Pitlochry is a picturesque town in Highland Perthshire. Surrounded by scenic forest trails and stunning views, Pitlochry is one of the most popular Scottish towns.
Famed for its breath taking scenery, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and a rich Victorian history (Queen Victoria was fond of visiting Pitlochry), this idyllic town is also known as a hub for nature sports and activities.
Which makes it the perfect base for lovers of Scotland’s outdoors!
Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll in breath taking scenery or extreme sports that take your breath away, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best outdoor activities in and around Pitlochry.
Pitlochry is the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. A few bus services operate from the town centre and Pitlochry is well-served by train (Pitlochry station bookshop is worth a browse!).
However, to make the most of Pitlochry’s rich landscape and to see more of the Scottish countryside we recommend you go by car.
Queen’s View Visitor Centre | Pitlochry
Located just outside Pitlochry, the Queen’s View overlooks the magnificent Loch Tummel. Majestic Schiehallion provides a scenic backdrop to one of the most photographed views in Scotland. From a short walk to longer hikes, there are nearby trails to suit everyone.
Queen Victoria claimed the Queen’s View was named after her, but this could be hubris. Queen Isabella, wife to King Robert the Bruce may have beaten Queen Victoria by a few centuries!
The Queen’s View visitor centre includes a cafe and information about Highland Perthshire.
Pitlochry Dam and Salmon Ladder | Pitlochry
The Pitlochry Dam and Salmon Ladder walk is easily accessed from the town centre. Located on the banks of the River Tummel, walkers enjoy spectacular views of glassy Loch Faskally. Pitlochry Dam itself is an impressive sight, an impressive feat of engineering that brought power to the Scottish Highlands in the 1950s.
Children will enjoy climbing the fish ladder, heroically tackled by over 5,000 salmon to reach their spawning grounds each year.
Learn more about hydro electricity and the secret ways of the salmon (one of Scotland’s sacred animals) at SSE’s Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre. The attraction is free and there’s a spectacular balcony cafe that offers an opportunity to rest weary feet and soak up more views.
The Hermitage | Dunkeld
Here be giants – wonder at towering Douglas firs, among the mightiest in Britain and the thunderous roar of Black Linn Falls. When visiting Pitlochry, The Hermitage is one of the things nearby you can’t miss. This magical woodland once provided recreation for the wealthy Dukes of Atholl and hosts a variety of walks and viewpoints for different abilities.
Follow the firs to Ossian’s Folly to be mesmerised by the churning falls beneath, venture up to Pine Cone Point, or quest to nearby Rumbling Bridge to discover the falls that give this charming place its name.
Black Spout Wood | Pitlochry
Black Spout Wood is a short walk and easy to reach from Pitlochry town centre. This walk passes Pitlochry’s two whisky distilleries – Blair Athol Distillery and Edradour.
Start from the Tourist Information car park and head past a row of bungalows. Turn left uphill for the signposted Black Spout Woods and follow the trail. The path winds gently through beautiful woodland scenery to reach the Black Spout waterfall.
Continue to reach Edradour distillery and follow the signposted trail back to the centre of Pitlochry.
The Soldier’s Leap | Killiecrankie
Discover the site where a Redcoat soldier leapt 18ft across the River Garry to escape pursuing Jacobites. Steeped in history, Killiekrankie was also a blood-soaked chapter in Jacobite history.
Today, Killiekrankie Pass is an attractive, wooded gorge that overlooks the River Garry. A quick stroll takes you to Soldier’s Leap. Beautiful at any time of year, Killiekrankie is a delight in the autumn when the trees blaze gold. Keep a watchful eye for leaping salmon under the Soldier’s Leap!
Loch Rannoch | Kinloch Rannoch
Picturesque and tranquil, Loch Rannoch is one of the best walks for a summer’s day. Loch Rannoch is 20 miles from Pitlochy, so if you’re planning day trips this is a must!
Several walking options are available around Loch Rannoch. The Clan Trail is perfect for taking in various clan based scenery and the crannog, an artificial island built on the loch, tells the story of Scotland’s Iron Age past.
Feel the call of the wild on magnificent Rannoch Moor, ambling around the glassy waters of Loch Rannoch, and drink in some of Perthshire’s most dramatic scenery.
Falls of Bruar | Blair Atholl
The Falls of Bruar might be one of Perthshire’s most romantic spots. Located in the nearby town of Blair Atholl, the spectacular falls were carved by the last Ice Age. Magical pools, deep crevices, and natural rocky archways await you along the pine-scented forest trail.
During World War 11, the magnificent trees were felled for timber. After replanting the trees sadly were overtaken by larch disease. Thankfully, replanting is once again restoring the falls to their former glory, which inspired Robert Burns’ The Humble Petition of Bruar Water.
Faskally Woods | Pitlochry
Faskally Woods is an excellent walking area near Pitlochry. The Dunmore Trail is a beautiful walk through varied woodland. In summer the woods burst with life and dazzling wildflowers ring the shore of Loch Dunmore.
Every autumn Faskally Wood hosts the Enchanted Forest, a magical light display. There’s plenty picnic spots near the car park where you can relax and spot red squirrels – or a kingfisher if you’re lucky!
Glen Tilt | Blair Atholl
Blair Atholl, just 7.5 miles from Pitlochry is beloved by walkers and cyclists. This is where you’ll find Glen Tilt, an 11 mile glen on the Atholl Estates. 30 miles of walks and 40 miles of cycle trails will leave outdoor enthusiasts spoiled for choice. Explore shady woodland, wild moors, heathery hills, and awe-inspiring waterfalls.
Climb a Corbett or bag a Munro
If you’re seeking a challenge, these walks will leave you out of puff. The stunning scenery alone is bound to leave you breathless!
Craigower | Pitlochry
Absolutely stunning views are your reward for the short yet steep climb up Craigower. Wreathed in pine and mist, the summit is a haven for butterflies – over 15 species have been recorded here. On a clear day look to the west for a glimpse of Glencoe’s dramatic peaks.
At 407m Craigower isn’t a Munro, but its panoramic view of heather-dusted hills and mirror-like lochs is worth the short scramble.
Ben Vrackie | Pitlochry
This much-loved hill is tackled by tourists and locals alike. Ben Vrackie (Gaelic for “speckled mountain”) can be accessed from Moulin Village, on the outskirts of Pitlochry.
At 841m its a tough but enjoyable climb with only a small scramble to reach the summit. Clear summer days offer an astounding panorama the Strathtay and Strathtummel areas, and northern Beinn a Ghlo.
Allow around 4 hours there and back. You could always stop for refreshment at Moulin Brewery on the way back!
Schiehallion | Rannoch
Schiehallion’s perfect conical shape is a local icon with an interesting history. Did you know, that Schiehallion is the centre of Scotland? Its unique placement enabled 18th-century scientists to calculate the weight of the world!
Schiehallion’s name comes from the Gaelic for “fairy hill of the Caledonions”. It’s one of Scotland’s most famous Munros, rearing into the clouds at over 3,000 feet.
Begin your ascent from the Braes of Foss car park and follow the clear path to the top. The summit is a jumble of scree so bring your walking boots! Allow at least 5 hours for the climb and bring plenty water, snacks, and weatherproof clothing.
Cycling Around Pitlochry
The Best Cycle Routes In Pitlochry
It’s not just walkers who are spoiled in Pitlochry. There’s a variety of trails for off-road riders and casual cyclists.
Duntanlich Weekend Grinder
This challenging route takes in 32.8 km of stunning scenery. Beginning at Escape Route bike cafe in Pitlochry, the route is a steep climb up and through Ballechin Woods. Best tackled at weekends when the road to Dunfallandy Mine is quiet.
The Drover’s Trail
Another trail for those who love a challenge! Pass castles haunted by plague, the smallest distillery in Scotland, and whizz through stunning Glen Tilt. With steep gradients and boggy ground in places, the Drovers Trail is for experienced cyclists.
Cairngorms Grand Tour
Not for the fainthearted! This 8-hour challenge is a glorious route that takes in breathtaking scenery and curious landmarks like the Bedford Bridge and Falls of Tarf. Starting at the Moulin Inn, the route winds through Blair Athol, a charming Highland village. It’s worth stopping to see the Atholl Country Life Museum and Blair Castle.
The Wasted Degrees Taproom is cyclist friendly if you need to pause for refreshment!
Check Perthshire Gravel for detailed information about each cycle route.
Etape Caledonia cycling challenge returns to Pitlochry on May 14th 2023. Hundreds of riders explore dramatic glens and idyllic country lanes in this closed-road sporting event.
With 3 spectacular routes to choose from, Etape is a unique summer adventure.
Pitlochry Extreme Sports with Nae Limits
Now for the adrenaline junkies! Because you can’t visit Pitlochry in summer and not get up close and personal with the Scottish countryside.
Nae Limits is located off the A9 at Ballinluig. Our expert team have over 20 years of adventure under their belts. We’ve mapped routes through Perthshire’s most spectacular scenery and will keep you safe while you climb, slide, jump and abseil your way down some of the most breath-taking mountain gorges in Scotland.
Canyoning | Falls of Bruar
Canyoning is the navigation and exploration of a mountain gorge via a series of waterfalls and pools. It’s an outdoor sport that’s suitable for every age and ability – all you need is a sense of adventure!
The Upper Bruar Buzz will get your pulse racing with an exhilarating route of jumps and slides, or maybe you’d prefer the Tummel Canyon, a technical descent of 14 abseils that’s perfect for intrepid souls.
Tubing | Killiecrankie
Hold on tight to your tube, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! Bounce down the Killiecrankie Gorge that bore witness to the famous Jacobite battle and keep your eyes peeled for Peallaidh – the area’s local water guardian.
River tubing is appropriate for kids as young as 8 and suitable for beginners and daredevils alike. Waterfalls, slides, shoots and drops—river tubing is a high adrenaline adventure and prepare to get wet!
White Water Rafting | River Tummel
One inflatable raft, a group of thrill seekers, some safety equipment, and an experienced guide – white water rafting is the original adventure sport.
Tackle the turbulent River Tay and the relentless rapids of the River Tummel for a summer to remember.
Gorge Walking | Calvine
Swim, slide, crawl, and climb your way to adventure. Gorge walking is an outdoor adventure activity that combines rocky terrain and water. There’s a lot of scrambling involved!
Gorge walking is step below canyoning and ideal for first-time thrill-seekers. Nae Limits gorge-walking adventure takes place in the scenic Calvine Gorge, which we explore on foot by following the river system. Perfect if you want to add adventure to your Scotland bucket list this summer!
Don’t forget to fuel up at the Nae Limits Cafe afterwards. Ridiculously good coffee, even better brunch, vegan menu options, and dog friendly.
Pitlochry Golf Course
Golfing in Scotland? It might not be novel but during summer, Pitlochry Golf Course is the place to tee (sorry).
Enjoy one of Scotland’s most acclaimed inland golf courses in gorgeous surroundings. Nestled at the foot of Ben Vrackie, the course is surrounded by a magnificent view of the Tummel Valley. Its impressive clubhouse is a hidden gem with one of the best views in Pitlochry.
Check tee times online.
Pitlochry Putting Green
Putt time aside to enjoy the pleasures of Pitlochry’s putting green on balmy summer evenings. Tucked away on Rie-Achan Road (on the way to the fish ladder), this 18-hole course is ideal for beginners and children.
Best enjoyed with an ice cream to hand!
Go Fishing | Tummel & Pitlochry
Fancy a slower pace of life? Pitlochry has some of the best fishing beats in Scotland. Hook salmon on the Port-na-craig beat (near the Dam visitor centre) or seek trout in the rocky pools and runs of the River Tummel.
Contact Pitlochry Angling Club to book a permit.
Have we tempted you to visit Pitlochry this summer? And that’s without a wee dram in sight! Well, there’s always time to unwind with a whisky after your adventures…