Places of Interest in Pitlochry
Pitlochry (Baile Chloichridh or Baile Chloichrigh in Gaelic), is a burgh in the council area of Perth and Kinross, Scotland, lying on the River Tummel. Its population according to the 2001 census was 2,564.
It is largely a Victorian town, whose success as a tourist resort was due to Queen Victoria visiting the area in 1842, and the arrival of the railway in 1863. It remains a popular tourist resort today and is particularly known as a centre for hillwalking, surrounded by mountains such as Ben Vrackie. The town has retained many stone-built Victorian buildings.
Pitlochry dates largely from Victorian times, though the area known as Moulin, once a separate village, is older. Moulin Kirk was granted by the Earl of Atholl to Dunfermline Abbey in 1180. Moulin became a burgh of barony in 1511.
Pitlochry itself first started to grow after General George Wade built a road through the town as part of his effort to improve access to rural Scotland between 1725 and 1737 as a response to the Jacobite Rising of 1715.
In 1842, Queen Victoria visited the nearby Blair Castle. Her favourable opinion of the area caused the town to be more widely noticed. After the railway station was built in 1863, Pitlochry became a favoured destination for tourists.
In 1947 Pitlochry became a burgh. That year also saw the beginning of construction of a dam as part of the Tummel hydro-electric power scheme. The dam and its fish ladder are a popular tourist attraction today. The damming of the river created an artificial loch, Loch Faskally.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre opened in 1951, originally situated in the current location of the Curling Rink as a tent. The current building dates from 1981.
Every year in October, Pitlochry transforms into a hub of activity for some 20,000 visitors who descend upon the town to see The Enchanted Forest sound and light show and the Pitlochry Autumn Festival that runs alongside the event. The town was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2009 Britain in Bloom horticultural contest, and outright winner in the category of Small Town. See www.pitlochryinbloom.co.uk.
Pitlochry has a packed events calendar across the year ranging from the New Year's Day street ceilidh to a range of events held in the Autumn.
The view from Ben Vrackie
The four day 'Winter Words' theatre held at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre in January has author talks and events as well as creative writing workshops for young and old. The theatre also acts as the cultural hub for the town with a changing programme of plays, workshops and other events taking place in the venue.
If you are after a challenge then take part in or cheer on cyclists in the Etape Caledonia Closed Road Cycle Challenge in May. The 81 mile route through Perthshire starts and finishes in Pitlochry. It is Britain’s first and currently only closed road timed cycle event which is open to the ordinary cyclist.
The Enchanted Forest
The Pitlochry Highland Games are held annually in September and have been running since 1852.Autumn is always a busy time in Pitlochry with the Autumn Festival. The highlight of this is 'The Enchanted Forest', a themed extravanganza of lighting and music as you walk through Faskally Woods.
Music is on offer at 'Perthshire Amber', a week of musical performances and workshops held in the last week of October at various venues in Pitlochry, Dunkeld and beyond.
Getting away from it all - Some of the things to do:
• Pitlochry and the surrounding area offer a variety of walks from town strolls to the more gruelling Rob Roy Way at 79 miles.
• Ben Vrackie overlooks the town and a strenuous walk can be taken up the hill for dramatic views of Pitlochry and the surrounding hills. Other walks of interest nearby include the Falls of Bruar and 'The Queen's View', named after Queen Victoria's visit to the area.
The Pass of Killiecrankie
• The famous Pass of Killiecrankie, where the first battle of the 1689 rebellion was fought, is a stroll along the river North from Pitlochry. The history of the Jacobite Uprising and clan history can be explored at the Clan Donnachaidh Museum in nearby Bruar.
• Blair Castle in Blair Atholl, historic home to the dukes and earls of Atholl is another place to explore the history of the area and has extensive grounds, function rooms and historical displays.
• Quench your thirst at the smallest distillery in Scotland, the Edradour Distillery or try the ale at the Moulin Brewery. More whisky is on offer at the Blair Athol distillery in Pitlochry, not to be confused with the nearby town Blair Atholl.
• Water is turned into electricity at the hydro-electric Pitlochry Dam which is also home to the famous fish ladder. Visitors can tour the dam and watch the salmon leap the ladder to spawn upstream.