Queen's View
Queen's View

If you turn off the busy A9 road north of Pitlochry onto the B8091 that snakes along the north shore of Loch Tummel you are treated to wonderfully scenic glimpses of the loch below and to your left.

That is just a foretaste of the amazing view that awaits at Queen's View, where a rocky outcrop gives a panoramic view west along the loch, taking in the summit of Schiehallion and distant Loch Rannoch, before reaching the peaks of Glencoe.

From Queen's View, you can see 50 miles on a clear day, taking in some of Scotland's best scenery.

Schiehallion at sunrise
Schiehallion at sunrise

Which Queen?

Queen Victoria famously visited Queen's View in 1866, and she was certain that the viewpoint had been named in her honour. The Forestry Commission visitor centre tends to perpetuate this story, with a large silhouette of Queen Victoria on the building exterior. Victoria, however, may have been wrong.

The viewpoint may not have been named for her, but for Isabella, the first wife of Robert Bruce, who preceded Victoria by some 550 years. and is said to have rested here on her travels. Another version of the story says that Isabella hid in the nearby woods, though from who or what is not clear.

Isabella was the daughter of Domhnall I, Earl of Mar, and the grand-daughter of Llywelyn the Great of Wales. She married Robert Bruce, 7th Earl of Carrick in the 1290s, long before he became Robert I of Scotland. The couple had one child, Marjorie, and Isabella died in the late 1290s.

Isabella was never crowned as Queen of Scotland (that honour fell to Robert Bruce's second wife Elizabeth de Burgh), so she shouldn't actually be referred to as 'queen' at all. So, was the viewpoint named for Isabella, or for a 'real' queen? We simply don't know.

The viewing platform, morning light
The viewing platform, morning light

Queen's View is part of Tay Forest Park, cared for by the Forestry Commission Scotland. The Commission provides numerous walking trails through the surrounding woodland. Just west of Queen's View is Allean Forest, where trails lead through lovely woodland offering excellent views of Loch Tummel. This is Perthshire's 'Big Tree Country', known for its tall trees and wonderfully scenic forest parks.

You can learn more about the woodland trails and what to see and do in Highland Perthshire in the Commission's visitor centre. Opposite the visitor centre, you will find a popular tea room and gift shop (seasonal opening).

There is a large pay and display parking area, though when we visited at sunrise on an autumn morning so that we ould take the photos accompanying this article we were pleased to find that the parking charges did not start until at least 9am. Please don't count on that always being the case, but it was true when we visited!

Looking south across Loch Tummel
Looking south across Loch Tummel

The viewpoint is roughly 200m from the car park and there is a very good paved path suitable for wheelchairs and prams. There is a wide viewing area protected by a wooden railing, and an information panel with a map identifying landmark features in the distance.

Queens View is about seven miles from Pitlochry, and the visitor car park is at grid reference NN864598. There is a bus service from Pitlochry to Queen's View, and the visitor centre is also a very popular spot for coach tours.

The best time of day to visit is definitely morning, when the sun is in the east, shedding light down the loch towards Glen Coe. In the afternoon the sun will be more in your face as you look down the loch, but the view will still be stunning!

Morning mist on Loch Tummel
Morning mist on Loch Tummel

About Queen's View
Address: Tay Forest Park, B8019, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland, PH16 5NR
Attraction Type: Countryside - Viewpoint
Location: On the north shore of Loch Tummel, on the B8019. Signposted off the A9 north of Pitlochry.
Website: Queen's View
Forestry Commission Scotland
Location map
OS: NN864598
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

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