Photo of Pitlochry

About Pitlochry

In 1845, Queen Victoria's physician praised the clean air of a small, stony-faced town nestled in the Highlands. He was referring to Pitlochry. Settled by the banks of the River Tummel and in the shadow of the mountains, Pitlochry is the perfect place for a romantic weekend away or a rural getaway. Whether you're tasting whiskey at a distillery, enjoying a play at the famous Festival Theatre or hiking across the untamed beauty of Rannoch Moor, you will find yourself lost in the tranquil arms of nature. Utterly romantic and oozing with magic, the best places to stay in Pitlochry range from beautifully renovated country homes to quaint inns.

Gaelic speakers native to Pitlochry call it "Pit Lochraidh", translated roughly as "cattle settlement of the Picts". Thus Pitlochry has roots that run deep into the Iron Age. About 1 mile south of the town is the Dunfallandy Stone, a Pictish cross slab, evidence of the town's long-established existence. However, it took the establishment of the railway in 1863 to truly put Pitlochry on the tourist map. The town's newly-captured fame is perhaps overshadowed by Blair Atholl, lying nearby, the ancient home of the Dukes of Atholl, and the home of Europe's only legal private army - the Atholl Highlanders.

The town itself is delightful to behold. The Scottish Baronial architecture, with its emphasis on conical roofs, corbelled turrets and crow-stepped gables, is popular with visitors and though, by all means a Victorian style, it has its roots in the 16th-century. As such, Pitlochry has a remarkably archaic feel to it. You feel as if you've plummeted into a totally different world. The Atholl Palace Hotel is one such example: in spite of being built in the 19th-century, visitors remark how positvely "medieval" it looks, seemingly pulled out of a Grimm's Fairytale.

There are countless independent stores: bakers, tourist shops, boutiques and high-end retailers, but the real charm of Pitlochry lies in its abundance of high-quality booze! There are two notable distillers in the town - the Blair Atholl Distillery founded in 1798, and the Edradour - both of which have a visitors centre and offer guided tours. If you prefer hops to grain then have no fear, there is a decent beer brewer on the outskirts of town, the Moulin Hotel.

The countryside surrounding the town is idyllic: the lush hilly landscape looks like a ruffled green carpet and the looming mountains in the backdrop of Pitlochry like Ben Vrackie are fantastic hiking spots - challenging yet deeply rewarding. For a day-trip, consider hiking Ben Vrackie - standing at some 2759 feet - via the village of Moulin. For something more serene and infinitely more challenging, attempt to trek across Rannoch Moor, easily one of Scotland's most unique and unspoilt landscapes and just a few train stations away. The Cairngorms, Scotland's most barren and unpolluted region, is nearby and ideal for a hiking holiday.

What not to miss

  • Head over to the Festival Theatre, an envy of the United Kingdom, and enjoy one of the many plays they put on. During the summer, there are 6 or 7 rolling plays.
  • Get yourself to the wee village of Blair Atholl and check out the home of Europe's only legal private army.
  • Go whiskey tasting at one of the distillers: the Blair Atholl distillery is a safe bet, and is one of Scotland's oldest distillers, having been established in 1798!
  • Walk 1 mile out of town and visit the Dunfallandy Stone, a Pictish cross slab, and marvel at the depth of Pitlochry's roots.
  • Hike the highlands! Rannoch Moor is nearby and so is the Caingorms massif. For something closer to home, attempt to trek Ben Vrackie, standing at 2759 feet high.
  • Visit the dam across the River Tummel that feeds the artificial Loch Faskally. There is a salmon ladder there, so take some time out to watch the salmon jump up the ladder!

During the summer months the best places to stay in Pitlochry can get booked up fast so in order to ensure a room we recommend planning your trip in advance.

The best places to stay in Pitlochry

Chic B&B

  • Craigatin House: effortlessly stylish interiors all set within gorgeous gardens on the outskirts of town. Great value for money and ideal for couples on a romantic getaway.
  • Benvrackie: a few miles outside of Pitlochry, offering bright, spacious and contemporary rooms. Sweet and intimate, it is a great base from which to explore the town and countryside.

Rural escape

  • East Haugh House: a gorgeously renovated country house set within rolling green countryside. Mixing rustic and modern styles - think open fireplaces, beamed ceilings and lush modern bathrooms. The restaurant is excellent, serving hearty Scottish fare.

Luxury living

  • Knockendarroch: barefoot Highland luxury in a picturesque country house. In an utterly spellbinding location overlooking the Tummel Valley, offering rooms that seamlessly blend traditional and chic styles. Gourmet restaurant, lush modern bathrooms and roaring fireplaces.

For an apartment or cottage

  • Our partner has a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Edinburgh, get the train to Perth - which stops off at Pitlochry.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The winters are cold in the Highlands but the summers can be remarkably mild, with temperatures averaging at around 15 degrees. The beauty of the area is best seen in autumn, however, when the leaves on the trees shine red and gold, and the temperature darts between 6 and 15 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Pitlochry

  • Roseburn B&B Pitlochry 3 rooms from CA$132

    Local exploring  -  A great base for those looking to explore Pitlochry, the gateway to the Highlands.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Killiecrankie, the sight of the famous Jacobean battle as well as the Soldiers Leap.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding countryside is full of lovely walking routes.
    Full of character

    Charming B&B in the heart of Pitlochry. Featuring three lovely rooms, the Roseburn B&B is a great spot for those looking for somewhere peaceful and quiet. A great launchpad for exploring this area of the Highlands. See More

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  • East Haugh House Pitlochry (PERTHSHIRE) 12 rooms from CA$135

    Country Escape  -  A secluded country house with access to numerous country pursuits.
    Fishing  -  Fly fish for wild Scottish Salmon on the renowned River Tay.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    A beautifully renovated country house set in rural Perthshire. Individually styled rooms perfectly mix contemporary and traditional styles with simple white walls, beamed ceilings, open fireplaces and modern bathrooms. An excellent restaurant serves up the best of Scottish produce. Fabulous. See More

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  • Torrdarach House Pitlochry 7 rooms from CA$150

    Great walks  -  Ben Vrackie offers a great hike and even more spectacular views for the adventurous
    Sights nearby  -  Blair Castle and Gardens is a magnificent white castle in Blair Atholl
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide

    This Edwardian country house is surrounded by a well established wooded garden with a short walk leading to a golf course. Hearty scottish breakfasts are offered up including porridge with a dash of whiskey. The airy rooms, whisky bar, fireplaces and great views all lead to a relaxing stay. See More

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  • Benvrackie Pitlochry 4 rooms from CA$160

    Sights nearby  -  Visit Killiecrankie, the sight of one of Scotland's most famous battles and the fabled Soldier's Leap.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding glens are full of beautiful walking routes.
    Fishing  -  Go fishing on the nearby River Tummel.

    A couple of miles outside Pitlochry, Benvrackie is a charming, contemporary B&B. Featuring spacious, comfortable rooms with excellent ensuite bathrooms, the guesthouse is perfect for those looking for a base from which to explore the abundant beauty of the surrounding landscape. See More

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  • Craigatin House Pitlochry 14 rooms from CA$165

    Value chic  -  A stylish and affordable base to return to after a day exploring the nearby castles, mountains and whisky distilleries.
    Great walks  -  Walk around Loch Faskally and through the Faskally Woods.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Blair Castle just five miles from the property.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children allowed.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A chic bed and breakfast in the heart of Pitlochry, with Farrow & Ball interiors and a lovely garden. Stylish contemporary bedrooms. Beautifully converted living areas with glass walls. Hearty breakfasts set guests up for a day outdoors. An excellent base for exploring the local area. See More

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  • Riverwood Pitlochry (Perthshire) 7 rooms from CA$185

    Country Escape  -  Set in a tranquil secluded spot in the pretty Perthshire countryside, a place to totally unwind.
    Great walks  -  Find miles of walking trails starting straight from the property.
    Fishing  -  Enjoy brown trout fishing on the hotel's own riverside bank.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 12 are welcome

    A secluded country house set in picturesque mature gardens. Accommodation is fresh and contemporary with crisp white linen, lots of light and indulgent bathrooms. Hearty breakfasts are served in the sunny breakfast room and there's an abundance of outdoor pursuits on offer locally. See More

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  • The Inn at Loch Tummel Pitlochry 6 rooms from CA$211

    Sights nearby  -  Looking out on the Queen’s View, salmon jumping the ladder in Pitlochry, to Blair Castle of Clan Murray
    Great walks  -  Allean Forest is a few minutes drive with marked routes and stunning panoramic views
    Local exploring  -  Nature walks, birdwatching, sailing and also many historic sights close by
    Views  -  The Queen's viewing point is minutes away, but the Inn also boasts impressive views of its own
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    Originally a coaching inn from the 1800s, this historic, stylish property offers six ensuite rooms softly furnished in rustic, earthy tones. Wonderful location in the heart of Perthshire. Come for hill walks and stunning views followed by drinks in the cosy bar and locally sourced hearty food. See More

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  • Cuil an Duin Pitlochry (Ballinluig) 3 rooms from CA$219

    Fishing  -  Excellent salmon fishing on the nearby Garry and Tay rivers.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding area has no shortage of great walks.
    Full of character
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.

    Tucked away in a hidden corner of Perthshire, Cuil an Duin is a charming B&B. Featuring smart, comfortable bedrooms, a characterful piano and beautiful sprawling garden, it's an ideal base to explore the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. See More

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  • Knockendarroch Pitlochry 12 rooms from CA$244

    Sights nearby  -  Visit nearby Killiecrankie, the site of the famous 'Soldiers Leap'.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding valley is full of beautiful walking routes.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel

    Offering beautiful views of the Tummel Valley, Knockendarroch is a charming, picturesque hotel in Pitlochry. Each comfortable room has a distinctive Scottish feel and the hotel's excellent restaurant focuses on local produce. A great gateway into the Highlands. See More

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