Monday, 21 March 2016

Blair Castle and Blair Atholl Estate Perthshire Scotland.

Although Blair Castle and its magnificently well kept and managed grounds are allegedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, visit the area before the tourist season starts (Easter 2016 is in late March) and there is hardly anyone about. Fortunately the Castle was open to receive coach trips and we had permission to tag along.  Both Castle and ground’s are well worth a visit if you’re staying in the area at any time during the season. 30 plus rooms in the castle are normally open to the public where you get to see a fine collection of weapons, furniture and portraits along with some cracking snuff boxes.
Front entrance to Blair Castle.

The castle and adjoining building's. 

Houses a fine collection of weapons....

.... and some rather interesting furniture....

Blair Atholl is a wee village that originally served the castle but the vast Atholl estate - 145000 acres in total and the Scottish baronial style castle central to its grounds dominate the area. It was largely rebuilt in its present form in 1869 for John Murray 7th Duke of Atholl. The history of the people who lived and were connected to this large house includes some very interesting historic characters and their accompanying turbulent events. To this day The Duke of Atholl has the grand distinction of having the only remaining private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders.

A beautiful part of Scotland.
Diana the Goddess of Hunting.

Hercules standing guard over the Walled Garden.
St Brides Kirk....

.... resting place of Jacobite leader Bonnie Dundee.
This is an idyllic area for some picturesque walks especially around the estate, which take in forestry and farmland and where you can see various types of beasts including Highland cattle, and the estates 33 Highland ponies. Be sure to visit the Deer Park where you can see up close a herd of Red Deer including a majestic stag. Also worth a look are Diana’s Grove, St Bride's Kirk, Hercules Garden, the Horseshoe Pond, and the charming Glen Tilt Village. 

Highland Ponies bred for the terrain.

The Red Stag and his Ladies. 

In the grounds of the estate stands a gothic folly called the Whim that can be seen from the castle. Built in 1761 it can be reached by following the Banvie Burn located behind St Brides Church. Well worth the effort to see the stunning views of the parkland and designed landscape created in the 18th century by the second Duke of Atholl.

The Whim....

....with its stunning veiws. 

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