Secret Bothy’s location is exactly that – secret! This boutique accommodation is not visible from any public road and is accessed by a short, steep private drive somewhere in Killiecrankie, an area of outstanding natural beauty and site of a significant Jacobite battle. It lies just within the southern perimeter of the Cairngorms National Park. Guests are given comprehensive pre-arrival directions.
Killiecrankie, meaning “wood of aspen”, is midway between the Victorian town of Pitlochry, 4 miles to the south and the historic village of Blair Atholl, 3 miles to the north. The River Garry bisects the area and has created the much celebrated Pass of Killiecrankie, a magnificent deep gorge. The Garry forms a confluence with the Tummel as it tumbles out of rapids at the south of the Pass. The immediate landscape is framed by rich wooded uplands, a perpendicular wall of rock, overhanging heather-clad summits and the lofty landmark of Ben Vrackie. At 2,757ft this peak does not quite reach Munro status but there is no shortage of higher and more challenging mountains in the vicinity.
Killiecrankie and its environs of Blair Atholl, Rannoch and Pitlochry have a rich historical, cultural and natural heritage. Abundant flora and fauna affords surprising opportunities to spot local wildlife: not just a red squirrel or roe deer but also the more elusive pine marten or otter. The semi-natural ancient woodland supports a profusion of birdlife including buzzards, great spotted woodpecker and tree creepers while the River Garry encourages heron, kingfisher and oyster catchers. Salmon swim upstream in the autumn. The local wealth of habitats and species is protected within the River Tay Special Area of Conservation. Additionally there are numerous places protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, including the Pass of Killiecrankie itself.
Killiecrankie benefits from close proximity to the A9, the infamous trunk road that connects Inverness and Perth. Aviemore is about 50 miles north and Perth about 30 miles south. Road connections are easy. However, estimating a drive time can be difficult as the A9, described as the spine of Scotland, can be frustratingly slow when busy. It is, therefore, advisable to plan car journeys conservatively.
A railway line shadows the A9 for most part. There are railway stations in both Pitlochry and Blair Atholl and the daily service both north and south is good. Not only are there frequent trains to main cities daily but the Inverness – London (and return) sleeper stops at Pitlochry 6 nights (and mornings) per week.
Three airports at Dundee (52 miles), Edinburgh (71 miles) and Inverness (87 miles) provide useful national and international connections. Car hire is available at all of them.
Wheels, of some kind, are essential at Secret Bothy. The Killiecrankie Hotel with its inviting restaurant and bar is within easy walking distance but the nearest food shops are a few miles away. Guests who want to cycle but are not planning on bringing their own bicycles can hire locally. Likewise car hire is available locally. If you would like to be collected at the railway station, please request so when booking.
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