I decided that it couldn’t possibly by right to visit Scotland without going to a castle. The nearest to where we were staying was Blair Castle.
Situated outside the village of Blair Atholl, near Pitlochry, stands the pretty white castle with a history that spans 700 years. The current castle is Victorian and the east wing is still home to the family of the Duke of Atholl.
We arrived at Blair Castle just in time for the piper.
The rooms accessible to the public are beautifully decorated and take you back in time. There’s something a bit voyeuristic about peeking into the lives of others but, perhaps because I’m extremely nosy, I love it! Just like Through the Keyhole or the fabulous home tours on The Everygirl! (By the way, if you want to see how young, professional women live in America, you should definitely check out The Everygirl!)
No photography was permitted inside the castle, except in the ballroom but that was one of the least interesting rooms. The main stairway was adorned with weapons and there were stag heads lining the corridors. This was most definitely home to some serious hunters. But then hunting is one of those country pursuits that is still very much enjoyed in this part of the world. Deer stalking is carried out between July and February to both bring money into the estate and to keep the deer population under control.
After we ate our lunch sitting on a wet bench (picnics and Scotland in September don’t really mix!), we got to exploring the grounds a little. Close to the castle itself is the Hercules Garden. This walled, ornamental garden is gorgeous. It’s full of bright flowers, fruit trees, topiary and sculptures, all surrounding a huge pond.
I love photographing flowers. The colours always come out so well.
Blair Castle is sat within the expansive Atholl Estates. We walked just one short path that took us through ancient woodland, alongside a gorge of a river and inside a Victorian folly.
We just about spotted a red squirrel before it scuttled back up the tree. This meant spending a long time with our necks craned trying to find more squirrels but to no avail. We did meet a friendly German Shepherd though!
Having spent a few hours at Blair Castle, we continued down the road towards Pitlochry and visited the famous Killiecrankie. Here at ‘Soldier’s Leap’ a fleeing Jacobite soldier evaded the enemy by leaping from one side of the gorge to the other. I think it was about 17 feet! Aside from being a place of historical significance, the Pass of Killiecrankie is a pretty stunning location.
Before heading back to our cosy cottage, we did pop by Pitlochry but the shops were closed and it was starting to get late so we didn’t stop long.
We loved our holiday in Scotland. This is just one of the days out we enjoyed. Have you been to Scotland? Where did you visit?
If you like castles, you might also want to read about Dover Castle in Kent.