Blair Castle, Blair Atholl

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on Blair Castle near Pitlochry in Central Scotland. This is now a popular visitor attraction and conveniently situated on the main tourist route north to Inverness. The property is the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Atholl, a title which was granted in 1703 in return for loyalty to the Stewart dynasty of Scottish royalty.

The location is important because in medieval times the castle would have guarded the communication routes through to the Cairngorms and points north.  The original Tower House dates from 1269 and still exists to extent it has been carefully absorbed into the current, more elaborate structure.

Connection with royalty extends to visits from Mary Queen of Scots in 1564 and Queen Victoria in 1842 and 1844. The latter granted her bodyguard, the Atholl Highlanders, regimental colours and to this day this unit continues as the only private army permitted in Britain.

Visitors to the castle interior can visit some 30 rooms which feature:

  • Various items of historic weaponry.
  • A portrait gallery.
  • Stucco walls.
  • Tapestries.
  • Elaborate furnishings.
  • An elegant staircase.
  • A grand ballroom.

In addition to the castle interior, visitors can explore:

  • Diana’s Grove, an interesting forested area planted in 1737.
  • The Hercules Gardens, a nine acre enclosure dating from the 18th century.

In addition, Highland Cows and sheep are usually grazing in the local fields whilst a small flock of peacocks patrol the grounds seeking tidbits from the visitors.

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland

 Here is a views of the nine acre, Hercules Garden. 

Garden at Blair Castle

Garden at Blair Castle, Scotland

 

Colourful Garden at Blair Castle

Colourful Garden at Blair Castle, Scotland

 Arboreal  image taken at Diana’s Grove.

Diana's Grove, Blair Castle

Diana's Grove, Blair Castle, Scotland

 Diana’s Grove. Named after the Roman goddess of hunting.

Diana's Grove, Blair Castle

Diana's Grove, Blair Castle, Scotland

 Here are the Atholl Highlanders, Britain’s only private army.

Atholl Highlanders at Blair Castle

Atholl Highlanders at Blair Castle, Scotland

 Peacock at Blair Castle.

Peacock at Blair Castle

Peacock at Blair Castle, Scotland

 Local farm animals

Highland Cow at Blair Castle

Highland Cow at Blair Castle, Scotland

 

Feeding Time for Lamb

Feeding Time for Lamb at Blair Castle

Overall, a quality visitor attraction.

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