Tummel and Loch Rannoch are often referred to in the same breath, but they
are far from identical. Tummel is smaller and less dramatic than Rannoch,
yet incredibly beautiful and entirely Highland.
Like Loch Rannoch, Tummel has a road on each side, the northern much the
faster to traverse, and more scenic in that it rises higher and gives
wider vistas, especially of Schiehallion to the south-west. The famed
Queen's View, which Victoria made famous in 1866, tops a pine-crowned
bluff high above the water. But the quieter southern road has many
pleasing scenic vistas also. At its eastern end, where it threads the
wooded gorge of the lower River Tummel, it becomes quite impressive
There are few settlements on the southern shore of the loch, but at its
west end is the small hamlet of Foss, where there is an attractive church
within an ancient graveyard, burial-place of various old Stewart and
Menzies families. The older ruined church is tiny.
Tummel Bridge, above the head of the loch, is actually two bridges. The
ancient bridge built by General Wade in 1730, now has a less hump-backed
successor alongside, to carry the road from Aberfeldy. Amongst those who
have stayed in this area include Mendelssohn and Swinburne.
East of the bridges is Dunalastair. This was the name of the original
estate, formerly the seat of the Struan Robertsons, Chiefs of Clan
Donnachaidh, or Duncan, descended from the Celtic Mormaers of Atholl. Much
excitement has occurred here. Of all the clans, The Robertsons of Struan
were amongst the most loyal to the Stewarts.
The north road along the loch is dotted with the sites of duns, forts and
cairn circles. At the east end opens the attractive, fertile, cul-de-sac
valley of Glen Fincastle, with a little church under a high-set dun,
called Caisteal Dubh, at its mouth. Fincastle House, a 17th century seat
of a branch of the Stewarts, with links to the 1745 rebellion, sits high
to the north. At the head of the glen, footpaths lead off in numerous
directions, including to the standing stones of Clachan Aoraidh in the
This area of Scotland makes an excellent centre for enjoying beautiful
scenery and yet at the same time being well situated to explore Pitlochry,
Blair Atholl, Killiecrankie, Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, Perth and so on.
kindly supplied by Scot Travel