On leaving Loch Rannoch, we stopped at the Queen’s View Visitor Centre, which is at the eastern end of Loch Tummel. It looks out towards the Schiehallion mountain and was supposedly popular with Queen Victoria or a slightly more obscure Scottish queen, depending on who you believe. It’s a fine view but no better than many others in the area.
The viewpoint is only about 150m from the car park, so the compulsory £2 daily parking fee seemed a bit of a rip off. The visitor centre is full of the usual tourist rubbish for sale but coaches stop here regularly, so I guess it makes good business sense…
We next paid a brief visit to Pitlochry, having been seduced by the town’s description in our guide book. Lonely Planet describes as “this most charming of Highland towns”. I would beg to disagree – it’s a tourist trap with no redeeming features at all, as far as we could tell, although it does have one interesting attraction – a salmon staircase!
On the edge of Pitlochry is a dam and hydroelectric power station. Obviously a dam would prevent salmon making their way along the river, so a series of underwater chambers was constructed that allows the salmon to bypass the dam. This has become known as the staircase:
Far better is the scenic drive up the A93 through Glen Shee and up to the Glen Shee Ski Centre (933m above sea level). Highly recommended and good fun.
We continued up the A939 (via the B976) to the Lecht Ski Centre, shortly after which we found a section of disused road that made the perfect overnight stop.