Pitlochry is a small town in Perthshire. Guests that visit here are completely charmed by its scenery. Many visitors return here every year to enjoy the wide range of activities that are on offer. This guide looks at the top things to do in Pitlochry and the surrounding area, including hotels in Pitlochry.
Discover our favourite things to do in Pitlochry below.
Your Complete Guide to Pitlochry
This vibrant little place in the heart of Scotland is on many tourist’s lists to visit. This quaint Victorian town has lots to offer its guests; fine food, rich whisky, traditional Scottish hospitality and breath-taking scenery, there is lots to see and do in this wonderful part of Scotland.
Things to do in Pitlochry
There is a reason why Pitlochry is such a tourist trap – there is so much to do here! Many know the town for its Festival Theatre, others love to visit its salmon ladder, and some come to tackle its surrounding mountains- Vrackie and Schiehallion.
My Voyage Scotland lists its top things to do in Pitlochry below.
If you are visiting Scotland during your next fishing holiday, stop off for the day at the River Tummel. This well-known fishing destination in Scotland attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Why? The River Tummel is a natural beauty and a tributary of the River Tay system. It is well known for having Scottish salmon during springtime and the early summer months.
Whether you are a novice or have enjoyed the sport for many years you are welcome at River Tummel to try and catch the fish of the day!
Named after Queen Victoria who visited the now tourist attraction in 1866, The Queen’s View offers spectacular views of the town’s scenery.
After working up an appetite climbing up to the Queen’s View, grab a bite to eat at the visitor centre – where you can brush up on your knowledge of Perthshire and its surrounding areas.
Falls of Bruar
15 minutes outside of Pitlochry, past Blair Atholl, is a cracking wee woodland walk up to a stunning bridge and waterfall. It doesn’t get better than this on a sunny day with clear views of Schiehallion in the background.
There are two bridges. The first only takes 10-15 minutes to walk to from the car with the second being an extra 20 minutes there and back down.
House of Bruar
The Falls of Bruar walk begins at the House of Bruar, a worthy place to visit when in Pitlochry.
Here you will find fantastic local produce and outdoor wear.
It is as far from the typical tacky tourist and souvenir shop found elsewhere as possible.
The main highlight for me when visiting the House of Bruar is looking at all the local produce, much of which is sourced from the nearby Atholl estate.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Scotland’s “theatre in the hills” is the creative hub within the town. With regular performances held at this venue, visit their website to see what’s on during your visit.
Art lovers will enjoy visiting here as the theatre also holds the Festival Gallery which displays the work of leading Scottish artists. There are over 200 artworks on display here throughout the year.
Ben Vrackie towers over Pitlochry to the north. Often overlooked (it misses the Munro mark by just over 70 meters) it has incredible views north and east towards the main bulk of the Cairngorms, west towards Schihallion, Glen Lyon and the Lawers group. However, the main point of attraction lies north towards the Beinn A’ Ghlo group. There is no better view of these three mountains than the summit of Ben Vrackie in my humble opinion.
The walk is fairly easy by hillwalking standards but make sure you pack the right gear. Ben Vrackie’s summit can be reached within 4 hours in normal conditions. View the detailed route on Walkhighlands.
Moulin Village and Brewery
On the way to the car park at Ben Vrackie in Moulin Village. A wee visit here should be top on your things to do in Pitlochry list.
Moulin is steeped in history with evidence of settlements dating as far back as the Bronze Age.
However, possibly the best attraction here is the Moulin Brewery. Anyone who is a keen hillwalker will agree that there is nothing quite like a nice cold drink after a day in the hills. Stop off at the Moulin Brewery, one of Scotland’s first Microbreweries, for a nice cold pint!
Another stunning mountain that is very accessible from Pitlochry is Schiehallion.
This mountain is very distinct and sits quite alone at the head of Loch Rannoch. Because of this, the mountain is very distinct when climbing other Munros.
Schiehallion is one of the easier Munros (mountains in Scotland over 3000ft).
The climb starts at Braes of Foss. Read Walkhighlands guide to Schiehallion.
The Hermitage sits a few miles back down the A9 towards Perth.
This short woodland walk leads up to Ossian’s Hall. Here you get a cracking view of Black Linn Falls.
Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre
Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre celebrates the marvels of hydro electrical renewables. The visitor centre itself has fantastic views back up the river Tummel and across Loch Faskally.
The dam itself is a true engineering marvel right in the heart of Highland Perthshire. During the construction of Scotland’s hydro scheme there were 300 km of tunnels dug, 54 power stations built and 12000 staff employed at peak.
What’s best about this attraction is that it is a free day out!
Pitlochry Salmon Ladder
Pitlochry Salmon Ladder was built as a way to keep salmon moving through the river Tummel after the dam was built.Sitting right next to Pitlochry dam, thousands of people visit the salmon ladder every year to see Scottish salmon leap up the small pools to reach their birthplace.
Blair Castle & Gardens
Home of the Atholl family for over 700 years, Blair Castle has stood strong through peace and times of strife.
The castle is in Blair Atholl, 10 minutes drive from Pitlochry. Blair Castle is open from the 1st of April until the 30th of October (information last updated Febuary 2020).
The interior is designed in the 18th centuary fashion and the castle displays fine examples of baronial architecture.
Blair Castle gardens are perfect on a sunny day. Here you have Hercules Garden, Diana’s Grove, St Bride’s Kirk and a fantastic woodland circuit walk around the castle and Blair Atholl. Visitors can also enjoy the sculpture trail.
Blair Gardens – Hercules Garden
Hercules Garden is named after the life-size statue of Hercules which sits above the garden looking down.
Within the garden itself, visitors can enjoy landscape ponds, a folly, Chinese bridge, authentic orchard of 100+ trees and a herbaceous border.
Blair Gardens – Diana’s Grove
Named after the Roman Goddess of Hunting, Dianna’s Grove is a two-acre wooded area within the Atholl Estate.
Here visitors can enjoy Grand Fir, Japanese Larch and Red Fir.
The grove is a homage to the great ‘Planting Dukes’ of Atholl who planted over 27 million trees within the surrounding glens.
Blair Gardens – St Bride’s Kirk
St Bride’s Kirk sits upon a mound within the grounds of Blair Castle.
Here visitors can discover the old Kirk’s structure, a memorial to the 6th Duke of Atholl, old burian stone and a memorial to John Graham.
Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier
Just outside Pitlochry, in Grandtully, lies one of Scotland’s hidden treasures!
I am talking about Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier.
The shop is a chocoholic’s dream with handmade truffles and pralines. At the store, there is also a free chocolate exhibition (I know right!) that looks at the chocolate-making process, history and facts. You can also watch master chocolatiers in action.
My favourite things about The Highland Chocolatier is the chocolate tastings. You always see distilleries and breweries, but what if you don’t drink? The chocolate tastings introduce you to the world of artisan gourmet truffles. This is definitely one of the top things to do in Pitlochry.
Explorers Scottish Plant Hunters Garden
The garden celebrates the lives of Scotland’s famous Plant Hunters.
Over the last two hundred years, Scotland has produced some of the world’s most famous plat hunters. These include George Don, David Douglas and Robert Fortune.
Plant Hunters Garden has a whole host of beautiful flowers all year round. View their flowering timetable for more information.
Atholl Palace Museum
The Atholl Palace Museum sits in the eastern outskirts of Pitlochry and you will most likely pass this when coming into Pitlochry from the south.
This museum forms part of the Atholl Palace Hotel and is a tribute to that hotel.
Visitors can learn about the history of the estate and hotel. Indeed, this is the only museum in Scotland dedicated to a hotel in Scotland and was the only museum dedicated to a hotel in the UK when it opened in 2005.
I enjoyed my visit here, but read the reviews before visiting.
Black Spout Wood
Black Spout wood sits to the east of Pitlochry and takes it’s name from the Black Spout Waterfall.
You can do a 1.5 hour walk starting in Pitlochry, taking you to the Black Spout Waterfall and Edradour Distillery. Check out Walkhighlands Guide.
Situated in the town centre, this unique jewellery shop offers visitors jewellery made from Scottish heather.
Heather is a plant that grows in abundance in the Scottish Highlands. At certain times of year the hills look purple and brown due to the colour of heather.
The company shapes, compresses and lacquers pieces of heather before appending them to pieces of jewellery.
Starting at the visitor centre, you can walk towards the Soldier’s Leap. It was here that a British soldier jumped 18ft from one side of the River Gary to the other whilst fleeing Jacobites. Yikes!
Continuing ahead you will come to the footbridge crossing the River Garry. Here you can enjoy spectacular views of the Gorge.
Visitors from across the UK travel to Pitlochry to see the wonder of Faskally Wood in Highland Perthshire. Every Autumn, the woodlands become “The Enchanted Forest”.
This award-winning sound and light show has received many accolades from critics, including the UK’s Best Cultural Event, Best Outdoor Festival, and Scotland’s Best Large Event.
This unique event is a must-see experience if you are visiting the town during the Autumn months.
Faskally Woods is the site where the Enchanted Forest event takes place every year.
However, the forest itself is worth a visit outwith the Enchanted Forest Event.
Sitting one mile north of Pitlochry, Faskally Wood is especially vibrant in autumn with bright colours and clearly marked paths for walking.
If you are into geology, there are several interesting rock formations including ironpans formed above Dalradian mica schist.
Edradour was renowned as the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland. The distillery lost this title in 2013 when the smaller Strathearn Distillery opened their doors.
During the tour, you will get the chance to taste Edradour whiskey. You will also be shown around the distillery by a knowledgable guide and gain insight into how whiskey is produced in this small distillery.
The best time to visit is between April and October but there are still tours available from November to March.
Blair Athol Distillery
Please note: the Blair Athol Distillery is not in Blair Athol. It is in Pitlochry, just as you come into the town coming off the A9 heading North.
If you are planning a trip to the gateway to the Scottish Highlands do not miss Blair Athol Distillery. This well-known whisky brand is based in the south of Pitlochry in the foothills of the Grampian mountains.
You can choose between a guided tour or a tasting experience at Blair Athol, a working distillery which was founded in 1798.
As an interesting note, the spelling of Athol has only one ‘l’ here, as opposed to the double ‘l’ in Blair Atholl the village.
Pitlochry is ideally situated in the heart of Perthshire and is a popular tourist destination. Visit our Pitlochry Accommodation page below to discover local accommodation nearby.