Dunkeld Accommodation Guide - quality accommodation in Dunkeld for holiday or business travel. Scotlands Dunkeld accommodation options include hotels, lodges, guest houses, camping, bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation including holiday homes and apartment rentals. Whatever your Scottish Dunkeld accommodation requirements we will help you find the right place.
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Dunkeld and Birnam are two small neighbouring towns of great character, situated on opposite banks of the River Tay twelve miles north of Perth, amidst some of the finest woodlands in Scotland. The name Dunkeld comes from the Gaelic for "the fort in the wood".
Places to stay in and around Dunkeld
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Bed & Breakfast - Guesthouse
Self Catering and Cottages
Camping Caravan Hostel
Welcome to Dunkeld Scotland
The name Dunkeld comes from the Gaelic for "the fort in the wood". Dunkeld became the religious centre of Scotland when St Columba's relics were moved here from Iona for safe keeping from increasing Viking raids.
Dunkeld was proclaimed the first ecclesiastical capital of Scotland by Scotland's first king, Kenneth MacAlpin, and the majestic ruin of the cathedral dominates the town. The Atholl Memorial fountain at the centre of The Cross in Dunkeld was erected in 1866 in memory of the 6th Duke of Atholl. Dunkeld Cathedral stands on lawns that sweep down to the River Tay and houses the tomb of the notorious 'Wolf of Badenoch'.
National Trust owns the brightly coloured 'little houses' of Dunkeld were built in the early 1700s and the Ell Shop featuring the original 'ell' measure, just over a metre long, used for measuring cloth.
A riverside path provides excellent views of Thomas Telford's Dunkeld Bridge.
On the outskirts of Dunkeld, the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve is home to breeding osprey. 'Big Tree Country' is all around, and Dunkeld and Birnam have an excellent local walks network covering 36 miles of waymarked paths.
Accommodation in and around Dunkeld
Price Guide - per person based on sharing room: under $40 - $41 - 70 - more than $70
Dunkeld's fortunes up to 1560 were closely linked with those of the Cathedral it served: so the destruction wrought by the Reformation that year was a huge setback for the village as well. It also robbed the village of a bridge over the River Tay, planned at the time, following years of promises by the Bishops.
The Perth Arms in High Street
However, little of what you see today in Dunkeld is earlier than 1689. The accession of William and Mary to the throne of Scotland in March 1689 (see our Historical Timeline) was followed in July by the first of a series of Jacobite uprisings. The Jacobites defeated Government forces at Killiecrankie, a few miles north of Dunkeld, in July: though with the loss of their leader, Viscount Dundee.
The remains of the Government forces retreated to Dunkeld where by mid-August they totalled around 1000 men, including reinforcements from the Cameronian Regiment who had marched from Doune near Stirling.
At first light on 21 August 1689 they were attacked by 4000 Jacobites. For sixteen hours the battle raged through the village from house to house. By 11pm the remaining Government forces, now confined to defensive positions around the Cathedral, were on the verge of defeat when the Jacobites withdrew. This was not the end of the first Jacobite uprising, but it was the beginning of the end of it. Only three houses in the village had not been destroyed in the fighting.
Dunkeld did eventually gain a bridge linking it with Birnam on the far side of the River Tay. This was in 1809, when the ubiquitous Thomas Telford produced the solid seven arched structure that is still used today.
Today's Dunkeld is a lovely village of largely whitewashed shops, cottages and hotels. A great deal of work was done in the 1950s and 1960s by the National Trust for Scotland and the Local Authority to restore many of the older buildings in Cathedral Street and around the Cross. The results amply repay the effort. A highlight at the junction of Cathedral Street is the Ell House. This takes its name from the measure on its outside wall of the length of an "Ell", a length of 39 inches used as a reference for market trading. The Ell House is now the National Trust shop in Dunkeld. The nearby broadening of the road, known as The Cross, is home to the Atholl Memorial Fountain.
The main road, Bridge Street, extends from the bridge at one end through the built up area of the village, running in effect from the strikingly white Atholl Arms Hotel overlooking the bridge to the equally strikingly white Royal Dunkeld Hotel. This street is lined with a fascinating collection of shops, and about half way along it intersects High Street, leading to The Cross and the Cathedral beyond.