PITLOCHRY has, on the face of it, a lot going for it, not least the backdrop of Ben Vrackie and the River Tummel slipping by. However, there's little charm to be found on the main street, filled with crawling traffic and endless shops selling cut-price woollens, knobbly walking sticks and glass baubles. Its one nearby attraction is Scotland's smallest distillery, the Edradour Distillery (March– Dec Mon– Sat 9.30am–5/6pm, Sun 11.30am–4/5pm; Jan & Feb Mon– Sat 10am–4pm, Sun noon–4pm; free; Web: www.edradour.co.uk ), set in an idyllic position tucked into the hills a couple of miles east of Pitlochry on the A924.
On the western edge of Pitlochry, just across the river, lies Scotland's renowned "Theatre in the Hills", the Pitlochry Festival Theatre (Tel:01796/484626, Web: www.pitlochry.org.uk ). A variety of productions – mostly mainstream theatre from the resident repertoire company, along with regular music events – are staged in the summer season (May– Oct) and on ad hoc dates the rest of the year. Part of the theatre site is the absorbing Explorers: the Scottish Plant Hunters' Garden (daily: April– Oct 10am–5pm; £4; tours £1 extra; Web: www.explorersgarden.com ), an extended garden and forest area which pays tribute to Scottish botanists and collectors who roamed the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in search of new plant species. This is very much a modern rather than traditional garden, made up of carefully constructed, sinuous trails.