Blair Atholl or Bust

On 1 April 2015, a Dutch company called Abellio took over the contract to operate ScotsRail trains. And that meant a big giveaway of free train tix. Which meant that we got a piece of the free action. Dank u!

As has become our pattern when it’s supposed to turn out nice again, we bolted mid-week, heading north to Blair Atholl, at the lower edge of the Cairngorms National Park, via Stirling with a quick change of trains at Perth.

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View from the train. On trend colo(u)rs, but not too enticing for an outing.

This week though, we didn’t see fine weather; but with those train tickets, what could we do but bundle up and go. Oh! Things were grey; the rain and hail almost stopped us in our (train) tracks.

Almost.

We knocked about in the self-service Cairngorm Gateway Information Centre at Blair Atholl ’til the weather broke as you’ll see below. Blair Atholl, which in addition to being fun to say, did prove to be a fun few hours’ stomping around on the Atholl Estates.

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This is the town.
Blair Castle
This is the Blair Castle. Not to be confused with the Blair Castle Caravan Park (which is ON the Atholl Estate).
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Blair Estate includes a working farm.

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The Hercules Garden, recently restored on the Estate grounds.

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Don’t end up in the Banvie Burn, y’all!

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The Whim, which dates to 1761.

We had a late-afternoon meal at the cafe inside the Castle. The hallway to the toilets is not quite like any other.

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Souvenir!
Looks like someone crashed a hen party. (These ladies raced up out of nowhere and refused to leave R alone.)
Looks like someone crashed a hen party. (These ladies raced up out of nowhere and refused to leave R alone.)
The view from our B&B in Stirling, after we caught the 5:22 back from Blair Atholl's tiny train station. It was a great place to dry off and eat snacks after getting wet on the walk to the place.
The view from our B&B in Stirling, after we caught the 5:22 back from Blair Atholl’s tiny train station. It was a great place to dry off and eat snacks after getting caught in the rain.
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