As our regular guests will tell you, one of the great joys of Dunkeld House life is enjoying a glass of wine, or a whisky, or even a cup of tea, on the terrace on a sunny day. The peace and tranquillity and the sense of seclusion, with just the river for company is a total delight. It’s no wonder that the 7th Duke of Atholl chose this spot to build his summer house in 1897.
However, it is his predecessors, known as the “Planting Dukes” that made the grounds of the estate famous. Between 1738 and 1830 some 27 million conifers were planted on the estate and surrounding hills. Today, you can see the Parent Larch, planted as a seedling 250 years ago, just to the west of Dunkeld Cathedral, on the hotel grounds and still standing tall.
We also boast the Douglas Fir with the biggest girth in the UK and the tallest Red Fir, as well as a Giant Redwood from the first batch imported into the UK. From time to time, you might come across a member of the iCONic project out around the grounds. This project was established to help save some of the world’s most threatened conifers by collecting seeds and creating safe-havens for young trees in the forests, gardens and estates of Perthshire, Big Tree Country. We have had a number of new plantings on the estate over the last few years.
Today, the grounds are managed by our estate team of just 3, who are kept very busy. From time to time, specialist help has to be brought in. Following significant storm damage to trees on the estate in 2013, not only did a team of local volunteers come and help us clear the initial damage, we also had specialist tree surgeons come in to make the damaged trees safe and able to thrive for many more years to come.
But don’t just take our word for it. Next time you visit the hotel, ask at Reception for a map of the Estate which shows you all of our famous trees. And, of course, remember to take time to enjoy some time on the terrace, by the silvery Tay.