This morning, we departed our lodgings in Inverness and drove south with first stop at House of Bruar near Blair Atholl in Perthshire. House of Bruar is a high end shopping experience where we availed of refreshments.

House of Bruar

Next, past Blair Castle and Killiecrankie to the viewpoint known as Queen’s View.

Information on Queen’s View

Queen’s View

Although Queen Victoria visited in 1866 there is an argument that the name relates to Queen Isabella of Mar (1277-1296), the first wife of King Robert the Bruce.

The vista features Loch Tummel (lake) and Schiehallion (mountain).  The Loch is 11 km long and about 1 km wide. In 1950 the Loch was incorporated into a hydro-electric scheme as a consequence of which the water level rose by some 4.5m (about 13 feet). Access is via a minor road leading off the main A9 North-South route.

The site forms part of the Tay Forest Park within which can be found a variety of wildlife including Ospreys, Chaffinches, Wild Geese,  Red Squirrels, Buzzards, Eagles, Red Deer, Pine Marten and Capercaillie (grouse).

Next, we drove into Pitlochry and then to nearby Edradour Distillery where we joined a tour.

Information on Edradour Distillery

Edradour Distillery

Edradour has a history dating back to 1825 since when it has undergone many ownership changes. The distillery is now under private ownership of Andrew Symington. More information:-

  • Capacity is small at 130, 000 litres p.a. (Glenlivet’s capacity is 10.5m litres p.a.). An expansion programme is underway which will increase capacity to 400,000 litres p.a.
  • Location is attractive to visitor groups. Approximately 100,000 people visit the distillery each year.
  • Production is split 26,000 litres peated and 104,000 litres non-peated.
  • The peated brand is named Ballechin. This name was resurrected by Edradour in 2002 in recognition of a central Scotland distillery of the same name which operated between 1810 and 1927.
  • Standard unpeated brand is Edradour ten-year old single malt although a wide range of other finishes and ages are available.
  • The distillery tours are well organised and take visitors through the entire process of malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation commencing with tasting and a film. In-depth, connoisseur, tours are also available.
  • Edradour has an on-site bottling plant used by sister company, Signatory, an independent bottler of whisky. At the on-site shop a wide range of single malts can be purchased, across the whole Scotch whisky spectrum, but carrying the Signatory brand.

Next, we drove to Kenmore near Loch Tay where visited the Crannog Centre which is focused on a reconstructed loch dwelling from about 2500 years ago.

Whisky making at Edradour Distillery

Information on the Crannog Centre

Crannog, Loch Tay, Scotland

Crannogs were timber buildings built on wooden stilts or man-made islands and were high status homes for extended families and their (valuable) animals for some 2000 years, from prehistory through to the Iron Age and even into medieval times. Crannogs are widespread in Scotland and Ireland. There are over six hundred recognised crannogs in Scotland alone.

The Crannog featured here is a reconstruction based on diligent underwater archaeology at Oakbank on the opposite side of Loch Tay. Tours are available at regular intervals which allow participants to join in some experimental archaeology, such as wool spinning, fire lighting and wood-turning.

Wood turning at Crannog Centre.