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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Land Rover Safari at Blair Atholl

Land Rover tour through the Blair Atholl Estate and Glen Tilt

After diverting our planned route of our Scottish road trip to avoid the worst of the weather we made our way across from Loch Lomond to Blair Atholl – I had never heard of this place before so was unsure what to expect and didn't really know what we could do there! Lauren found the website of the caravan site we were stopping at (Blair Atholl Caravan Park - http://www.blaircastlecaravanpark.co.uk/) and noticed they offered various "Safari" tours through the estate, perfect! We decided on the Land Rover Safari tour which was £40 each and lasted for 2.5 hours.

Our Land Rover stops to let us admire the scenery
  • Website – Atholl Estates Safari's
  • Tour – Land Rover Safari
  • Price - £40 per adult
  • Duration – Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Starting location – Blair Atholl Caravan Park reception - PH18 5SR

I cannot recommend this tour enough if you are interesting in wildlife and experiencing nature and epic landscapes – I found it a great way to learn about the Blair Estate, take some amazing photographs and meet a genuinely interesting and enthusiastic tour guide.

The landscape of Glen Tilt and the Blair Atholl estate

Sandy – A true Scottish gem

I think that any tour is made infinitely more interesting and enjoyable if you have a local guide who shows enthusiasm and love for their job. We were lucky enough to have one such guide – Sandy! Before the tour I said to Lauren, I bet the guide is a proper old school Scottish bloke with Tweed and a really strong accent, we weren't disappointed! Sandy was an elderly man (But still in good shape and an awesome driver) who had worked on the Blair Atholl estate for 50 odd years – This man had seen it all and knew every inch of the land; he had worked with royalty and also been on several TV documentaries.

The landscape of Glen Tilt and the Blair Atholl estate

During his time Sandy had worked with Prince Harry, William and Andrew

We found Sandy to be extremely interesting, knowledgeable and fun; He gave us information about the estate, the wildlife and the various people who had worked their like the shepherds and stalkers. He even let us use his expensive binoculars and took pleasure in helping us spot the wild deer roaming on the Glens. If you do a Land Rover Safari tour at Blair, make sure you ask for Sandy!

The river Tilt can be seen to the left hand side of this photo

Rumbling through the Blair Atholl estate

The actual tour itself was amazing – We were picked up from the caravan site reception in a Land Rover that looked as if it had done some serious miles and headed off through the grounds and past Blair Castle. We journeyed past a deer pen and Sandy pulled up so we could have a look – The Deer all recognised him and looked hopeful for a snack (He usually hand fed them), however we trundled on and left them disappointed.

Blair Castle dates back to the 1200's and has been transformed by the Dukes of Atholl over the centuries

We carried on through the grounds and climbed up the slopes and our into the beautiful Glens surrounding the river Tilt – The scenery was just fantastic and some of the most memorable I have witnessed in the UK – The hills and fields stretched out, covered in beautiful shades of orange, green, yellow and purples, while pure white lambs danced through the grass with their mothers. Despite the overcast and slightly moody skies, the countryside looked perfect and I was so pleased with the photos I took of Glen Tilt (Sandy let me stop whenever I wanted to get out of the Land Rover to take pics – Don't be afraid to ask!).

Our transport for the tour

We saw the open shooting ranges, the various houses on the estate (The Shepherds house, the Stalkers house and also a couple of cottages for holiday letting), the impressive river Tilt and also got to see some Deer and Grouse roaming on the mountains. As the trip progressed Sandy took us "Off road" up the side of one of the mountains – This really was Off-roading! The Land Rover pulled up the side of the slopes with so much power and effort – We were jumbled around as the truck hit various rocks and bumps on the path and it was so exhilarating (And slightly scary as we looked at the immense drop beneath us). I will never forget our ascent, and I will never forget standing on-top of the slops, feeling the wind on my face and looking at the breath-taking scenery all around us – A truly special moment.

The off-road track we travelled on up Glen Tilt

I can honestly say that this was one of the best tours I have been on to date – Everything about it was spot on and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Blair Atholl – I enjoy planning things to do myself also, and exploring a place at my own leisure, but a guided tour like this really did make the best use of our time and gave us a wonderful memory of Scotland.

Standing in the heavens!
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