Travel, touring routes and accommodation in Scotland
About Scotland Touring Route
Pitlochry - Inverness
Between Pitlochry and Inverness
Between Pitlochry and Inverness
Driving and Detours:
Approximate distance: 89 miles or 142 km.
The road is generally fast with sections of dual carriage-way useful for overtaking.
The Pass of Killiecrankie
This deep forested gorge used to be one of the only ways north and south. During the Jacobite uprising of 1698 government forces led by General Mackay were defeated, and one retreating soldier, Donald MacBean, bravely leaped to safety across the gorge at "Soldier's Leap", an 18 foot jump with the river Garry far below.
The Pass of Killiecrankie.
One of the finest castles in Scotland, you can see it from the road; painted white and clearly visible agianst a backdrop of woodland and parkland extending to the hills of the vast Atholl Estate beyond.
It is open from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Enquiries: Tel:01796 481 207, Fax: 01796 481 487.
The A9 road continues to Inverness with many opportunities for detours especially as you approach the head waters of the Spey.
Further on down Loch Tummel you come to Loch Rannoch; at the far end of which is one of the most remote moors in Scotland, Rannoch Moor. The South side has quite extensive remnants of old-growth Caledonian Pines (Pinus Sylvestris), including surviving examples of its original eco-system such as red ants, cross-bills, pine marten, blaeberries, heather and ferns.
Touring Royal Deeside.
From Pitlochry take the A924 to the Bridge of Cally and join the A93 going towards Aberdeen. This road passes through Spittal of Glenshee, an area where there is skiing in winter, snow permitting, and passes down into the beautiful valley of the River Dee at Braemar. From here to the East coast the road follows the Dee passing through extensive pine forests.
Braemar is a small picturesque highland town, and a centre for walking in the area. It is renowned for its Highland Games, The Breamar Gathering, which date back to Malcolm Canmore (King Malcolm III, 1058-1093, born 1031). He married Margaret sister of Edgar Atheling a refugee from England which had been invaded by the Normans in 1066. She was a learned and pious woman (she was canonised St Margaret in 1250, and her chapel is still a part of the Edinburgh Castle complex) and through her influence Malcolm undertoon many charitable and ecclesiastical reforms. The new threat from the Norman invaders of England was one reason Malcolm wanted to strengthen his army and so he instigated the Braemar Gathering to find the strongest and bravest new recruits.
Today the Gathering is hugely popular, attracting not only visitors from around the world but also the royal residents from Balmoral, just down the road. It's best to book tickets in advance (Bookings Secretary, Braemar Royal Highland Show, Colilacriech, Ballater, AB35 5UH, Tel: 013397 55377). It takes place on the 1st Saturday of September.
Also on the way:
Braemar Castle, 17th Century L plan tower house with 18th century artillery defences. Open easter to Oct.
Balmoral Castle, summer residence of the Queen. Built 1855. Limited opening in summer
Crathes Castle, one of the finest castles in Scotland. 16th century. Open mid Apr to end of Oct.
Drum Castle, 13th century keep with 17th c. additions. Open Easter to end of September.
If you would like an experienced plantsman and gardener (based just North of Inverness) to guide you around gardens in Scotland, both public and private, we recommend Gavin Dallmeyer:
Accommodation en route or round about:
Bed & Breakfast accommodation:
Beinn Bhracaigh. Bed and breakfast on the hill in Pitlochry
Craigroyston House also on the hill in Pitlochry
Old Stables. In the old town of Alyth to the south, the Old Stables is a comfortable Bed and Breakfast with four bedrooms.
Savock. Large Victorian farmhouse in 1000 acres family home with bed and breakfast. 20 minutes North of Aberdeen.
Green Hall Gallery, Craigellachie. Bed and breakfast in the heart of whisky country. Moderate price.
Westfield House. Country house near Elgin dating from the 1500s, optional dinner.
Farr Mains. Between Daviot and Loch Ness just south of Inverness. Small country house, with gardens and Llamas.
Heath House. Ground floor level Bed and Breakfast on the edge of Findhorn.
Leanach Farm. Comfortable modern farmhouse close to Culloden and standing stones.
Cranmore House. Comfortable modern country house close to Culloden and standing stones.
Craigiewood, The Black Isle near Inverness. A family home surrounded by natural woodland, with great views to distant hills.
Off the A9 past Aviemore:
The Dulaig. Visit Scotland 5 Gold Star B&B home on the edge of Grantown-on-Spey.
Knockomie Hotel. Country hotel outside Forres. Traditional style with contemporary flair. AA rosetted restaurant.
Self-catering houses and cottages:
Balmore Cottage near Loch Rannoch on the Dunalastair Estate.
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