Total distance – 1.7 kilometres
Ascent – 60 metres
Walking conditions – Roads, pavements and good paths. Footpath through forest can be muddy. The stairs up Pitlochry Dam are a bit steep.
Time required – Around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
My first impression of Pitlochry was that it is a picture postcard town set within a stunning Highland landscape. However, that didn’t explain why it was jam-packed with tourists and buzzing at all hours of the day. As it turns out one of the main reasons for this lies south of the River Tummel and is the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. But there are numerous other reasons for Pitlochry’s popularity. Recently, we did a little circular walk form the centre of town to the theatre taking in Loch Faskally by way of the Pitlochry Dam. This short and pleasant walk provided us with a good flavour of the place.
Park near the centre of town and make your way to the railway station which in itself is a place of interest. Take the path going east then turn right under the railway bridge. Walk past the car park, cross the road and take the footpath through the forest. This short forest walk takes you out at a small housing estate. To the left hand edge of this estate is a path that leads directly on to a footbridge taking you over the River Tummel. Turn right and you’ll pass by a very pleasant riverside pub with the theatre up the hill on the left. It’s a great place to stop for a picnic as there are plenty of wooden benches and a great view. Pitlochry dam is also a couple of hundred metres away. Walk along the road then make your way up a series or little stairways and channels which take you to the top of the dam. Cross the dam then make your way back to the railway station. There’s a quaint little footbridge you can cross between platforms.
We’ve been to Pitlochry on several occasions and each time stayed at Scotland’s Hotel which was great fun and relatively inexpensive. There are always new things to do and explore in Pitlochry and it won’t be long before we’re back.
Total distance – 5 kilometres
Ascent – 140 metres
Walking conditions – Good footpaths and single-track road
Time required – Around 2 to 3.5 hours
Nearest town – Pitlochry
Over the past couple of years Pitlochry has become a favourite stomping ground of ours. It all started off with a two day dinner, bed and breakfast deal at Scotland’s Hotel, Pitlochry. We initially thought we had made a poor choice of hotel when the receptionist led us to our room which was in fact out of the hotel, across the road and into a converted house. We managed to keep our cool and a good thing too! This turned out to be one of the best places we’ve stayed in and we’ve been back a number of times since. We have found it impossible to get bored in Pitlochry. We will return again soon and perhaps, unlike last time, even conquer Ben Vrackie.
With the theatre just across the river from the centre of town, Pitlochry is always vibrant and there is a tangible party atmosphere about the place. We’ve not been to any wild parties yet but certainly have contributed to the general noise levels and commotion. We’ve also sought out things to do. A visit a couple of miles down the road to Killiecrankie was a particularly good day out and a very pleasant 5 Km walk. Park at the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre. Take the opportunity to have a walk around this tourist attraction. The staff are really nice and there are some fun things to do for the children. Then make your way to the clearly marked footpath which runs parallel to the River Garry and past The Soldier’s Leap. Keep following this path until you reach the road bridge over the River Garry. Then simply walk along the road as it gently ascends. After about 200 metres take the left fork in the road and after another 200 metres take a sharp left. This road provides an excellent vantage point at it gains about 100 metres in altitude along the way. After about 2 Km you will reach the car park next to the bridge. Do not cross the bridge. Instead follow the path beside the river leading north. After about 300 metres cross the footbridge over the River Garry. Then follow the path back to the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre.