North of the Tay valley, Perthshire doesn’t discard its lush richness immediately, but there are clear indications of the more rugged, barren influences of the Highlands proper. The principal settlements of Pitlochry and Blair Atholl, both just off the A9, are separated by the narrow gorge of Killiecrankie, a crucial strategic spot in times past for anyone seeking to control movement of cattle or armies from the Highlands to the Lowlands. Greater rewards, however, are to be found further from the main drag, most notably in the winding westward road along the shores of Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch past the distinctive peak of Schiehallion, which eventually leads to the remote wilderness of Rannoch Moor.

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