Pitlochry is a town in Perth and Kinross with a population in 2016 of 2950. It stands in the valley of the River Tummel, long a major route between the Lowlands and the Highlands and Islands. 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 - 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, ☏ , . M-Sa 10:00-16:00. Central, parking available.
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 there is one direct daytime train from London Kings Cross, taking 6 hours 30 min via York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Nightly except Saturday, the Highland Sleeper leaves London Euston around 21:00 to reach Pitlochry by 06:00 on its way to Inverness. The southbound sleeper picks up around 22:45, reaching Euston by 08:00. 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 20:30 to pick up the Lowland Sleeper from Edinburgh around 23:30.
1 Pitlochry Railway Station is in the village centre.
Many inter-city buses along the A9 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 hours 15 min to Pitlochry and continuing to Blair Atholl, Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore and Inverness.
From Glasgow there are 6 services a day, often with a change at Broxden P & R, taking 2 hours.
Stagecoach Bus 27 runs from Perth via Birnam, Dunkeld and Ballinluig, taking one hour to Pitlochry. There are 3 M-F and only one on Saturday.
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 the Bank of Scotland.
The best way to get around the local area is by car.
- 1 Escape Route, 3 Atholl Road, PH16 5BX, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-17:30. Bike hire is available from this bicycle shop on main road. £24 for 24 hours, or £18 until closing time. Hire includes helmet, pump, spare tubes & tyre levers.
- Sunnybrae Cottage on the main road through town was built in the 1700s: its folk lived in its west side and their cattle in its east. Originally it had turf walls, and no proper windows or chimney. You can only view the exterior.
- Atholl Palace Hotel (see Sleep) has a small museum showing the town's bygone days as a spa.
- 1 Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder, Pitlochry, PH16 5DR, ☏ . Pitlochry Dam was completed in 1951, blocking the River Tummel to create Loch Faskally, 5 km long. The dam incorporates a fish ladder (with windows to view underwater) to enable salmon to continue making their way upstream. The dam complex generates hydro-electric power for the National Grid. Free entry.
- 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, died 1834.
- Black Castle is just a few crumbling walls, half a mile up 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.
- Moulin Kirk contains a small museum and heritage centre, open May-Sept M-Th Sa 14:00-16:00. It's by Moulin hotel and brewery on A924 just above Black Castle.
- 2 Festival Theatre, Port Na Craig, PH16 5DR, ☏ . There's a programme of theatre year-round, and Pitlochry Festival has been held each summer 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. It's closed in 2021.
- 3 Edradour Distillery, Pitlochry, PH16 5JP (Off A934, 2 miles up hill east of town), ☏ . Tours mid-April - Oct M-Sa 10:00-16:00, Nov - mid-Apr M-F 10:00-15:00. 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- or "craft / boutique" distilleries. Adults £10.
- 4 Blair Athol Distillery, Perth Road, PH16 5LY (On A924 half a mile east of town), ☏ . Daily Oct-Jun 10:00-17:00, July-Sept 10:00-18:30. 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 £9.50 up to the "Experience" at £250. As they sagely point out, "please ensure you make suitable transport arrangements." Standard tour £9.50.
- Walk: lots of routes nearby. The signature hike in Pitlochry is up Ben Vrackie (841 m, a Corbett). The hike starts close to 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.
- Pitlochry Golf Course is an 18 hole course, with a driving range. Other courses near Pitlochry include Blair Atholl and Strathtay.
- March into Pitlochry is a live music festival for charity, originally in March but now in May. The next is 19-20 May 2023.
- Pitlochry Highland Games are held early Sept in the Recreation Park, with the next on Sa 9 Sept 2023.
- 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 autumn in Faskally Forest, a mile north of Pitlochry on B8019. The next is 5 Oct - 5 Nov 2023.
- 1 Moulin Brewery, Kirkmichael Rd, Moulin PH16 5EW, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A small brewery next to the Moulin Hotel; its brews are Ale of Atholl, Braveheart, Old Remedial and Light Ale.There are free tours M-F 10:00-16:00.
- The Co-op supermarket is in town centre at the foot of West Moulin Road (A924). It's open daily 06:00-22:00.
- 1 Cafe Biba, 40 Atholl Road, PH16 5BX, ☏ . Daily 09:30-20:30. Traditional fare.
- 2 McKays, 138 Atholl Road, PH16 5AG, ☏ . McKays has a restaurant, pub with bar food & live music and TV sport, fish & chips takeaway. It's also a 3-star hotel, doubles from £60 pn. They own Caffe Scozia opposite.
- Caffe Scozia, 113 Atholl Road, ☏ . M-Th 10:00-21:00, F-Su 12:00-21:00. Pizzeria in the former Strathgarry Hotel, now run by McKays. Pizza & pasta dishes £12.
- The Auld Smiddy, 154 Atholl Road, PH16 5AG, ☏ , email@example.com. From 11:00, bar from 12:00. An old forge that has been refurbished and is now a cafe. Sandwiches and traditional fare. Wheelchair accessible.
- For Asian food, there's Prince of India at 5 Station Rd (daily 12:00-23:00), and Bamboo House takeaway at 48 Atholl Rd (Su M W Th 15:30-23:00, F Sa 12:30-23:00).
- The Old Mill Inn (see "sleep") usually has live music Fridays and Saturdays.
- There's a series of small guest houses dotted along the main road.
- 1 Pitlochry Backpackers Hotel, 134 Atholl Road, PH16 5AB, ☏ . Twin, double and dorm rooms are available plus a wonderful sunny lounge, overlooking the main street. From £20 pp.
- 2 Milton of Fonab Caravan Park, Bridge Rd, Pitlochry PH16 5NA, ☏ . Clean well-run caravan site open Mar-Oct, but it no longer accepts camping. Dogs welcome on lead.
- 3 Fishers Hotel, 75-79 Atholl Road PH16 5BN, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Central reliable 3-star. B&B doubles from £80.
- 4 Scotland's Hotel, 40 Bonnethill Road, PH16 5BT, ☏ , Scotlands@crerarhotels.com. 3-star, usually reliable but showing its age. Double B&B from £60.
- 5 Craigvrack Hotel, 38 West Moulin Rd, Pitlochry PH16 5EQ, ☏ . Boxy modern place above town but comfy and good dining. B&B double £130.
- 6 Pitlochry Youth Hostel, Knockard Road, PH16 5HJ, ☏ . Great 62 bed hostel near the town centre in a fine stone mansion. Dorm beds from £22.
- Dundarach Hotel, Perth Rd PH16 5DJ. Gothic but welcoming, central. B&B double from £130.
- 7 The Old Mill Inn, Mill Lane PH16 5BH, ☏ . 4 star hotel with bar. The restaurant gets good reviews. B&B double from £60.
- Craigatin House at 165 Atholl Rd is a bright modern B&B open Mar-Dec.
- 8 Atholl Palace Hotel, PH16 5LX (Drive entrance is just north of rwy bridge), ☏ . Splendid 4-star Victorian pile in woodland east of town. B&B double from £120.
- 9 Killiecrankie Hotel, PH16 5LG (On old road B8079 3 miles north of Pitlochry), ☏ , email@example.com. 4-star hotel surrounded by gardens and woodland. Dogs welcome. B&B double from £200.
- 10 Dalshian House, Old Perth Rd PH16 5TD, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Wonderful little B&B with 7 rooms in an 18th C mansion. All en suite, but they won't suit those with limited mobility. B&B double £100.
- Pine Trees Hotel is a stylish small place on Strathview Terrace half a mile east of the centre.
- 11 Green Park, Clunie Bridge Road PH16 5JY, ☏ , email@example.com. Great welcoming Victorian country house overlooking the reservoir, good dining. Double half-board £250.
- 12 Knockendarroch Hotel, Higher Oakfield PH16 5HT, ☏ . Simply outstanding for comfort, service and dining. No children under 10 or dogs. Closed mid Dec to mid Feb. Double half-board £275.
- 13 Riverwood, Strathtay, Oakfield PH9 0PG (across river from A827), ☏ . Excellent B&B along the road to Aberfeldy, serves dinner some nights. No children under 12 or dogs. Closed mid Dec to mid Feb. No availability of standard rooms in 2020.
- Grandtully Hotel is a rejuvenated Victorian affair on A827 to Aberfeldy. They also run the nearby Ballintaggart Farm cookery school.
Pitlochry has 4G from all UK carriers. Coverage extends north and south on A9 but not on side roads such as A924 to Glenshee. As of Sept 2021, 5G has not reached this area.
- 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|
|Inverness ← Blair Atholl ←||NW SE||→ Dunkeld → Perth|