Back in August we were in Pitlochry for a few days. One of my favourite towns in Scotland, and, this year, twenty years since I stayed there for the first time. I might have stayed as a child, but I can’t remember.
One of my favourite easier walks in the district is up the first part of the Pass of Killiecrankie and round to the Linn of Tummel, that stunning waterfall once visited by Queen Victoria on one of her Highland jaunts. Footpaths and quiet lanes, culminating in a stroll through Pitlochry itself.
The walk starts at the boat station on Loch Faskally – a reservoir now in point of fact, but one of the more natural examples. A good place for quiet reflection and a bit of birdwatching.
Then up the footpath leading to Killiecrankie. it was this way in 1689 that General Mackay’s army marched to rout the Jacobite army stationed around Blair Atholl. He was thoroughly routed in a dramatic highland charge.
But all is peace now along the wooded line of what would have been Mackay’s approach march. Normally you cross the high footbridge over the River Garry at this point, but it was still out of action following Storm Desmond, so we were obliged to use the road bridge instead.
Then down the path to the Linn of Tummel, the place where the rivers Tummel and Garry meet. There is an obelisk marking the visit of Queen Victoria in 1844, on one of her early highland expeditions undertaken with Prince Albert.
The waterfalls are very dramatic, though the visitor of today is not quite seeing it as Victoria did. The damming of Loch Faskally has caused the water levels to rise, wiping out the lower levels of the Linn. Neverthless, this is wonderful river scenery and I do recommend a visit.
We crossed the Tummel on a footbridge and followed a quiet lane back to Pitlochry. This last and easy part of the walk is interesting in itself, not just because the excellent view towards Craigower and Ben Vrackie.
You pass a great arch, a tunnel section and a memorial to the men – the Tunnel Tigers – who died building the Clunie Tunnel, constructed underground to bring water from Loch Tummel to Loch Faskally.
The long lane brought us back to Pitlochry. Not a long ramble this, but ideal if you want an easy morning. The scenery is stunning. We were lucky in having one of the sunniest weeks of the year.
A place to which we will always return.