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Visit Pitlochry, Scotland

Monday, April 12, 2010

This evening, my theme is Pitlochry, a prominent country town in Perthshire, central Scotland which is also popular with visitors. The name means 'Place of the Stepping Stones' which dates back to Pictish times, maybe 2000 years ago.

Pitlochry is very well endowed with visitor accommodation although perhaps skewed towards the coach party sector.The town is popular with shoppers. Close by there are many activities, attractions and places to visit, viz:

  • White Water rafting on the River Tay.
  • Fishing for salmon on the rivers.
  • Hiking and walking.
  • Stalking (deer)
  • Queen's View
  • Blair Castle and grounds.
  • Edradour Scotch Whisky Distillery which provides excellent tours.
  • Nearby Dunkeld and Birnam.
  • Fish Ladder (for the salmon).
  • River Tummel
  • Curling Rink.
Looking wider afield, Pitlochry's central location affords within the day access to Stirling, Loch Ness, Isle of Skye, Balmoral, St. Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh. When touring I find Pitlochry useful as stopover for refreshments and laundry. Parking can be a challenge in the peak tourist season during the summer period.

Elsewhere today, I should have been out touring if it were not for an unfortunate cancellation due to a family bereavement. However, I have plenty of tour enquiries to keep me occupied including two self-drive and various small group tours. Posted information on Loudon family history to my GlagowAncestry blog.


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Falls of Braan, Scotland

Monday, March 08, 2010

This evening, I am focusing on the Falls of Braan near Dunkeld in Perthshire. This is a popular visitor attraction which receives some 200, 000 visitors each year.

Originally, the falls were the centre piece of a private 'finger' of landscape garden owned by the Duke of Atholl. To approach the falls visitors enjoy a gentle walk along the banks of the River Braan, then through the tallest grove of Douglas Firs in the UK and finally to the viewing platform at Ossian's Hall which was originally built as summer house in 1758 (for afternoon tea and the like).

The images together with this video clip were taken just recently with the layer of snow and ice reflecting the tail end of a very harsh winter.

The Braan, which at about 80 miles in length, is quite short. It contains salmon but, regrettably, and despite heroic attempts, the fish are unable to leap up the falls.

This site is owned by Scotland's National Trust and entrance is free. I usually bring touring guests to the site when I am in the area.


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Birnam Oak in Perthshire, Scotland.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today, we visited Birnam near to Dunkeld, this town is know well because William Shakespeare mentioned Birnam Wood in Macbeth: "I will not be afraid of death and bane till Birnam Forest come to Dunisname." Macbeth, ActV, Scene III.

We walked along the River Tay, which is the longest river in Scotland, and is really beautiful. We encountered a Birnam Oak which immortalised in Shakespeare's Macbeth.It is an ancient tree which has large branches. The tree is very ancient and it's diameter extends to several meters.

The tree stands on the river bank behind the Birnam House Hotel and is worth a visit.



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Tour Pitlochry Pub Scotland

Monday, December 29, 2008

Today, I am presenting an image of the Moulin Hotel which is a combined pub, hotel and micro-brewery located in Moulin near Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland. Here we enjoyed a good bar meal in convivial surroundings.


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Visit Dunkeld Scotland

Friday, September 12, 2008

This evening I am posting a few images taken during a brief visit yesterday to Dunkeld. This is a very popular small town, very centrally situated inside the Highland Line on the banks of the River Tay. The scenery is stunning and the atmosphere full of history.

The name Dunkeld means 'Fort of the Caledonians'.

Around AD 700 followers of St. Columba founded a monastery at Dunkeld. In 878 AD the bones of St Columba were moved to Dunkeld from Iona for safety and remained there until 1560. The Cathedral, which stands on the site of the former monastery, was started in AD 1318 and was completed in 1448. During the Reformation the Cathedral was largely destroyed but partially re-roofed in 1600 when it became a parish church. In a battle following that at nearby Killiecrankie in 1689 most of the town was burned during the conflict between Jacobite and Government forces.

The Dukes of Atholl rebuilt Dunkeld in the 19th century with further restoration work carried out by the National Trust and the County Council since 1950.

Perthshire is a garden county-and my favourite!. The scenery ranges form luxuriant valleys to high craggy peaks and is a mecca for people who love the outdoors. Nearby are faculties for white water rafting, hillwalking, bird watching, fishing, golfing and stalking. Other places of interest include castles, lochs, historic monuments, battlefields, theatre, Beatrix Potter sites and lots of history.

Most of the above background information was obtained from a brochure produced by The Pend B&B

The following two images are of the Square including the Atholl Fountain

River Tay looking upstream from Dunkeld

River Tay looking downstream towards Birnam

Taybank pub-well renowned as a centre for traditional Scottish music.

View of Bridge Street with its many and varied shops.

Dunkeld's central location makes it ideal as a base for touring Scotland.


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Maggie Wall Tour Dunning Perthshire

Friday, August 08, 2008

This evening, I am presenting an image of a very unusual roadside memorial cum shrine to Maggie Wall "burnt here 1657 as a witch".

This stone monument is located about 1 mile west of the village of Dunning.

It is assumed that Maggie Wall was one of the unfortunate casualties of 17th century witch-hunts. However, despite diligent record keeping at the time , there is no record of any trial, conviction or sentence relating to a Maggie Wall . Moreover, Christian themed memorials to witches are extremely unusual. Clearly, therefore, the monument is something of a conundrum. Another dimension is the fact that the stonework is of 19th century origin ( which may have replaced an earlier one). So, there is something here for the historical detective!


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Tour Forteviot Perthshire

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This evening I am presenting images from my recent visit to the village of Forteviot. Prime purpose of the visit was to attend a talk from archaeologists on work in progress on excavations of this historic site which was the capital ( or centre of power) of Scotland in the mid 9th century. What is now a small and quite village was in past millennia a major population and possibly ritual centre spanning the neolithic to the post medieval. There is evidence to suggest that Forteviot was an ecclesiastical centre in Pictish times and may have been the premier ritual complex in the East of Scotland. The church, which has bell dating from the 10th century, is probably built on the site of a much earlier church.

The current village may be located on the site of a Pictish Palace where Kenneth McAlpine lived and died AD 842/3-AD858.

The archaeologists clearly have a major task over the next 10 years and will use latest technology including crop mark analysis to learn how the village evolved.

Here is a spectacular double rainbow

Evening view from the village
I think this is a Rowan tree.
Plaque in centre of village. This dates from the 1920s and underscores the belief of a connection with Kenneth McApline.

Forteviot Church

Overall, Forteviot is well worth a visit, which should be conducted in conjunction with a visit to nearby Dunning.


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Dunning Ancestry Tour Scotland

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

This evening I am presenting some images from St. Serf's Church, Dunning Perthshire.

Yesterday, I took a stroll around the church graveyard which has a fascinating collection of burial stones and grave-markers some of which date back to the 17th century.

Dunning is a vibrant small community set beneath the Ochils in Strathearn. The locality has been inhabited by man since about 4000BC.

The impressive Romanesque steeple of St. Serf's Church dominates the village. Records of the church go back to 1219 but the remains of an old doorway suggest a much older church on the site, possibly going back to the 8th or 9th centuries AD.

Below are some images of a sample of headstones which include such local names as Wedderspoon, Cunningham, Duncan, Dougal, Reid, Fraser, Miller, Morris and MacFarland.

Here is a general view of the graveyard.


The horizontal stones are probably the oldest and are influenced by the Scandinavian/Viking 'Hogback' style.


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Falls of Dochart Tour Killin Scotland

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This afternoon I am presenting some images of a recent tour when we visited the Loch Tay area of Perthshire.

The Falls of Dochart are found at Killin at the south end of Loch Tay where the River Dochart enters Loch Tay.

Here it is possible to have a bit of fun and scramble across the rocks.

As will evident from one of the images, there was snow on the mountain peaks at time of our visit.

The name Killin is indicative of an early Christian settlement and means 'at the white cell'.


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Acharn Tour

Monday, February 11, 2008

Acharn is small village on the edge of Loch Tay near Kenmore. It is a great little spot for a short but energetic hike. Firstly, you walk uphill to the Falls of Acharn, which are quite spectacular and are approached through a very spooky 'Hermit's Cave'. Then you walk on up to a prehistoric stone circle high up on the hills and which affords magnificent views of Loch Tay below.

Here is the stone circle at the top.

Here is the view of Kenmore and Loch Tay.

This is an image of the river on the way down.

The following are images of the Falls of Acharn.

Explore hidden Scotland with Catswhiskerstours


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Dunkeld Cathedral Tour

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dunkeld is a great little town nestling on the banks of the River Tay in central Scotland.

The Cathedral is well renowned being part ruin and part living church.Its origins go back to AD 570 when Celtic missionaries built a wattle monastery.

The architecture is a mix of Gothic and Norman and was built between 1260 and 1501.

The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Columba, an Irish missionary who founded the Abbey at Iona.

Dunkeld Cathedral has twice suffered desecration and destruction: in 1560 following the Reformation and in 1689 during the Battle of Dunkeld.

A visit is recommended.

Here are images of the ruined section.

A view of the bridge over the Tay from the Cathedral

A view of the Cathedral

Contact catswhiskerstours for a tour of Dunkeld and Perthshire


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Glen Lyon Tour Perthshire Scotland

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This afternoon I am presenting images of a Glen Lyon tour. This drive is something of a 'hidden gem' being relatively quiet and tucked away in the Central Highlands. This route is at its best in springtime/early summer but can be slow going owing to narrow, single track road. A good tour is to commence at Fortingall and then drive through the Glen over Ben Lawers to Killin with its famous falls. Great for photos.

Contact Catswhiskerstours for a guided tour of Scotland


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Fortingall Tour

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today, I have collated some images of Fortingall, Perthshire.

This is a fascinating (quaint?) village with a history as a Christian centre dating back to around the 7th century. The name is first recorded as Forterkil derived from fortair (a stronghold) and cill ( a cell or church). However the valley has probably been inhabited for some 5000 years.

This celtic cross marks the small burial ground set aside in 1902 for the family of Sir Donald Currie.

Here is an image of the Fortingall yew, reputedly one of the oldest living organisms in Europe, and now a shadow if its former self, but still alive! In the background is the church which was rebuilt 1901-2.

Here is a standing stone dating from around 2000BC

Here is an image of the village which is set in a beautiful Highland Perthshire location.

Contact Catswhiskerstours for more information on a range of tour possibilities in Scotland


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