Travel bucket list idea:
Pitlochry, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)|www.blair-castle.co.uk|
This picture-perfect, white-turreted fairytale castle has a history stretching back to medieval times – it was supposedly built in 1269. The ancestral home of Clan Murray and the historic seat of its chief the Dukes of Atholl, the castle contains 30 rooms filled with the fascinating legacy of 19 generations of the Clan: weapons, armour, paintings, furniture and even needlework.
You can climb the spiral stairs for a behind-the-scenes attic tour, follow a sculpture trail through the grounds, or wander the beautifully restored 9-acre Georgian walled garden, recognised as being of national artistic and historical significance. They include a walled garden, wooded grove, and red deer park. Look out for peacocks, red squirrels, and the famously shaggy Highland cattle.
Getting there & doing it
Driving there is best – there’s free parking 10m from the castle entrance. Alternatively, get the train to Blair Atholl station – it’s a 5-minute walk from there.
Guided tours are only available for groups of 12 or more, but in each room there are information sheets and guides to answer questions. There’s also a brief one-hour audio tour on a Smartify App, with narration on all of the legends and stories relating to the rooms and artefacts.
Check to see if they still offer their fascinating ‘Attic Tours’, which explore the revealing secrets of the former staffing quarters and end with a climb to the rooftop. Book ahead (by phone) as there’s only space for 6 people per tour.
When to do it
The castle is open from April to October, Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
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