This itinerary travels north from the fairly unremarkable regional town of Perth, up the A9, the main road that winds through Perthshire’s leafy rolling hills to the barren beauty of the Highlands around Aviemore. Trains run the length of the route, making the trip possible by public transport.
A good first stop is the pretty little village of Dunkeld, with its attractive collection of minor historic sites and peaceful air. A short distance north is the small town of Pitlochry, a popular regional pit-stop that’s close to the nearby gorge of Killiecrankie, which is ideal for a pleasant stroll.
Both Dunkeld and Pitlochry have reasonable pubs and cafes, but the each has a great deli, too (Robert Menzies and The Scottish Deli respectively). Both are ideal for picnic items or a bowl of homemade soup.
After lunch, pass through the increasingly wild and barren scenery to the Highland gateway town of Aviemore. En route you can stop off to mountain bike on excellent custom built trails at Laggan Wolftrax, visit the Highland Wildlife Park or go for an easy walk around Loch an Eilean.
Restaurants line Aviemore’s main street, but the best option for eating, drinking and various goings-on is tucked away by the river: the Old Bridge Inn.