Perth & Kinross | Village | ★★★

[Dunkeld Bridge]

Like two quarrelling siblings at the dinner table, bustling Dunkeld and quiet Birnam sit facing each other on opposite sides of the River Tay, connected by Thomas Telford's 7-span bridge. You could call them arch rivals perhaps. Just on the hilly side of the Highland / Lowland boundary, the two villages are the first really interesting settlements you'll pass travelling north on the A9 road (or by train) from Perth. Dunkeld is the more attractive of the two villages, but on a sunny summer weekend it can get uncomfortably busy, with lines of visitors taking a break from the monotony of driving by browsing the high street's gift shops, cafes and restaurants. If this doesn't appeal, head down one of side roads, which are at least as interesting. The town has a long history as a religious centre, culminating in the part-ruined cathedral at the end of Cathedral Street. On the way to it you'll pass the ornate Atholl fountain, set back from the main road. Dunkeld's real gem though is the river itself. The grassland directly below the cathedral is a particularly idyllic spot with views downstream to the bridge; for something more strenuous, there are plenty of longer riverside walks in the area (linked below). And across the river on Birnam's side there a couple more key places to see, stemming from the pens of Beatrix Potter and William Shakespeare respectively.

[Atholl Street]

Location & info

📌 Dunkeld ★★★
Perth & Kinross, G.R.: NO 027426 ///tucked.impresses.tiny

🚶 This is a good base for those without a car. Dunkeld itself is minicule, the attractions in Birnam are a short stroll across the river, and Loch of the Lowes can be reached by quiet roads and tracks. The excellent walks around The Hermitage are - with some route planning - accessible on foot without having to cross the busy A9 road.
🚆🚌 Dunkeld is on the main railway line between Perth and Inverness, with direct trains from Edinburgh and Glasgow too. Coaches call on the Edinburgh - Perth - Inverness route, and there are other local buses. The station and long distance bus stop are both in Birnam, across the river.
🚗 There is some free street parking in addition to the pay-and-display main car park.

[Atholl Memorial Fountain]

See & do (<1 mi away)

📌 Beatrix Potter Exhibition & Garden
💬 Small exhibition dedicated to the author housed in the fancy Birnam Arts & Conference Centre, with neighbouring garden. Good for children.
Station Road, Birnam village centre (15-min walk south of Dunkeld village centre), G.R.: NO 031418 ///thrilled.mild.receiving
Open daily | Exhibition: £3. Garden: Free

>> The Birnam Oak
>> Dunkeld Cathedral ★★★

Nearby (1-3 mi away)

>> The Hermitage & Black Linn Falls ★★★★ (1 mi ←)
>> Loch of the Lowes ★★★ (1 mi →)
>> Walk: Pine Cone Point - fiery forests & rushing rivers ★★★ (1 mi ←)
>> Rumbling Bridge (Strathbraan) ★★★ (2 mi ←)
>> Walk: Birnam Hill - peace by the A9 ★★★★ (2 mi ↓)

[Dunkeld Cathedral]

[Black Linn Falls, The Hermitage]

[Perth Arms Hotel]

[Dunkeld seen from the bridge]

[A park on the west side of Dunkeld links the cathedral with the main car park]

[View downstream from Dunkeld Bridge]
[Pine Cone Point]

[River Braan at Rumbling Bridge]

[Loch of the Lowes]

[The Birnam Oak (23/5/15)]


Popular posts from this blog

Walk: Livingston's jaw-dropping waterfall

Campsie Glen waterfalls

Cleeves Cove