Loch Tummel

Popular with anglers, this extraordinarily beautiful body of water encompasses eleven kilometres of Perthshire. The area around this picturesque loch is known as Strathtummel and is known as one of the most amazing sights in Perthshire’s Big Tree Country. The open water, and the exquisite nature surrounding it, changes with each season. The changing colours of the landscape make the great scenes around the loch very popular with photography enthusiasts.

Loch Tummel is the location of one of the most famous views in all of Scotland. The Queen’s View offers amazing panoramic views across Loch Tummel to the Western Peak of Schiehallion. Schiehallion of course in Scottish means “mountain of the fairies”, making the view that bit more magical. This breathtaking view can be accessed throughout the year unlike some of Scotland’s loftier tourist attractions. On clear and cloud-free days one can see as far westwards as the delightful Glen Coe hills. It is said that this sublime view was named after the great British monarch Queen Victoria; however this legend is dispelled when looking further back into Scottish history. The late Queen Victoria did indeed take tea at the Queen’s View on her tour of the Scottish Highlands during 1866; yet it is Queen Isabella from whom the viewpoint takes its name. Queen Isabella was the wife of Robert the Bruce, though never underwent an official coronation after tragically dying from childbirth early in her life. Some accounts from the late thirteenth century speculate that she used the nearby wood of Tay Forest as a place for rest and relaxation. The Queen’s View Centre is in Allean, part of Tay Forest Park. There are tearooms which are open between 9am and 5pm, and which are attached to the forest shop which is only open during the summer months between April and October. A newer addition to the Centre is the interesting audio-visual presentation and an exhibition centre. The car park is large and is close to the stunning vantage point, making the awe-inspiring views accessible to everyone.

The Loch has been popular with the Scots throughout the ages. To the north of the loch there are many forts and duns sprawled out around the water’s edge. Also to the east, high up in the glen, is the site of Fincastle House. This seventeenth century stately home was linked with the 1754 rebellion and was also popular among the Stewart family, from which James I of England was born.

However it is fishing which most attracts visitors to the region. The loch is home to large quantities of fish, in particular trout. The trout fishing season stretches from March the 15th till October the 6th. On this loch only fishing from the bank is permitted, however this is ideal for beginners and those wishing to learn how to fish. Prime fishing season is in April, making Loch Tummel an ideal destination for fishing enthusiasts over Easter. The trout’s feeding increases significantly during the month of April because of the fact that the fish will have eaten little food throughout the winter and will be especially hungry. The early or “late” fisherman usually catches more trout as they typically appear at dawn and dusk. Fishing permits are available at the Quales tackle shop, Visitor Centre and the Pitlochry Tourist Information Centre: £3 per day, £10 per week or £25 per season. Other activities on the loch are also popular. There is the popular Loch Tummel Sailing Club which competes around Scotland. The sailors can be found practising their sport upon this scenic loch throughout most of the summer months, a sight which draws visitors in and inspires photographers and painters.

Places close to the Loch to stay are normally found in Pitlochry. The Loch Tummel Inn is authentic and popular. However during the warm summer months the Loch, and the camping sites around it, attract many tourists wishing to pitch their tents or park their caravans. Longer breaks within the region could incorporate other activities which the region has to offer. For instance there is Blair Castle with its Hercules Gardens: the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Blair Castle is the home of the Atholl Highlanders, the only remaining private army in the whole of Europe. Alongside this, arguably the most visited house in Scotland, there is also the Enchanted Forest. Set in the Explorers Woodland Garden in Pitlochry, the Enchanted Forest is a breathtaking outdoor sound and light show and the largest of its kind in Scotland.

Mist on Loch Tummel.

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