Pitlochry is situated in the heart of the stunning scenery of Highland Perthshire. The town sits below Beinn Bhracaigh (Ben Vrackie), the speckled mountain and beside the River Tummel, in some of the most magnificent scenery in Scotland. With a backdrop of surrounding hills and beautiful woodlands, it is wonderful walking country.
Famous as a holiday resort, rich in Victorian heritage, Pitlochry started life as a smaller neighbour to the older settlement of Moulin. Moulin is situated at the top of the hill and at the bottom of the “High Drive”, as the locals call it. From there roads led across the present day Golf Course to Killiecrankie and Blair Atholl and down the hill to the ferry crossing at Port na Craig. The ferry was the only way at that time to cross the River Tummel and it was in operation until the footbridge was opened on Empire Day in 1912.
The development of the town began in the 18th century, when General Wade’s Great North Road – built to allow military access to the Highlands- was routed through Pitlochry rather than Moulin. New inns were built to cater for travellers and the transformation of the town was completed by the arrival of the Highland Main Line Railway on June 1st 1863. Queen Victoria visited the area several times, following which it quickly developed into a popular holiday destination, famous visitors included William Ewart Gladstone, Professor J S Blackie, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mr Holdsworth Lunn ( whose family went on to found Lunn Poly).
Pitlochry today is a bustling tourist town and has been welcoming visitors for over 170 years. The name comes from the Gaelic “Pit Cloich Aire”, meaning “place of the Sentinel Stone” and it was originally a Pictish settlement. Two Sentinel stones survive today, one in the grounds of Tigh na Cloich and the other in the garden at Northlands. The whole area is rich in standing stones, stone circles and ancient sites, the most famous being the magnificently carved Dunfallandy Stone which dates back 1,200 years.
Pitlochry is justifiably proud of its Victorian heritage and tourism traditions, and offers visitors much to enjoy. It is the ideal holiday destination for those who love Scotland’s hills and heritage, while its central position and easy accessibility by road, rail and bus, make it a perfect touring base for visiting Scotland’s other delights, in all four seasons there are more reasons to visit Pitlochry.