Pitlochry is a town in Perth and Kinross with a population in 2021 of 2950. It's 27 miles north of Perth in the valley of the River Tummel, long a major route between the Lowlands and the central Highlands. It grew up as a tourist resort in the Victorian era, especially after the coming of the railway in 1863. Later developments largely passed it by, so it retains its Victorian centre, which is all the more pleasant since the main road A9 was diverted onto a bypass in 1981.

1 Visit Scotland Pitlochry iCentre, 22 Atholl Road PH16 5BX, +44 1796 472215. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. Friendly helpful centre mid-town.

Get in edit

Atholl Palace Hotel

By train edit

Pitlochry is on the main line from Edinburgh and Glasgow via Perth and Birnam, with trains every hour or two, which continue north to Blair Atholl, Kingussie, Aviemore and Inverness. Getting here from England usually means changing in Edinburgh, but one direct daytime train from London Kings Cross takes 6 hr 30 min via York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Nightly except Saturday, the Highland Sleeper leaves London Euston around 9PM to reach Pitlochry by 6AM on its way to Inverness. The southbound sleeper picks up around 10:45PM, reaching Euston by 8AM. You might prefer to take the Lowland Sleeper towards midnight and change in Edinburgh for a daytime train. Returning south, you need to leave Pitlochry around 8:30PM to pick up the Lowland Sleeper from Edinburgh around 11:30PM.

1 Pitlochry Railway Station is in village centre. It has a ticket office but no machines. There are toilets and a waiting room, no cafe or dispenser. There is ramp access to the only platform in routine use.

By bus edit

Inter-city buses along the A9 mostly bypass Pitlochry. Citylink Bus M90 from Edinburgh takes 2 hours via Perth Broxden P&R (where you may have to change) and continues from Pitlochry to Aviemore and Inverness; there are five daily. M91 is a slower bus once daily from Edinburgh via Halbeath (for Fife), Kinross, Broxden P&R, Perth and Birnam, taking 2 hr 15 min to Pitlochry and continuing to Blair Atholl, Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore and Inverness.

From Glasgow there are six services a day, often with a change at Broxden P & R, taking 2 hours.

Stagecoach Bus 27 runs from Perth once M-Sa via Birnam, Dunkeld and Ballinluig, taking an hour.

Elizabeth Yule Bus 87 runs from Calvine via Blair Atholl, Killiecrankie and Faskally, taking 40 min to Pitlochry, with 5 daily.

The main bus stop in Pitlochry is by Fishers Hotel and the Bank of Scotland.

Get around edit

The best way to get around the local area is by car.

Taxis are Pitlochry Taxi (+44 7849 044319) and Elizabeth Yule (+44 1796 472290).

Escape Route, 3 Atholl Road PH16 5BX, +44 1796 473859. Tu-Sa 9AM-5:30PM. Bike sales, hire and repair.

See edit

  • Sunnybrae Cottage on the main road through town was built in the 1700s, a traditional Highland "black house" with its folk living in its west side and their cattle in its east. It used to have turf walls, and no proper windows or chimney; it nowadays has a corrugated metal roof. You can only view the exterior.
  • 1 Pitlochry Dam, Armoury Rd PH16 5AP, +44 1796 484111. W-Su 10AM-4:30PM. Pitlochry Dam was completed in 1951, blocking the River Tummel to create Loch Faskally, 3 miles long. The dam incorporates a fish ladder (with windows to view underwater) to enable salmon to get upstream. The dam complex generates hydro-electric power for the National Grid. Free.    
  • 2 Dunfallandy Stone is a carved Pictish cross-slab from the 8th century. It's been put in a glass box for protection, which makes the inscriptions harder to see. It's a mile south of town up the lane across the Tummel Bridge - there's no access from A9 rushing overhead. Several Victorian graves are nearby, the most imposing being that of Lieutenant-General Archibald Fergusson (1755-1834), who distinguished himself in Bengal.
  • 3 Black Castle is just a few crumbling walls along A924 towards Edradour Distillery. It was built in 1326 on an islet in a loch which has since been drained. The design was enceinte — a rectangular curtain wall and four corner towers but no central keep. It was abandoned in the 16th century and torched, as it was feared it harboured plague or Black Death, hence the castle name.
  • 4 Moulin Kirk, Moulin Square PH16 5EW. Apr-Oct M-Sa 2-4PM. The church was built in 1873 and now houses a local history museum. Free.
  • Pitlochry Standing Stone is seen from Craiglunie Rd in Moulin 100 yards north of the Kirk and museum. Local lore is that it was once part of a ritual circle, but if so the other stones have all been lost.

Do edit

  • 1 Festival Theatre, Port Na Craig PH16 5DR, +44 1796 484626. There's a programme of theatre year-round, and Pitlochry Festival has been held since 1951 - for its first 30 years in a marquee, now in this theatre. The summer programme runs June-Sept each year.
  • Live Active Atholl is the leisure centre, at the foot of West Moulin Rd.
Ben Vrackie
  • Ben Vrackie is the signature hike - at 841 m it's a Corbett. The hike starts by the Moulin Brewery and Hotel, taking 4 hours return through woodland and open heath to the last steep scramble. Easy in summer, in winter it's icy; see Walkhighlands for a route description.
  • Cycle or drive the scenic old road through the Pass of Killiecrankie, B8019. It's especially attractive in autumn.
  • Golf: Pitlochry GC is 18 holes, white tees 5692 yards, par 69. Other nearby courses are at Blair Atholl and Strathtay.
  • March into Pitlochry is a live music festival for charity in May. The next is 17-18 May 2024.
  • Pitlochry Highland Games are held in September in the Recreation Park on Ferry Road, with the next on Sa 14 Sept 2024.
Strathardle Highland Gathering is in late Aug at Bannerfield Strathardle, six miles east of Pitlochry towards Bridge of Cally, see Blairgowrie & Rattray.
  • Enchanted Forest is a sound & light show held in October in Faskally Forest, a mile north of Pitlochry on B8019. The next is 3 Oct - 3 Nov 2024.

Buy edit

  • Co-op Food is in town centre at the foot of West Moulin Road (A924). It's open daily 6AM-10PM.
  • The market is held April-Nov on the third Saturday of the month. It's by the Business Centre on Armoury Rd west of the station.

Eat edit

Edradour Distillery
  • Cafe Biba, 40 Atholl Road PH16 5BX, +44 1796 473294. Su-Th 10AM-5PM, F Sa 10AM-7PM. Traditional fare.
  • McKays, 138 Atholl Road PH16 5AG (next to Backpackers Hotel), +44 1796 473888. Daily noon-9PM. McKays has a restaurant, pub with bar food & live music and TV sport, fish & chips takeaway, and rooms.
  • The Auld Smiddy, 154 Atholl Road PH16 5AG (west edge of village), +44 1796 472356, . Su-Th 11AM=11PM, F Sa 11:00-midnight. An old forge refurbished into a restaurant. Wheelchair accessible.
  • Prince of India at 5 Station Rd is open daily 2-10:30PM
  • Chinese Village (formerly Bamboo House) is a takeaway at 48 Atholl Rd, open Th-Tu 4-11PM.

Drink edit

  • Old Mill Inn (see Sleep) has live music Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 1 Blair Athol Distillery, Perth Road PH16 5LY (on A924 half a mile east of town), +44 1796 482003. Daily Oct-Jun 10AM-5PM, Jul-Sep 10AM-6:30PM. It's owned by Diageo and most of the product is blended, but they do issue a single malt, the 12 year old Blair Athol. The pricier the tour, the more whisky you sample, from the standard at £19 up to the "Experience" at £100. As they sagely point out, "please ensure you make suitable transport arrangements." Standard tour £19.
  • Moulin Brewery, 2 Baledmund Rd, Moulin PH16 5EW (on A924 north of Moulin Kirk), +44 1796 472196, . Tours M-F 10AM-4PM. Small brewery next to the Moulin Hotel; producing Ale of Atholl, Braveheart, Old Remedial and Light Ale.
  • 2 Edradour Distillery, Pitlochry PH16 5JP (off A934, 2 miles up hill east of town), +44 1796 472002. Closed. Edradour, founded in 1825, produces a range of single malt Scotch whiskies: expert tasters use descriptions like rum, caramel, fruity, sweet. It's said to be the smallest legal whisky distillery in Scotland. The minimum used to be 1800 litres still capacity — anything smaller was likely to be producing moonshine — but a 2009 legal case threw out the minimum and opened the way to micro-, craft, or boutique distilleries. The distillery is closed for tours in 2024.

Sleep edit

Police band at Pitlochry Highland Games
  • 1 Milton of Fonab Caravan Park, Bridge Rd, Pitlochry PH16 5NA, +44 1796 472882. Clean well-run caravan site open Mar-Oct, but no camping. Dogs welcome on lead. Hook-up £35.
  • 2 Pitlochry Backpackers Hotel, 134 Atholl Road PH16 5AB, +44 1796 470044. Welcoming well-run hostel on main street. Dorm bunk £30, double room £65.
  • 3 Pitlochry Youth Hostel, Knockard Road PH16 5HJ, +44 1796 472308. Great 62-bed hostel near town centre in a fine stone mansion, dog-friendly. Nov-March it's only available for exclusive use eg school groups. Dorm bunk £23, double room £62.
  • 4 Fishers Hotel, 75-79 Atholl Road PH16 5BN, +44 1796 472000. Central reliable hotel. B&B doubles £220.
  • 5 Old Mill Inn, Mill Lane PH16 5BH, +44 1796 474020. Comfy hotel with good service and dining. B&B double £220.
  • 6 Scotland's Spa, 40 Bonnethill Road PH16 5BT, +44 1796 484900. Tatty exterior, interior creaky but comfy enough. B&B double £150.
  • 7 Knockendarroch Hotel, Higher Oakfield PH16 5HT, +44 1796 473473. Simply outstanding for comfort, service and dining. No children under 10, only one room for dogs. Closed mid Dec to mid Feb. B&B double £190.
  • 8 Dundarach Hotel, Perth Rd PH16 5DJ, +44 1796 472862. Gothic but welcoming, central. B&B double £170.
  • 9 Craigvrack Hotel, 38 West Moulin Rd PH16 5EQ, +44 1796 472399. Boxy modern place above town but comfy and good dining - it's the Cidsin Indian restaurant. B&B double £130.
  • 10 Atholl Palace Hotel, Perth Rd PH16 5LX (drive entrance is just north of rwy bridge), +44 1796 472400. Splendid upscale Victorian pile in woodland east of town. B&B double £250.
  • 11 Craigatin House, 165 Atholl Rd PH16 5QL, +44 1796 474478. Bright modern B&B open March-Dec. B&B double £140.
  • 12 Pine Trees, Strathview Terrace PH16 5QR, +44 1796 472121. Stylish place in a quiet setting, dog-friendly. B&B double £130.
  • 13 Green Park, Clunie Bridge Road PH16 5JY, +44 1796 473248, . Great welcoming Victorian country house overlooking the reservoir, good dining. B&B double £140.
  • 14 Grandtully Hotel, Strathtay PH9 0PL (On A827 to Aberfeldy), +44 1887 447000. Refurbished Victorian station hotel, high scores for comfort, service and dining. They also have rooms in the nearby Ballintaggart Farm and run a cookery school there.
  • Inn on the Tay, Strathtay PH9 0PL (opposite Grandtully Hotel), +44 1887 840760. Wonderful little inn, great service and views. B&B double £130.

Connect edit

The road north into Killiecrankie

As of March 2024, Pitlochry and the A9 has 4G from O2, Three and Vodafone, and 5G from EE. There is poor coverage on side roads such as A924 to Glenshee.

Go next edit

  • Blair Atholl north has a castle and Falls of Bruar. Then the road climbs over bleak Drumochter Pass to Aviemore in the Spey valley.
  • Branch off A9 up the Tummel valley to lonely Rannoch Moor.
  • Dunkeld and Birnam south have scenic woodlands, with spectacular autumn colours.

Routes through Pitlochry
InvernessBlair Atholl  NW   SE  DunkeldPerth

This city travel guide to Pitlochry is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.