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Outdoors & Nature

local wildlife

Pitlochry, in the heart of Highland Perthshire, is one of the best places from where to explore an abundance of Scottish wildlife. Right here in the garden of the Pine Trees Hotel, you have a good chance of spotting native red squirrels and occasionally a roe deer, which might have ventured down from the surrounding hills. If you go a little further afield, there are places from where you can take a wildlife “safari” and you might be lucky enough to spot mountain hare, blackcock, grouse or even roaring stags during the autumn rut (mating season).

This part of Scotland is also known as “Big Tree Country” for the very good reason that there are hundreds of acres of forests, a large proportion of which were planted more than 150 years ago by various Dukes of Atholl. These swathes of larch, spruce, Noble and Douglas Fir, and many other magnificent specimen trees, look beautiful at any time of year and are home to a plethora of wild plants, fungi, birds and small mammals. In Diana’s Grove at Blair Castle (a 20 minute drive to the north of Pitlochry) you will find Europe’s second tallest tree, a Grand Fir, standing near 63 metres high, whilst a short trip in the other direction to The Hermitage, near Dunkeld, will reveal one of the UK’s tallest trees – a magnificent 59 metre high Douglas Fir.

Highland Perthshire is one of the few places left in the UK where iconic birds of prey, such as the Golden Eagle and the Osprey can be found. Following extinction in Scotland by 1916, osprey were reintroduced and, at the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve near Dunkeld, have been breeding successfully since the late 1960s.

Apart from being the mainstay of the osprey’s diet, fish are another feature of Highland Perthshire’s plentiful wildlife, with salmon and trout being the most popular for the many fishermen (and women) who visit the area each year.

Outdoors & Nature

Highland Safaris
by Pitlochry

Situated about 30 minutes from the Pines Trees Hotel is the exciting Highland Safaris.

Offering a selection of Land Rover Safaris and outdoor activities, Highland Safaris is the ultimate way to experience the adventure and beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Found in the exclusive Highland Perthshire Estates, the company offers fun and exciting ways to engage with the Scottish wilderness.

Safaris outside Pitlochry

Forest Safari
You and the whole family can experience the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest with the Forest Safari. The safari includes a series of tracks, trails, views and clues to keep people of all ages interested in the wonderful countryside.

Mountain Safari
If you want to head a little higher, then the Mountain Safari takes you to the high tops in a Land Rover and presents amazing views. You could try a Mountain Safari Trek, which includes an easily paced walk and a picnic at a mountain bothy.

Red Deer Encounter
You may want to experience some of the local wildlife. The Red Deer Encounter teams you with an experienced Safari Ranger who will take you into the exclusive Deer Enclosure. Children will enjoy being able to feed and learn about the animals.

Special interest Perthshire safaris

Photo Safari
Highland Safaris caters for those with individual passions. If you have a flair for photography, then the Photo Safari is for you. A Safari Ranger will take you to some of the most inspiring settings of local wildlife to make sure you get that perfect photo.

Fishing Safari
On the Fishing Safari, you will be taken to the banks of the River Tay and River Lyon. The rivers are tranquil and stunning so you can sit back and enjoy the peaceful setting. Ideal for all abilities. Visitor and Trail Centre

Gold and gem panning
For the younger ones, there is the chance to pan for gold in the covered 30ft panning flume. Hunt for gold, ‘fools’ gold and other semi-precious gem stones. Whatever you find, you get to take home!

Cafe and Gift Shop
After all that exercise, you might want to put your feet up. The Safari Lodge Cafe lets you have coffee and lunch, whilst you look out at the panoramic views of the Appin Valley. The Gift Shop offers a wide range of toys, crafts and gifts to choose from.

Pine Trees Hotel excellent as ever. Food up to the usual standard, friendly helpful staff, happy to visit many more times. Good base for lots of places of interest . Red squirrels, roe deer and other wildlife in the 10 acres of grounds.

Discover the Pine Trees

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