Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on the stunning nature site of Killiecrankie which can be found roughly equidistant between Pitlochry and Blair Atholl (Blair Castle )  in central Scotland. In essence the site comprises a deep, wooded gorge at base of which flows the fast running River Garry.  In addition to the nature related attractions the site is also known for the Battle of Killiecrankie  which was fought in July 1689 between rebellious Jacobite troops and Government forces. The name ‘Killiecrankie’ appears somewhat quirky but actually translates as ‘Aspen Wood’ which appears very apposite.

Nature Aspects

An ancient woodland and now designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest which is, inter alia, home to:

  • Insects and Spiders.
  • Bats- Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s.
  • Butterflies.
  • Birds- a wide range including Pied Flycatcher and Dipper.
  • Wildflowers- Primroses and Violets.
  • Mammals: Red Squirrel, Otter and Roe Deer.
  • Mosses, Fungi and Lichens.
  • Fish- Salmon and Brown Trout in the River Garry.

Video clip of Pass of Killiecrankie

Battle of Killiecrankie- July 1689

This famous battle centred on the endeavors of supporters of the Stuart line of kings ( Jacobites) to restore King James II of England who had been deposed (due to Catholic leanings) the year previous.

In July 1689 a Jacobite force under John Graham of Claverhouse successfully defeated a government force of 4000 under Sir General Hugh Mackay, albeit at cost of the life of their commander. During the retreat of the government troops, a soldier named Donald MacBane is alleged to have made his escape by leaping some 18ft (5.5m) across the fast flowing River Garry, a jump of Olympian standards!

Other Activities

This site is situated on a trail passing along the Pass of Killiecrankie and as such is popular with hikers.

Photographers will usually be well rewarded during all seasons of the year.


The site has a Visitor Centre and refreshment facilities. Here visitors can endeavour to replicate the long-jump feat of Donald MacBane.

Soldier attempting to replicate McBane’s leap at Killiecrankie

River Garry at Killiecrankie

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