Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Scottish Town of Pitlochry

Athol Road Pitlochry

On the third day of our trip to Scotland last year, we headed up to the beautiful town of Pitlochry.  As you enter Pitlochry and drive past the Bells distillery, you can’t help but notice how beautiful it is up there.  No matter which direction you look in, there is always a glimpse of the Highlands in the corner of your eye.  Pitlochry has a distinctive style of architecture (the Scots Baronial Style) and we were treated to many rounded turrets and gothic looking fa├žades. 

The Scottish Town of Pitlochry

It is safe to say that I loved the architecture and scenery so much in Pitlochry that I went a bit crazy with the photographs.  I’d love to put up each and every photo individually and wax on about how beautiful it is up there but I’ll spare you.  Click on any of the images for an enlargement.

Pitlochry Scotland

Pitlochry is less than an hour’s drive away from where we were staying at Loch Monzievaird near Crieff and it is one of the most beautiful drives I have ever been on.  Our main reason for driving this way was so that we could visit the Heathergems Visitor Centre and Factory Outlet Shop.

HeathergemsFactory Shop Pitlochry and Old Pitlochry East Church

Above the Heathergems outlet you can see the old Pitlochry East Church which has since been converted into nine swanky apartments and is now known as John Stewart Court.  John Stewart was a famous visionary and Pitlochry resident, known for establishing Pitlochry Festival Theatre which still runs today.

Scottish Heather

Heather (Calluna vulgaris) grows all over the hills and highlands of Scotland.  It has a limited lifespan though and after a couple of years, the heather becomes woody and has little nutritional value to grouse or other animals.  This is what the people from Heathergems harvest and by doing so, they enable new heather to grow and the land to become fertile again.

The Making of Heather Gems in Pitlochry

They collect, cut and clean the heather and then dye it with natural dyes.  Red, green, purple and yellow dye are primarily used.  The heather is then compressed into big blocks which are cut into slices.  Shapes are cut out of the slices which are then polished and lacquered to produce the most colourful and beautiful jewellery.

 The Making of Heather Gems

The jewellery and accessories are surprisingly affordable, considering the skill and artistry that goes into making them.  You can see the whole collection of their products at the Heathergems online shop.

Victorias Coffee Shop and Restaurant

After Heathergems, we relaxed for a while in Victoria’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop.  The most intriguing aspect of this restaurant is that they elevate the drinking of tea to a form of art and they had a huge variety of speciality teas.  I somehow managed to restrain myself from stealing one of their menus but the quote on the back of the menu above reads, “Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time, the comforts of solitude and the pleasure of company”.

Church of Scotland Pitlochry

Pitlochry is a beautiful old Victorian town and I can see why it was such a popular tourist destination in the Victorian age.  We only spent a day there but I could easily imagine spending a whole week there, going on long walks in the surrounding hills and browsing in the speciality shops.

Glimpses of Pitlochry

Out of all the towns we visited in Scotland, Pitlochry was my favourite.  If you do visit, be sure to look out for the Sweeney Todd barbershop in the photo above.  (You just have to love the Scottish sense of humour).  The barbershop is next to a butchers where I bought the best Scotch pie I have ever tasted in my life.  Yum.

Pitlochry War Memorial

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17 comments

  1. I am going to Scotland in two weeks to visit my friend! i am so excited ;)

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  2. hi emm, thanks so much for this lovely post.

    you're making me want to visit that beautiful place. it looks like an absolute must-see.

    great history lesson and wonderful pictures!

    hugs,
    betty xx

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  3. I like all the clocks in your photos! I counted 4 and a watch :) Definitely my favourite post!!!

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  4. Sounds like a really neat little town. And I love the jewelry, your bracelet looks so elegant!

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  5. I love small towns. Especially picturesque ones. G and I want to go back to Scotland but since we nearly died driving there last time I think we might just go to Edinburgh and huff it by foot :)

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  6. Great photos and the clock is wonderful. I`v never been in Scotland.. not England either, shame on me! Our oldest son go to London tomorrow, he loves London. Might be my turn soon, but it`s so many places to go:-)
    Hugs from Tania

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  7. Wow... what a detailed travelogue! Enjoyed it very much... seems like the place is worth a visit :-)

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  8. I can't blame you for taking all those pictures. It is a beautiful town like you said. That barber shop looks a little scary.

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  9. Hi Emm..wow..what a gorgeous place...Id love love love to visit there...love the architecture too! I have always loved heathers..they are so magical..that was so beautitful see..love your photos...everything is gorgeous...thanks for sharing such a fantastic and intriguing post!
    Yay!!
    Kiki

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  10. Looks like a real step back in time. I have almost fogotten what it is like to be some place where there aren't hordes of people cluttring up the pavement or constant traffic jams.

    The jewellery looks fantastic...

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  11. What a lovely looking town! I would love to go to Scottland someday! (But of course London is top of my list!) :)

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  12. Scotland is definitely on my list of places to visit. Pitchory looks absolutely wonderful.

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  13. I visited Pitlochry in 2007 but my memory isn't very good :-( I ought to have taken more photos.

    All I remember are an outdoor shop (where I bought a map of Ben Nevis), a grassy slope (that my friend rolled down!) and the fish ladder (with no fish).

    I'd love to visit while The Enchanted Forest or Winter Words is on. Maybe one day :-)

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  14. Pitlochry does look like a wonderful place to visit. i love how you captured the different angles of the facade. i would have done the same thing too, very lovely architecture. The jewellery and accessories are amazingly beautiful.

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  15. @ Brenna: Really? You must be in Scotland now – hope you’re enjoying it!

    @ Betty: I can’t speak highly enough of Scotland. It is an amazing place and I’d absolutely recommend that everyone visit it.

    @ Alan: Ha ha! You know, I found myself looking out for clocks for you on our latest trip.

    @ Kathy: It is a lovely bracelet. I bought all my Christmas presents there.

    @ Melizza: oh, wow. Sounds like there is a story there.

    @ Spiderdama: Did your son have fun in London? Is he still here? How long was his trip?

    @ Dominic: I like to remember every aspect of my trips so I often copy bits out of my paper diaries. I guess that makes for pretty detailed travelogues!

    @ AVC8teur: Heh, I thought it was a funny little barber shop!

    @ Kiki: The whole of Scotland is magical. I felt a deep sense of magic and history there.

    @ William: After visiting Scotland, I can barely figure out what you’re doing in London!

    @ Carol: Try visit Scotland when you’re in the UK. It is absolutely worth it and I’ve never heard anyone claim differently.

    @ Clueless in Boston: It definitely is wonderful – visit!

    @ John: Ha! Now I know why I take so many photos. I don’t feel that I travel nearly often enough. I couldn’t waste the times I do travel by not remembering it! :)

    @ Life Ramblings: Hee hee, and that was only a couple of the photos I actually took!

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  16. Thanks for the tour. I would really like to visit this place myself.

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  17. I just love the architecture-the houses with little towers, I wonder how it would be to live in such:)

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