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.
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.
Communicating Doors by Alan Ayckbourn has been open for a few weeks now at the Pitlochry Theatre. You need to be on your toes to follow the plot as it flips back and forth through time, but our guests are loving it and it is certainly entertaining and very funny. The Pitlochry Theatre’s own website describes the play as follows:
“Three women. One hotel suite. In 1992, one is on her honeymoon night. In 2012, one is about to be murdered. In 2032, one discovers that a communicating door holds the key to all their destinies . . . When Poopay, a self-styled ‘Specialist Sexual Consultant’, is summoned to a five star hotel, it transpires that her elderly client isn`t interested in her usual services. Instead, the conscience-stricken Reece wants her to witness his dying confession: that many years before, he employed his business associate, Julian, to murder his two wives.
When he learns of the confession, the deranged Julian decides that Poopay must be silenced. Permanently. Terrified, Poopay flees through the communicating door, only to find that it leads not into an adjacent room, but back into the same suite . . . twenty years before . . . on the very night that wife number two, Ruella, is due to die . . . Can Poopay help Ruella escape the fate that awaits her (clue: avoid open windows)? Can she journey even further back in time and convince Reece’s first wife, Jessica, that she shouldn’t go swimming any time soon? And can she change the future . . . for all three?
Ayckbourn’s sheer comic genius combines with influences from film noir and TV classic The Twilight Zone in this award-winning, time-travelling comedy thriller.
Fast, funny and wholly entertaining, Communicating Doors has become one of Ayckbourn`s best-loved and most often revived plays. If you enjoyed Snake In The Grass in 2008, you`ll love this!”
Dear Brutus is now up and running at the Pitlochry Theatre and getting great reviews from the citics and our guests. The Pitlochry Festival Theatre describes the play as follows:
“Sinister Warren, the country house of the mysterious, puckish Lob, is the venue for a curious summer party. None of the guests knows their host – or seem to have anything in common with each other – whilst Lob himself is interested only in spinning wild tales about an enchanted wood, which according to local legend appears once a year on Midsummer`s Eve . . . And the guests themselves could certainly do with some enchantment. Jack and Mabel Purdie`s marriage is threatened by his dalliance with Joanna Trott: curious that Lob should have invited all three. Artist Will Dearth and his wife are embittered by their childless state – and he`s drinking too much. An older couple, the Coades, seem comfortable and content, but is it just habit? And the snobbish Lady Caroline seems alone and loveless.
Then, on Midsummer`s Eve, as the guests prepare to take an evening stroll, a moonlit wood appears as if by magic on the very spot where Lob`s garden had once stood. Transfixed, Lob reveals that, according to legend, in the wood you get what all of his guests secretly wish for: a second chance at life . . . And one by one, they venture out into the trees, desperate to discover what might have been . . . and enter a world of magic, and confusion, and unexpected possibilities . . . J. M. Barrie`s delightful, touching comedy-drama from 1917 is full of the author`s characteristic wit, imagination and understanding.
Following our acclaimed revival of Barrie`s What Every Woman Knows in 2009, this will be an entertaining, stylish and magical journey into the woods!”
Here in Pitlochry we have the smallest distillery in Scotland. The Edradour distillery is housed in a collection of old whitewashed farm buildings set in an idyllic Highland Perthshire glen.
Using the smallest stills allowed by law, the three distillers of Edradour produce only 12 casks of whisky per week. All by hand! Its a cracking malt – ‘smooth and creamy with a nutty, honeyed finish’. Here at Torrdarach we always have a bottle on the shelf.
The distillery offers a very interesting tour from 10am-4pm throughout the summer season. Well worth a visit. Check out their website – Edradour Distillery
From the car park at Edradour you can make the short walk through an oak woodland to The Black Spout waterfall. One of the of the highest waterfalls around Highland Perthshire and easily accessible. Great views across the fields to Ben Vrackie from the walk in. Not to be missed on a visit to Edradour.
I took a few photos of Pitlochry Golf Course and Clubhouse the other day. See below. Pitlochry Golf Course offers a fantastic round of golf with some of the best golfing scenery in Scotland. Views over Pitlochry, down the Vale of Atholl and up to Craigower Hill and Ben Vrackie.
Built in 1908 by Willie Fernie, Pitlochry Golf Club has been hosting The Highland Open since the following year. Taking place in August each year this is an amateur event and it is still extremely popular.
The Pitlochry Clubhouse was fully refurbished a few years ago and now houses a super restaurant. Some of the best food in Pitlochry with some of the best views.
Weekly events such as ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ and numerous golf packages are available on the Pitlochry Golf Club website www.pitlochrygolf.co.uk
From the first fairway
The Pro shop
The starter's hut and Ben Vrackie
The 1st and 18th
Great food and views from the Clubhouse
The clubhouse deck with Ben Vrackie in the distance
The Enchanted Forest festival of sound and light is returning to Faskally Woods near Pitlochry for its 10th season show. This year’s show is entitled ‘Flow’ and takes its inspiration from the ‘dynamic elements of water and trees, plants and animals of Faskally Woods’.
World renowned visual artists, Dalziel and Scullion have been commissioned to work alongside the award winning sound and light engineers from previous Enchanted Forest shows, so it is sure to be an impressive event. Storytelling in the yurt also makes a popular return at this year’s event. Hot food, drinks and mulled wine will also be available in the woods.
The Enchanted Forest runs from Friday 5th October to Saturday 27th October and tickets are on sale now:
We went to see Rope last week. A suspense thriller by Patrick Hamilton set in one room! Another enjoyable show from the 2012 cast and production team at the Pitlochry Theatre. A synopsis of the play from the Pitlochry Theatre website follows:
“On a rainy night in London, two Oxford undergraduates, Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo, commit a murder. Not out of passion, or hatred, or fear, but simply to prove that they are clever enough to get away with it. Because without a motive that connects them to the crime, how will they ever be caught? But murder alone is not enough for the urbane Brandon, who convinces his highly strung partner to join him in an elaborate and gruesome challenge. The body of their victim is placed in a large chest in the centre of the drawing room. The same drawing room in which, later that evening, the victim`s family and friends will gather for a previously arranged dinner party . . . As the guests arrive, the two students have to test their ingenuity – and their nerve – to the limit. But will any of the newcomers become aware of the terrible game that is being played and discover the dark secret in the centre of the room? Is there just one visitor with a nose for murder? Inspired by the infamous Leopold and Loeb case, this taut psychological thriller by the author of Gaslight is once of the most celebrated crime dramas of the last century. Premiered in 1929 and memorably filmed with James Stewart in 1948, this chilling depiction of an apparently motiveless murder is a masterclass in suspense, stretching the audience`s nerves – like a rope – to breaking point . . .”