This blog post will cover 2 of the larger towns of Perthshire quite famous for their whisky & are quite easy to reach via public transit, Pitlochry & Aberfeldy. Visiting these towns make up the perfect day trip which include delightful walks, rivers, waterfalls, trees, icrecream & whisky (of course). Read Part 1 that covers Loch Tummel & Blair Atholl here.
This town is a staple of many a “Highland Tour” where tourists get off the bus to have icecream at one of the many shops in town. We encourage you to seek out Isle of Arran ice cream from faraway Arran which is surprisingly freely available in Pitlochry (ex store: Mackenzies Bakery) as seen here.
The more in-depth tours take you to one of the 2 whisky distilleries in town. The Edradour distillery tour (world’s smallest distillery by still size, only open Mid-May to Mid-Oct) is the most fun distillery tour I’ve seen & it a must-visit. If visiting Pitlochry in the winter months, head on to the Blair Atholl distillery tour which is still open & quite nice though the production is off.
Tip preface: Please drink responsibly. Do not drink & drive under any circumstances.
Tip: The Edradour tasting room is possibly the most cost-effective tasting room in the whole of Scotland with an excellent selection. The most expensive dram costs £5 for 20 year+ variants where in central Edinburgh, you’ll be lucky to get a generic 12 year old. This can be accessed only with a tour so even if you are not interested in the tour, buy the ticket & head straight to the tasting room.
Getting to Edradour: There is no public transit that covers the 2.5 miles between the town centre & the Edradour distillery. Outside of getting a taxi (S.R. taxi or Elizabeth Yule), an option that should be considered is the walk from the town centre to the Edradour distillery via the Black Spout woods. Follow the steps below to reach the distillery while racking up some stunning views (one of Pitlochry’s best kept secrets).
- Take Elizabeth Yule bus 82/87 from the town centre to the Blair Atholl distillery. Be mindful of the timetable presented here.
- Follow these Walkhighland directions for the Black Spout wood path to reach the Edradour distillery. The first photo-op call is the 60m high Black Spout waterfalls which is quite a sight. It’s one of my favourite Scottish waterfalls because no one is generally around.
- After the wooded section follow the path to the distillery while staring down the imposing Ben Vrackie mountain that looks over Pitlochry.
- Arrive at destination. A special shout out to my smart tour guide whose name I cannot remember (Helen?) who told us interesting stories that weren’t even part of the script.
- If you are lucky as I was, you will get a lift back into town. A lovely couple from Kent who were in the same tour I was in gave me a lift when they saw me walking. For the unlucky folk, it’s a 40 minute downhill walk alongside the main road overlooking the beautiful scenery.
Other things to do in Pitlochry
- Start your day at Hettie’s tearoom, a Pitlochry institution & home to some of the best tea experience north of the border. It’s TripAdvisor rating is well deserved.
- Hike Ben Vrackie.
- Walk down the salmon ladder + dam on the river Tummel or some nice views & seeing a bunch of salmon swimming through the ladder (around August).
After spending a bunch of time enjoying Pitlochry, the best change of pace can be gained by hopping on a bus (Stagecoach 23 & 27 via Ballinuig) to another town famous for it’s whisky, Aberfeldy. In Scotland though, this town is made famous by the Robert Burns poem, The Birks of Abereldy which was the driver for me to visit this town.
On reaching town, I asked the bus driver to drop me off next to the river Tay which I sat down on a stone next to the bank & some ducks. It was one of the most relaxing things I have done in the recent past. I encourage a stroll next to the river Tay for any Aberfeldy visit.
The main event is definitely visiting the Birks of Aberfeldy. It is so green & so pristine. I rue the fact that I only spent an hour there, this warrants 3-4 hours at least. There is a gorgeous waterfall in the Birks trail that I’ll just have to revisit the town for. Here are some pictures that hopefully convey what I saw.
Other things to do in Aberfeldy
Food & Drink
- Outside of Hettie’s tearoom mentioned above, the Old Mill Inn is also worth taking a look into as they have a huge Sunday roast & decent craft beer available on a Sunday.
- The local butcher at Aberfeldy has some really nice pies in stock for some truly Scottish food.