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Aberfeldy or Pitlochry?

We will be travelling from Perth to Inverness and then into the Cairngorms, September 2023. I would like to stay in some towns along the way for at least overnight. Would you choose Aberfeldy or Pitlochry? Or another town? I have my own reason for these choices but would like to hear recommendations and reasons from others.

thank you ~ Gail

Posted by
670 posts

I can not speak about Aberfeldy; but I did enjoy Pitlochry. We walked from town to the Edradour distillery and enjoyed our favorite distillery tour of the four we did. We walked to dinner, and the town looked charming. However, we did not spend a significant amount of time in the town itself.

Posted by
5678 posts

I would stay in Pitlochry if there was a show on at the Festival Theatre. Otherwise I would stay in Aberfeldy and take the backroad over the mountain to Loch Tummel. Amazing drive.

Posted by
2636 posts

Been quite a few years since I was in Aberfeldy so won't comment on that but I had 2 friends from Kansas City Missouri staying with me in August this year and I took them on a day trip to Pitlochry. It is a 2 hour drive from Edinburgh where i live and I did all the driving, here is what we got up to.We left my place abpout 9am and drove directly to Pitlochry and got there about 11am.
Visited the Heather Gem Factory, big hit with Diana,you don't do a tour but do get a really nice video and you are able to see into the workshop areas and see all the processes involved in making heather gems, the shop is wonderful and a great deal of money was spent there .
https://www.heathergems.com/about/viewing-gallery-and-shop
We then drove up to the Edradour Distillery but unfortunately is is closed for visitors (even the shop) and we could not get access to the site at all but managed to park up and have a look at this wonderful place from a short distance.
https://www.edradour.com/
We then drove the short distance to the Moulin Inn (dates back to 1695)where we had lunch from there very nice locally sourced menu,a few beers made in the brewery beside the Inn were consumed.I had a half pint of their lowest alcohol beer as i was driving.We then had a look into the small brewery and had a chat with the very busy brewer,Steve said this was his highlight of the day,(Steve and I met many years ago at a Beer Festival in Prague and have been great friends ever since).
https://www.moulinhotel.co.uk/inn/pub.php
Drove the short distance back into Pitlochry and parked in the main carpark. We took a stroll down to the Dam and walked over it to the Fish ladder,some of the views from the dam are quite stunning and we did have great weather.We then had a wander in the main town area visiting a few shops and spending more money on various souvineers.
https://pitlochry-scotland.co.uk/local-walks/pitlochry-dam-and-fish-ladder-walk.php.
We the drive to Queens View about 4 miles or so away, narrow roads so be careful but the views are stunning, there is a visitor centre there but was closed due to the results of Covid.It may be open again but i would doubt it will this year.
https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/queens-view-visitor-centre-p2570441
back to Pitlochry and our final stop of the day at the Blair Atholl Distillery, we had treid to book a tour but no space available but we were able to walk the grounds and visit some parts of the distillery including the shop (hats , glasses and whisky bought). We then went to the old malting area that has been turned into a Whisky bar and Steve and Diana had a flight of some of the distilleries special expressions which they really enjoyed, I did get to sniff the whisky and bought a bottle to consume at home.
https://www.malts.com/en-gb/distilleries/blair-athol
headed back to Edinburgh and got home about 7.30 pm.
This trip was a massive hit with both my friends.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you Everyone, Sounds like the distillery focus is a must. It was on my radar but a low priority for us, maybe that should change. We are walkers/hikers and really excited about exploring the landscape especially Cairngorms. The reason I was interested in Aberfeldy was the Watermill Bookstore and ancient yew. We are using public transport (Scotrail and busses). The backroads suggestions over the mountain to Loch Tummel sounds just up our alley if we had a car. Maybe rent one for the day?
Pitlochry seems like a more straightforward destination from Perth (Scotrail) than Aberfeldy on our way north. Maybe a jaunt from Pitlochry to Aberfeldy on a bus. Or perhaps visit Aberfeldy on our way south either from Inverness or Aviemore?
Will welcome any and all suggestions.

Posted by
4025 posts

I did things a bit differently this summer: stayed just outside Aberfeldy for several nights and drove to Pitlochry for the day. They are both beautiful but in different ways. As I was looking, lodging in Pitlochry was more expensive and I am glad that motivated me to look at Airbnb’s further out into the countryside.