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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Lucy Gillmore

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.


Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around

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.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Grandtully Hotel

Strathtay, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)[12.9 miles]

A gourmet escape in rural Perthshire, this chic boutique hotel’s highlights include cosy, contemporary rooms and hand-crafted cocktails. 

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom (UK)

Magnificent mountain scenery slashed by silvery lochs and peppered with brooding castles: all laden with rich Scottish heritage, history and tradition.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Cooking classes at Ballintaggart Farm

Cooking classes at Ballintaggart Farm

Pitlochry, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)[15.3 miles]

This foodie bolt-hole offers field-to-fork cookery classes in Highland Perthshire themed around ‘seasonal suppers’, ‘pickling, preserving and fermenting’ and ‘fire and foraging’. You can stay over in one of 12 luxury bedrooms, or book into the Grandtully Hotel, their sleek sister property nearby.

Best for ages: 13+ | £25 | 5 hours

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