The Linn of Tummel is the collection of pools and rolling waterfalls that exist at the confluence of the River Tummel and the Garry. Situated in between Killiecrankie and Pitlochry, the path to the Linn is accessed from the car park at the Garry Bridge. Head down the steps and under the bridge passed the bungee jumpers and you can walk along the banks of the Garry toward the Linn. Continue up the Tummel a few hundred meters and you will get to Coronation Bridge. Round trip to Coronation Bridge is about 4km.
This is classic Highland Perthshire river scenery. These photos were taken in early May before the trees gained much colour but you can get a feel for what the area looks like. This is our favourite low level short walk in the area.
Killicrankie Gorge is a National Trust site a couple of miles north of Pitlochry. The River Garry runs through a stunning deep gorge here on its way to join the River Tummel at the Linn of Tummel and before continuing down to Pitlochry.
The strategically important Killiecrankie Pass is famous for being the site of the first battle of the Jacobite uprising of 1689. 4000 Government loyal troops led by General Mackay were ultimately beaten in a bloody battle by 2000 Jacobite troops led by John Graham of Claverhouse who was himself killed during the battle. In the aftermath, as the Goverment troops fled, Donald MacBean made a spectacular escape by leaping 5.5m across the River Garry at the narrowest point of the gorge.
Today there is a visitors’ centre at Killiecrankie with displays detailing the events of the battle and the history surrounding it. There is a short walk from the visitors’ centre down into the gorge where you can see the now famous Soldier’s Leap. Don’t fancy trying it myself!
The visitors’ centre is also home to Highland Fling Bungee Jumping. If you fancy jumping off the 40m Garry Bridge then this is the place to sign up for action.
The River Garry path can be reached from here giving access to the larger Pitlochry paths network.
Lunch at the 2AA rosette Killiecrankie House Hotel is a must if you can fit it in – not advisable before a bungee jump though!
Soldier’s Leap at Killiecrankie – don’t do it Kenny!
Killiecrankie Visitors’ Centre
The shop and Bunjee Jump office at Killiecrankie Visitors’ Centre
Loch Dunmore is a small loch a short distance from Pitlochry. It is situated in Faskally Woods and can be reached by a short walk from Pitlochry via Loch Faskally or by car.
There is a excellent all-abilities path around the loch and toilet facilities are available in the car park. The Forestry Commission have done an great job with this place and it is well worth a visit at anytime of the year. The Ponticum that lines the banks in spring looks amazing and the loch itself is covered in lilies for most of the summer.
The pontoon at the Boating Station Cafe on Loch Faskally
Loch Faskally was created in the 50′s by the damming of the River Tummel for the hydro-electric network. It is a lovely little loch and has some great short paths around the shores.
One of our favourite spots on the loch is the Pitlochry Boating Station. Here you can hire a wee boat and fishing tackle and try your hand with a rod, or just take out one of the rowing boats for a pootle about the loch. The Boating Station Cafe is also an excellent spot for lunch or just a cup of tea and a cream-cake. Great food and excellent value.
There are a number of walks that start from the Boating Station including a riverside walk a few kilometers up river to Killiecrankie and a shorter walk to an all abilities path at Loch Dunmore. Loch Dunmore is a stunning little spot and plays host to The Enchanted Forest during October.
If a hike up Ben Vrackie seems a bit much, a similar collection of great views can be had from only 200m above Pitlochry at the summit of Craigower Hill. Up and down from Torrdarach House in well under 2 hours on foot, this route can also be cycled via Killiecrankie.
Great views down to Pitlochry and on a clear day you can see Lochs Tummel and Rannoch with the mountains of Glen Coe in the distance. The photos below were taken with an iphone on a less than clear summer evening but you can get a feel for the views on offer. A walk up Craigower Hill is right at the top of our favourite Pitlochry walks, ideally combined with a pint at the Pitlochry Golf Club on the way back down.
View of Pitlochry from Craigower Hill
View of Lochs Tummel and Rannoch with Glen Coe in the distance
Ben Vrackie is the mountain that sits above Pitlochry. Not quite a Munro at 841m, but it’s a sizeable Corbett. The total climb from the car park is about 700m and the return trip can be made in about 4 hours. The walk in feels lengthy and the top section is quite steep but the path is excellent. Views from the top are incredible on a clear day – the mountains of Glen Coe to the West, the Cairngorms to the North and the Beinn a Glho range sitting above Blair Atholl. Well worth it.
For an excellent and detailed walk description have a look at this page – walkhighlands.
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.
We have a number of red squirrels running around the garden at Torrdarach House in Pitlochry. The red squirrel is an increasingly rare beast in the UK, but here in Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire we are lucky that there is still a healthy red squirrel population. They are great fun to watch! Here are two short videos of red squirrels at our feeders.
A trip to Aberfledy is not complete without a visit to the Aberfeldy Watermill. This excellent cafe, art gallery and bookshop is housed in an old watermill in the centre of Aberfeldy.
Excellent soup and sandwiches are on offer, but I am a big fan of the coffee and cakes. The bookshop is extensive and has the largest range of titles in the Scottish Highlands. There are regular exhibitions in the art gallery upstairs and next door, the owners have opened Homer, a rather nice homewares shop. All well worth a visit.