Blair Atholl is a lovely village in Highland Perthshire, home to the famous Blair Castle. Steeped in history, with its beautiful scenery, fine food and plenty to do, Blair Atholl is the perfect location for a holiday in the Scottish Highlands.
No trip to Blair Atholl is complete without a visit to Blair Castle, the home of the Atholl family for over seven centuries and a sprawling estate steeped in history.
The castle is the seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, Britain’s only private army. The Atholl Highlanders Parade is held over every May Bank Holiday weekend, giving spectators a unique look into an historic highland tradition.
The impressive castle brings the history of the Atholl family to life; visitors can awe at its 30 rooms filled with 18th century furniture and Scottish baronial architecture, before heading out into the estate’s exquisite gardens and grounds. Make sure you visit the Hercules Garden: a nine-acre walled garden restored to its original Georgian design.
For animal lovers, visitors can explore the Atholl Estates on the back of a Highland Pony; don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before as routes are tailored for novice, beginner and experienced riders. Blair Castle is also home to the Horse Trials and Country Fair, Scotland’s premier equestrian event.
For those who want to explore the Scottish Highlands on foot or by bike, there are a number of walking and mountain biking trails in and around Blair Atholl. The Glen Tilt Circuit is a walk up one side of the Glen Tilt, offering spectacular views, before returning to the ground by the other side. The Ranger Service at the Atholl Estate manages countryside events throughout the year and there are nine way-marked walking trails throughout the estate. There are too many trails to list individually, but you can find them all here.
Highland Fling Bungee Jumping
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not give bungee jumping a go? Highland Fling Bungee Jumping is situated in Killiecrankie, part of Blair Atholl. The jump is surrounded by stunning scenery, ensuring you have the most exhilarating experience possible. One for the dare-devils!
Blair Atholl Golf
Blair Atholl Golf is a challenging, classic style nine-hole course set in the village, surrounded by sprawling hills and greenery. The pavilion club house provides food and drink throughout the day.
Atholl Country Life Museum
Discover the ‘good old days’ at the Atholl Country Life Museum, perfect for families. Once the village school, adults and children can learn about the local heritage and experience life as it was for past generations through unique exhibits, including a reconstructed post office from the 1930s.
Don’t Miss: Visit Killiecrankie
Killiecrankie is a gorgeous, magnificent wooden gorge, open to visitors. Start your visit at the Visitor Centre and discover the geology, wildlife and history of the area, or browse the interesting books on sale at the gift shop. Group visits with a guide can be arranged, but visitors are welcome to take a walk up to Soldier’s Leap and follow the path towards a footbridge that crosses the River Garry, offering sublime views, particularly in the autumn. Killiecrankie is an unforgettable excursion, ideal for anyone with an interest in history, wildlife or beautiful scenery.
Shopping, Arts and Relaxation
Whether you’re looking for country ware, gifts for your loved ones or a bit of ‘me-time’, Blair Atholl has it all:
The Atholl Hair and Beauty Rooms
You can’t beat a relaxing pampering day, especially when you’re on holiday! The Atholl Hair and Beauty Rooms offers a range of luxurious treatments from hairdressing, facials, massages, make-up and wedding packages.
Blair Atholl Bike Hire
Blair Atholl Bike Hire is situated within the café at the site of the Country Life Museum, offering bikes for all of the family along with maps and accessories. It’s a very handy shop and perfect for stocking up on the essentials before you head out into the countryside.
Blair Castle Christmas Craft & Food Fair
Held in the grand ballroom of the Blair Castle every winter (usually November), the Christmas Craft & Fair is a popular event with locals and tourists. Beautifully dressed for Christmas, there are many stalls to browse featuring crafts, food and drinks from all over the UK, including local exhibitors.
Don’t Miss: House of Bruar: Scottish Country Clothing
When visiting Blair Atholl, you absolutely must go to the House of Bruar, the UK’s leading Scottish country clothing specialist. The House of Bruar is home to an envious range of brands, including brands such as Barbour and Musto, and boasts the largest selection of cashmere in the UK. You’ll also find gifts, homeware and a food hall.
If all that wasn’t enough, the House of Bruar has its very own gallery, showcasing an extensive selection of country-themed paintings and sculptures.
Places to Eat
After all that walking and exploring, you’re bound to be craving some delicious Scottish cuisine. Here are some of our favourite local eateries:
Based in the nearby Cairngorms National Park, The Loft is a hidden gem serving high quality, beautifully presented locally-sourced food against a backdrop of rolling hills and countryside.
The House of Bruar Restaurant
After you’ve finished shopping, head over to the House of Bruar Restaurant in the Food Hall, where you can sample some of the best traditional Scottish food and drink, from fresh smoked salmon to homemade jams and baked goods.
Don’t Miss: Blair Atholl Watermill & Tea Room
Have lunch at the delightful Blair Atholl Watermill & Tea Room, a traditional working watermill dating back to the 1590s. The incredibly beautiful mill boasts its own on-site bakery, and sells a selection of cakes, sandwiches and scones baked from the mill’s own flour. You can even book yourself on to a bread making course for the day!
As you can see, Blair Atholl is the perfect spot for an authentic Scottish holiday. If you’re looking for accommodation, take a look at our range of self-catering holiday homes.