Pitlochry is a small town in Scotland that is abundant in charm and scenery. Many visitors love Pitlochry, returning here yearly to enjoy the wide range of attractions and activities. From the Festival Theatre, Pitlochry golf course, and natural landscapes, you’ll undoubtedly find that there are many things to do in Pitlochry.
In the heart of Scotland, Pitlochry is considered one of the most beautiful towns to visit. The town has a quaint charm in its design and the surrounding area, and the locals are amiable too! Best of all, many attractions are an easy walk away from the excellent self-catering guest houses and hotels.
Dive into the history and curiosities that make Pitlochry such a favourite destination!
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Things to do in Pitlochry
There is a reason why Pitlochry is such a tourist hotspot – there is so much to do here! This quaint Victorian town has lots to offer its guests; fine food, rich whisky, traditional Scottish hospitality and breathtaking scenery. There are lots to see and do in this beautiful part of Scotland.
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. Hiking is also a big part of the Pitlochry culture, making sense when you realise it sits at the foot of the Cairngorms National Park.
But if hiking is not your holiday of choice, worry not! Pitlochry is buzzing with arts and culture and is a centre point of theatre performances in Scotland (especially the Atholl Pipe Band during the Highland Nights). You can shop in the high street and peruse the excellent selection of shops, distilleries, restaurants and more!
There is a lot to do in Pitlochry, overwhelmingly so. See our list for the top things to do in Pitlochry!
See the River Tummel
If you are visiting Scotland during your next holiday, stop off for the day at the River Tummel. This well-known destination in Scotland attracts thousands of tourists yearly thanks to its camping and fishing.
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, but you’ll stay because of the fantastic atmosphere you can find at its caravan parks.
Whether fishing or camping, the River Tummel is an excellent attraction that you should put on your to-do list.
Named after Queen Victoria, who visited the 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, learn about Queen Isabella, World War II, and the part that Pilochry played in Scottish history.
Queen’s View is a great attraction to enjoy and one of the favourite things to do in Pitlochry.
Falls of Bruar
Fifteen 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.
Two bridges take you up to the magnificent falls in comparable times and offer even more stunning scenery of the river below. Immerse yourself in the lively woodlands, and you may even see some of Scotland’s wildlife along your short stroll.
House of Bruar
Before setting out for the Falls of Bruar, spend some time at the established House of Bruar, which graces the beginning of the trail.
Here you will find fantastic local produce and outdoor wear – just because you’re in the outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t look great while doing so! You can even pick up local produce and snacks cultivated on the nearby Atholl estate to take with you.
There is an abundance of Scottish options for clothing and will serve as a stylish and practical choice for your trips out in Pitlochry.
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, depicting everything from the rolling landscapes, wildlife, and cultured people.
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.
The walk is relatively easy by hillwalking standards but make sure you pack the right gear. You can reach Ben Vrackie’s summit within 4 hours in normal conditions, but it’s always better to set aside an entire morning for this ascent.
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, a fascinating period of Scottish history!
However, possibly the best attraction here is the Moulin Brewery. Any keen hillwalker will agree that there is nothing 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!
The flat surrounding area gives superb views across the Loch Rannoch towards Glen Coe. The majority of the Cairngorms and the Glen Lyon group of Munros and Ben Lawers Group can be seen.
Another stunning mountain accessible from Pitlochry is Schiehallion, an almost perfect conical shape that makes it a popular location and attraction to enjoy while in Pitlochry. This mountain is utterly unique and sits alone at Loch Rannoch’s head.
Schiehallion is one of the more accessible Munros (mountains in Scotland over 3000ft), and the climb starts at Braes of Foss, so make sure to wake up early!
The Hermitage is a magical collection of Scotland’s most delicate natural beauty and is yours to explore amidst the towering Douglas Firs that stretch into the sky beyond comprehension.
The main attraction of The Hermitage is the Black Linn Falls, whose pounding waters can be heard throughout the refreshing pines and earthy woodlands. But that’s not all you can see, so keep an eye out for the scurrying red squirrels and decorated totem poles.
The Hermitage is a portion of the Perthshire Forest that many consider genuinely magical and one attraction you should heavily consider visiting.
Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre
Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre celebrates the marvels of hydroelectrical renewables. The visitor centre itself has fantastic views back up the river Tummel and across Loch Faskally.
The dam is a true engineering marvel right in the heart of Highland Perthshire. During the construction of Scotland’s hydro scheme, 300 kilometres of tunnels were dug, 54 power stations built, and 12000 staff employed at their peak.
What’s best about this attraction is that it is a free day out!
Pitlochry Salmon Ladder
Salmon jump from pool to pool to bypass the dam whilst gaining height at the impressive Pitlochry Salmon Ladder!
The Salmon Ladder was built to keep salmon moving through the Tummel river after the dam was built. Sitting 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 firm through peace and times of strife.
The castle is in Blair Atholl, a 10-minute drive from Pitlochry. Blair Castle is open from the 1st of April until the 30th of October. The interior is designed in the 18th-century 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:
Hercules Garden is named after the life-size statue of Hercules, which sits above the garden looking down.
Visitors can enjoy landscape ponds, a folly, a Chinese bridge, an authentic orchard of 100+ trees and a herbaceous border within the garden itself.
Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, guarding the woods.
Named after the Roman Goddess of Hunting, Dianna’s Grove is a two-acre wooded area within the Atholl Estate.
Visitors can enjoy mesmerising 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.
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, an ancient burial stone and a monument to John Graham.
Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier
Just outside Pitlochry, in Grandtully, lies one of Scotland’s hidden treasures!
The shop is a chocoholic’s dream with handmade truffles and pralines. The store also has a free chocolate exhibition that looks at the chocolate-making process, history, and facts. You can also watch master chocolatiers in action.
The Highland Chocolatier has chocolate tastings, which is excellent for those visiting Pitlochry that don’t drink. The chocolate tastings introduce you to the world of artisan gourmet truffles – this is one of the top things to do in Pitlochry.
Explorers Scottish Plant Hunters Garden
Over the last two hundred years, Scotland has produced some of the world’s most famous plant hunters, including George Don, David Douglas and Robert Fortune.
Plant Hunters Garden has a host of beautiful flowers all year round. Make sure to view their flowering timetable for more information about when you should be attending.
Atholl Palace Museum
The Atholl Palace Museum sits on 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.
Black Spout Wood
Black Spout wood sits to the east of Pitlochry and takes its 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. Admire this nearly 190-feet waterfall after a brief stroll, which is undoubtedly one of the unique attractions you can find in Pitlochry.
Black Spout Wood makes for an incredible journey through the woodlands of Perthshire.
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 the year, the hills look purple and brown due to the heather colour.
The company shapes compress and lacquer pieces of heather before appending them to jewellery parts.
Pass of Killiecrankie
Also known as the Killiecrankie Gorge, the Pass of Killiecrankie Gorge sits between Ben Vrackie and Tenandry Hill.
This pass is one of the most impressive wooden gorges in Pitlochry and a favourite pastime for naturalists and walkers. These magnificent woodlands are most impressive in Autumn but offer a refreshing journey no matter what time of year you visit!
Continuing ahead, you will come to the footbridge crossing the River Garry, where 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 where the Enchanted Forest event takes place every year. However, Faskally Wood itself is worth a visit outwith the Enchanted Forest Event.
Sitting one mile north of Pitlochry, Faskally Wood is incredibly vibrant in Autumn with bright colours and marked paths for walking.
If you are into geology, there are several interesting rock formations, including iron pans formed above Dalradian mica-schist within the Faskally woods.
Edradour was renowned as the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland, and the distillery lost this title in 2013 when the smaller Strathearn Distillery opened its doors.
During the tour, you will get the chance to taste Edradour whiskey. A knowledgeable guide will also show you around the distillery and gain insight into how whiskey is produced in this small distillery.
The best time to visit is between April and October, but tours are still available from November to March.
Blair Athol Distillery
Please note: the Blair Athol Distillery is not in Blair Athol but Pitlochry, just as you come into the town from the A9 heading North.
If you plan 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 founded in 1798. Although, we won’t blame you for choosing both!
As an interesting note, the spelling of Athol has only one ‘l’ here, as opposed to the double ‘l’ in Blair Atholl, the village.
Exploring the hinterlands of Blair Atholl is a rare treat that few get to experience when visiting Pitlochry.
This expansive glen stretches for 11 miles and offers the chance to see the best of the Perthshire scenery and wildlife. For avid hikers, Glen Tilt is a paradise with a steep heathery, charming waterfalls and pools, and a host of a beautiful assortment of wildlife, including red squirrels, birds, and roe deer!
The Glen can also accommodate walkers, hikers, and cyclists, with many kilometres of way-marked trails and cycle routes.
Atholl Country Life Museum
The Atholl Country Life Museum can take you back in time to the time of simpler country life in Pitlochry’s past with a series of outstanding exhibits and artefacts.
This quaint museum is an excellent way to spend a morning before you venture out to the broader region of Pitlochry. It is elevated even further by the fantastic guides, so the Atholl Country Life Museum are a wealth of knowledge and history that will make any visit to Pitlochry more insightful.
Just a short trip away from the town of Pitlochry, make sure to stop by and enjoy the incredible history steeped in this small building.
Sitting across from Pitlochry, a short trip over the River Tummel, is the mighty Dunfallandy Stone, an old Pictish cross-slab that was carved at some point in the 700s!
This incredible stone structure once graced the tomb of Lieutenant-General Archibald Fergusson of Dunfallandy, who died in 1834 and is now viewable in its Shetler for all to see. Those who visit will be treated to a magnificent collection of iconic symbology and pictures, giving a glance back to a world over 2,000 years ago.
Dunfallandy Stone is a great attraction worth a trip as you explore the Scottish countryside.
Soldier’s Leap is a beautiful nature walk that ends with information about some of the fascinating history in Pitlochry.
The walk is beautiful, with the trail leading you through the bountiful woodlands of Pitlochry, shallow ponds with clear waters, and waterfalls. At one point, you’ll see Soldier’s Leap, with an informative sign that details one of Scotland’s most daring escapes. As the story goes, on a retreat, the soldier lept across 18-feet across the Garry River!
Recalled in the memorial, you can see the evidence of these epic tales when walking the beautiful trail that ends at Soldier’s Leap.
Want to unwind after a long day of adventuring? Why not enjoy a walk through the stunning scenery provided by the woodlands around Pitlochry.
Garry Bridge is the best place to see the flowing Garry River, and for those who want a bit more adventure, feel free to book a session of bungee jumping off the bridge itself! No matter the season, the views from the bridge are magnificent, but Autumn undoubtedly brings some of the best sights amidst auburn leaves.
There are many gorgeous views in and around Pitlochry’s woodlands, but the trails near Garry Bridge are some of their best.
Adventure at Freespirits
Freespirits Online is your ticket to a fun-filled morning or afternoon, and there’s no doubt about it! Book a trip and go white-water rafting, canyoning, or even bungee jumping.
Suppose you’re feeling particularly adventurous on your holiday or planning to have a stag/hen while enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds of Pitlochry. In that case, having a session at Freespirits will undoubtedly make some memories that will stick with you forever.
Your next trip to Pitlochry should include at least one session with the experienced guides at Freespirits, and it’ll be the most fun you’ll have – although you may need a wee dram to gain the confidence to do so.
Linn of Tummel
In the heart of big tree country sits Linn of Tummel, which takes you on a journey through the breathtaking scenery that will refresh you from your regular life.
Outdoor activities are some of the best things to do in Pitlochry, and Linn of Tummel ranks highly as one of the fantastic outdoor trails walks you need to partake in while you’re here. Soak in the fresh air and delightful sights around you as you explore a hidden sanctuary protected by the National Trust.
You’ll have the chance to see a whole host of wildlife, including otters, red squirrels, kingfishers, and even a pine marten! Also, don’t miss out on an obelisk commemorating a visit from Queen Victoria and a fish ladder.
Pitlochry Golf Course
Make sure to set aside some time to enjoy one of Scotland’s finest inland golfing facilities if you plan to practise your swing game while on holiday in Pitlochry.
Set with sweeping views of Tummel Valley and an excellent clubhouse, you can quickly lose a day teeing off against the 18-hole, 69-par course. Afterwards, you can relax and unwind after lower your handicap with some refreshments and light meals from the clubhouse restaurant.
No doubt, out of all the Pitlochry things to do, this golf course with stunning views ranks as one of its highest.
Enjoy Loch Tummel
Loch Tummel stretches out and provides the most picturesque views you can find around Pitlochry, especially from Queen’s View.
All around Loch Tummel are the woodlands that collectively make up part of Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree Country’ – perfect for a short walk or long hike overlooking Pitlochry! It’s not uncommon to see avid anglers in the early morning and dog-walkers gracing the Loch’s shores in the afternoon, all contributing to the Loch’s serenity and atmosphere.
A trip to Loch Tummel is short and gives any visitor the feeling that they’ve genuinely escaped into a magical wonderland.
The River Garry and River Tummel make up the lifeblood of Pitlochry and Perthshire, so it’s only natural to try fishing while on holiday here!
The ‘Heart of the Highlands’ has all kinds of fish to catch, but salmon, trout, and grayling are the most common to reel in – and the most delicious! April and May are considered the best fishing months for salmon, especially since they’re making their way up the salmon ladder. You can even hire a fishing boat or join the Pitlochry Fishing Partnership to get the tips of expert anglers.
Pitlochry is home to fantastic seafood, even better when you capture them yourself!
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.
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