Scotland Travel Blog
Pitlochry & Scone
10th May 2021
On April 26th 2021, accommodation providers across Scotland opened their doors to welcome guests, and we all hope they will remain open for the rest of this year and beyond. The same has to be said for the many excellent restaurants, cafes, bistros and gastro pubs who also opened on this date The opening of the hospitality trade, along with historic and tourist attractions, is also a green light for our private tours of Scotland to commence. We are happy about this. Just as hospitality reopened, we quickly got two day tours to the Scottish Highlands booked and in the diary! Yes, May 2nd and May 3rd we were out touring the beautiful lands again.
However, we had one special trip to do before we even got to those two days of touring – a birthday trip for Evie and me to Perthshire. We would also visit Scone Palace, Dunkeld and have an overnight in Pitlochry. Tourism is back!
Travelling north out of Edinburgh, we cross the Firth of Forth, skip past west Fife (we love Fife and look forward to visiting soon), and into the beautiful region of Perthshire. It has only been 50 minutes since we left Edinburgh as we pull into the grounds of Scone Palace and move slowly along the long drive flanked by green grazing lands and gardens of this impressive estate. Soon, the early 19th Century Palace comes into view, and this gothic style palace is a striking site set in the Scottish landscape.
Scone Palace features’ regularly on our tours of Scotland due to its place in Scottish history. In the grounds of the palace, you will find yourself in a place of historical importance. It was here that Scotland’s founding fathers, both Pagan and Christian, gathered. It was the site of an early Christian church, and it housed the Stone of Destiny, the coronation stone, used in the ceremony of the crowing of Scottish Kings. Legend has it that the stone came from the holy land to Ireland to be used for the crowning of Irish kings in the 700s. It was then taken by the Celtic Scots, and in the year 840 it arrives in the village of Scone. This stone was used as part of the ceremony to crown the first King of Scotland, Kenneth MacAlpin circa 840. The stone was also used in the ceremony for Macbeth (1040) and many other Scottish kings until it was last used for John Balliol in 1292. In 1296 Edward I, king of England invaded Scotland, took the stone and later placed it under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey. Although the stone was no longer there, Scone was still used as a site to crown the kings of Scotland. Robert the Bruce (1306) and James I (1424) were crowned here, the last coronation to take place at Scone Palace was that of Charles II in 1651.
The Palace at Scone dates to 1808, replacing a much earlier palace, and is well worth a visit. We were treated to an interesting and informal private tour by a wonderful palace guide called Jean! The collection of art, furniture and sculpture at Scone Palace is exquisite. This unique collection is one of the finest private collections in Scotland, and many pieces have a fascinating back story. Another thing to note about Scone palace is, like us, they have achieved a Gold Award in the Green Tourism Scheme. Promoting sustainable business tourism | Green Tourism - Green Tourism (green-tourism.com)
Before we left Scone, we enjoyed a walk around the gardens and had a quick lunch of local fresh food with coffee and cake in the old kitchen restaurant.
We then made the short journey to the historic and very picturesque village of Dunkeld. We always enjoy a stop here, where the whitewashed houses sit by the River Tay, and where you can enjoy some quality local shopping. The food in Dunkeld is first class too, and there is an excellent choice of charming little cafes and bistros, not to mention the award wining Dunkeld Smoked Salmon. After some purchasing of locally made products at the friendly Naked Sheep shop The Naked Sheep | Scottish Knitwear | Tartan Accessories (nakedsheepshop.com) we travel north to the highland Victorian town of Pitlochry, our destination for the night.
Our accommodation for the night is the amazing 4-star Gold awarded guest house, Craigatin House Accommodation Pitlochry - B&b Pitlochry | Craigatin House This Victorian Villa with its spacious architect designed extension is a perfect slice of affordable luxury in Pitlochry and makes an excellent stop as part of a tour, or as a base for an extended stay. The rooms are large and extremely comfortable, and some have mountain views. The guest house is set back from the road in a quiet location within mature trees and a beautiful large garden. The newer part of the guest house houses a light and spacious resident’s lounge. The owners and staff are friendly, and you will feel at home as soon as you check in.
We had a table reservation at the local’s favourite, Fern Cottage Restaurant. We love this little gem of a place and have booked our clients in here many times too. It had been a busy day of sightseeing for us, so when it came to choosing from their excellent menu, we went comfort food! I opted for good old fish & chips and Evie couldn’t see past the chicken kebab with pitta and salad. Cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding and coffee finished up a delightful two hours of being in a restaurant for the first time in a while!
It is so good to be back touring the beautiful lands again, and it will be even better when we can show our country to intrepid travellers too!
We design the best tours of Scotland to include Scone Palace, Dunkeld, Pitlochry as well as every other part of the country including the highlands and islands.
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