This past weekend, we took an overnight trip to Pitlochry in Perthshire for a little exploration and adventure.
I’d heard good things about it but was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more to do. The village is very tiny – you can walk from one end to the other in a matter of minutes. The buildings are beautiful and the whole place is filled with hotels and very picturesque. We even had dinner and drinks at the Old Mill Inn. We ended up going for a walk on Saturday and enjoying a little of the countryside. There are some pretty fantastic views within a short walk.
Getting up in the morning, we passed a group of two dozen cyclists – there was literature at the hostel highlighting some of the cycling trails nearby and bike shops in town. We hadn’t made plans to go cycling, so ended up catching a bus to the nearby Blair Castle and Gardens.
I think I’ll do a later post about the castle because it was pretty packed full of history.
After finishing there, we took a walk around the grounds. It was a little strange actually because a lot of North American trees were planted including some big Douglas Firs and California Redwoods. It almost felt like I was walking through a forest back home.
On the edges of the grounds was the old kirk, resting place of Bonnie Dundee, the Jacobite general immortalized by Sir Walter Scott in the famous folk song.
Bonnie Dundee, aka the Bluidy Clavers, actual name was John Graham 7th Laird of Claverhouse, was a professional soldier, close friend of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and military leader of the Jacobite army. He died at the Battle of Killecrankie which was fought nearby. It was an important victory for the Jacobites, but also a costly one.
Without their leader, Killecrankie was followed up by a major defeat nearby at Dunkeld.
From Blair Castle, we walked backed to Blair Atholl, and then went on to the Killecrankie visitor centre for lunch before starting a hike back to Pitlochry. There was lots of information about the battle including a few interesting sights along the way. Like the name suggests, Soldier’s Leap is the place from where a retreating government soldier leaped from the rocks into the river below to escape pursuing Jacobites.
The railway viaduct was really impressive, and we passed a high bridge with a bungee jumping platform. Its weird because its something I’ve wanted to do for a while but have really got around to.
Lots of people were taking advantage of the outdoors. People were fishing, biking, walking their dogs, and it was a good six mile walk from the visitor centre to Pitlochry. Luckily we had some decent weather to do it in.