A Long Way to Pitkirtly

As some people reading will know already, I’m working on book 25 in my Pitkirtly Mysteries series. Although I’m generally happy with the Pitkirtlyworld I’ve created in my previous novels, I’ve been wondering for a while whether I should take the characters away on holiday for a change. Book 25 isn’t actually much of a holiday for them, as things turn out, but at least some of them are having a change of scenery and some characters are currently staying at a guesthouse and others at a self-catering cottage somewhere around Loch Rannoch.

Some aspects of this area make it more challenging for the characters and therefore more fun to write about.

There is little or no public transport except by arrangement, especially between Kinloch Rannoch, the nearest village, and Rannoch Station (https://www.kinlochrannoch.com/rannoch-station/) on the West Highland line where something like 4 trains a day stop.

Walking along the road can be dangerous as there aren’t generally any pavements and sometimes no grass verges, and the roads themselves tend to be narrow with passing places.

Off-road walking usually means going up and down hill a lot.

There is no mobile signal for miles around, and in some places you can’t get access to the internet or even a good television signal.

If your car breaks down, all the above issues can become very much more pressing than before.

Of course this area isn’t completely unique in not having very much public transport available, and in fact I was very surprised to find a similar situation when I visited Rye, in Sussex, a few years ago and wanted to visit an outlying village from there.

However, in my experience the scenery around Loch Rannoch and the opportunities for great walks in the woods (see https://www.rannochandtummel.co.uk/Black-Wood-of-Rannoch) and on the moor make up for the rest, especially if you’ve got your own reliable transport, when it’s fun to drive on the mostly quiet rural roads.

The picture below shows the river Tummel at Pitlochry – not Pitkirtly, though some people might find the similar names confusing.

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