Pitlochry B&B, luxury accommodation Pitlochry

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Pitlochry Dam, Fish Ladder and Museum

Pitlochry Dam and fish ladder

Pitlochry Dam was built by the ‘Hydro Boys’ in the 50′s as part of the major hydro-electric power network being developed across the Highlands. This is the last of nine power stations in the network and it produces enough electricity to power 15,000 homes. The damming of the River Tummel at Pitlochry created Loch Faskally and both are now major tourist attractions.

You can take a nice walk from Torrdarach House down to Loch Faskally and across the top of the Dam. It is quite a structure! One of the main features of the dam is a 310m concrete ‘fish ladder’ which was constructed to allow salmon returning to the river to reach their spawning grounds. You can see the ladder in the pictures below.

There is an excellent museum inside the main building explaining the construction of the dam network and there is a viewing window in the ladder giving you a chance to spot passing salmon.

After prolonged spells the heavy rain in Highland Perthshire the dam gates may need to be opened to speed up the venting of water from Loch Faskally. It is quite a sight when you see it up close. There is a photo of the gates open below and another blog post here showing something similar.

Pitlochry Dam and Port na Craig

Fish ladder and Loch Tummel

Pitlochry Dam museum

Pitlochry Dam museum

Pitlochry Dam turbine hall

Pitlochry Dam – Gates open!

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Black Spout waterfall – Edradour, Pitlochry

Sign post in the Black Spout Woods

One of our favourite short walks around Pitlochry is through the Black Spout Woods to the Black Spout waterfall.

The woods can be accessed from the Atholl Road near to the Blair Atholl Distillery (home of Bells whisky). However, our preferred route is a short walk from above the falls starting at the Edradour Distillery.

The route is less than 1km in each direction. Follow the signs down from Edradour and you can’t go wrong. Lovely oak woodland with great views across the fields to Ben Vrackie, Craigower Hill and Pitlochry. The waterfall itself is about 60m high and after periods of rainfall can be an impressive torrent.

Well worth the short walk. Easily combined with a tour of Edradour Distillery.



The Black Spout Waterfall

The Black Spout Woods

Craigower Hill and Pitlochry from Black Spout (taken in May)

Ben Vrackie from Black Spout (taken in May)

The whitewashed buildings of Edradour Distillery

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Falls of Bruar

Lower bridge

Hidden behind the outrageous shopping experience that is The House of Bruar, is the start of a 2.5km circular walk up the Falls of Bruar.

Big waterfalls, super clear pools, ancient bridges and steep sides (hold on the the kids!) make this short walk very enjoyable.

If you fancy a more refreshing trip to the Falls of Bruar why not try canyoning organised by Pitlochry Outdoor Activities – chilly stuff!

For some excellent detailed notes on the walk check out this Walkhighlands page.

Combine this walk with a tour of Blair Castle and a posh retail experience at the House of Bruar for an excellent day out.

Have a look at some of our own photos of the walk below.



Information board at the start of the walk 

The walk in.




The lower bridge


Canyoners below the lower bridge









Canyoners below the lower bridge


Steep sides – hold on to the kids!









The upper bridge and falls


Resting half way down









The walk back down









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Queen’s View, Loch Tummel

The Queen’s View.  Wow!  What a place.

Only a few miles from Pitlochry down the stunning Loch Tummel road is an incredible viewpoint known as the Queen’s View. Apparently named after Queen Isabella, the wife of Robert the Bruce over 700 years ago.

A short path leads from the carpark to the viewpoint. The path has recently undergone extensive renovation and is now considered wheelchair accessible.

The view itself is extensive, taking in the whole of Loch Tummel, Schiehallion (3553ft) and at a distance of about 50 miles the mountains of Glencoe.

We had a cracking day for our visit and the snow caps on Schiehallion and in Glencoe really made the view. Well worth a visit on a clear day.

The Queen’s View, Loch Tummel

The new all-abilities path to the viewpoint

Schiehallion with a snow cap









The mountians of Glencoe in the distance

The Queens View









Further info on the Queens View can be found at Pitlochry.org

There is also some great walking to be done in the surrounding Aillean Forest. A good starting point for info is the superb Walkhighlands website and http://www.perthshirebigtreecountry.co.uk/

For a longer drive, carry on past the Queen’s View to Kinloch Rannoch, around Loch Rannoch, past the remote Rannoch Station and Schiehallion, up and over to Aberfeldy and eventually back to Pitlochry. It is a stunning drive with super loch and mountain views, loads of wildlife and numerous well mapped walks. This loop is roughly the same route as the tremendously popular Etape Caledonia road cycle race held annually in Highland Perthshire. If you do go for this longer loop make sure you check out Treats Cafe in Kinloch Rannoch….tasty.

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Things to do around Pitlochry – Scottish Field, December 2011

The Scottish Field magazine, December 2011, has suggested ten things to do in Perthshire, many of which are very close to Torrdarach House in Pitlochry.  All of the suggestions get a thumbs-up from us.


Most of the suggestions above are very close to our Bed and Breakfast in Pitlochry, Highland Perthshire.