try.

Edradour Distillery is known as Scotland’s smallest distillery, yet is no less impressive. Founded in 1825, it cements Pitlochry’s place on the whisky map of Scotland.

The town is also home to the renowned Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

The theatre opened as a tent in 1951. The current building, constructed in 1981, sits directly on the River Tummel, an amazingly scenic location.

The theatre attracts some of Scotland’s top performers to its shows, which in the past have included the world premiere of a musical adaptation of Whisky Galore, and Christmas extravaganzas.

There are plenty more world-class productions to come, so keep an eye on their programme online.

One of Pitlochry’s most popular events, the Enchanted Forest, is a family-friendly spectacular which takes place yearly deep within Loch Dunmore Faskally Wood.

Sadly, the event won’t run this year due to the impact of Covid-19 but plans are in motion for a return in 2022. It’s never too soon to start planning a trip to the forest.

Holiday-makers and day-trippers have been flocking to Pitlochry since Queen Victoria’s initial visit in 1842 and many of the town’s buildings hark back to the period.

With a friendly welcome is guaranteed, Pitlochry is Perthshire at its very best.