Travel to Scotland
Day 7 Ardersier - Fort George - Inverness - Blair castle - Pitlochry - Blairgowrie (190 Km.)
(in 3 km.) Fort George: Fort George is a large 18th-century fortress near Ardersier. It was built to pacify the Scottish Highlands in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745, replacing a Fort George in Inverness constructed after the 1715 Jacobite rising to control the area. The current fortress has never been attacked and has remained in continuous use as a garrison. The fortification is based on a star design; it remains virtually unaltered and nowadays is open to visitors with exhibits and facsimiles showing the fort´s use at different periods, while still serving as army barracks. The ticket is included in the Explorer Pass.
(in 21 km.) Inverness: We started a short tour of this city from the Ness bridge, located under the Inverness castle. This red sandstone structure was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. It was built on the site of an old defensive structure of the eleventh century. We continue on Church street, a pedestrian street that connects the castle area with the churches, including the Old High St. Stephen´s, right next to the River Ness. The bell towers are from the 16th century, which makes this building the oldest in Inverness still standing. Before arriving at it stands out in Queensgate the Victorian market.
Next to the Old High Church is the Free Church of Scotland. After crossing the Greig St Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge, we get fabulous views over both churches. On this bank of the river is another of the most outstanding buildings in the city, the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew. The cathedral was built (1866-69) of red stone from Tarradale, with the columns of the nave of Granite from Peterhead. The entrance is dominated by a pair of Gothic square towers that lack their needles due to lack of budget. After the walk, we left Inverness heading south across the Cairngorms National Park.
(in 126 km.) Blair castle: The Blair Castle (it is said that it began to be built in 1269) is one of the largest stately homes in Scotland. Its many rooms conserve important collections of weapons, hunting trophies, memories of the Murray clan, ethnographic objects, paintings, furniture, embroideries, etc. collected by the Murray family over many generations. The castle is also the garrison of the Hundred Mountaineers of Atholl (the Atholl Highlanders), the private army of the Duke of Atholl, the only legal private army in Europe. The giant spruce called "Diana´s Grove" on the gardens of the castle, which measures 62.7 meters high, is the second tallest tree in the United Kingdom.
(in 12 km.) Pitlochry: It is largely a Victorian town, which developed into a tourist resort because of Queen Victoria visiting the area in 1842 and the arrival of the railway in 1863. It remains a popular tourist resort today and is particularly known as a centre for hillwalking, surrounded by mountains such as Ben Vrackie and Schiehallion. The town has retained many stone Victorian buildings, and the main street, Atholl road, has an unusual period cast iron canopy over one side. Pitlochry is also known for the salmon ladder located next to the hydroelectric power station located on the Tummel River that allows fish to traverse the river.
(in 37 km.) Blairgowrie: We do not have more time, which is why we deviate from the main route to our accommodation. We leave for a next occasion the visit to the Dunkeld Cathedral, the walks through the forest of the Hermitatge or the views from the viewpoint of Queen´s View.