Discover Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe's last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders.
Blair Castle is nestled in the landscape of Highland Perthshire and has been home to 19 generations of Stewarts and Murrays of Atholl. Unique amongst Scottish castles, the story told here will take you from a visit by Mary Queen of Scots to the Civil War and from the Jacobite cause to the disaster of Culloden following Bonnie Prince Charlie's own stay in the castle. You'll hear how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home and how a visit from Queen Victoria led to the creation of Europe's only surviving private regiment, the Atholl Highlanders.
More than 30 rooms are on display, full of Scottish cultural history, architectural design, period furnishings, family portraits, landscape paintings and a colourful military past. Highlights include the Victorian Ballroom which is decorated with 175 pairs of antlers, the Entrance Hall which features weapons used at the Battle of Culloden, the classic Georgian styling of the Picture Staircase and the granduer of the Drawing Room and State Dining Room.
The castle grounds feature a magnificent nine acre walled garden, recently restored to its original Georgian design, of fruit trees and vegetables, complete with Chinese bridge, gothic folly and a trail of contemporary and 18th Century sculptures. A peaceful wooded grove with some of Britain’s tallest and finest trees sits alongside the ruins of St Brides Kirk, the final resting place of Jacobite leader Bonnie Dundee. Around the grounds, visitors can spot local wildlife and enjoy picturesque views across Highland Perthshire while younger visitors can explore the adventure playground and Red Deer Park.
Opening Times - 9:30am - 5:30pm, the last admission for a castle tour is 4:30pm
Getting there by Road
From Glasgow:Take the A80/M80 north to Stirling, remembering to bypass the city and then follow the signs for Perth, and then Inverness which will take you on to the A9 North. Travel north on the A9 for approximately 35 miles until you see signs for Blair Atholl and the Castle then keep going.
From Edinburgh:Take the M90 to Perth, and then follow the signs for Inverness (A9 North) and proceed as directions from Glasgow (above).
From Inverness:Take the A9 South to Blair Atholl. The castle and its entrance are very well signposted from the A9 and within the village.
From Aberdeen:Take the A93 road via Ballater, Braemar and Glenshee to the A924 turn-off at Bridge of Cally for Kirkmichael, then head west to Pitlochry. Look out at Pitlochry for the signs north to Blair Atholl (7 miles).
Connecting train services from major cities and Caledonian Sleeper from London arrive to Blair Atholl railway station.