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Tour Bruar
A Description of The Scenery of Dunkeld
& of Blair in Atholl Printed in London 1823

Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry PH18 5SG, Scotland. There are few more imposing sights in the Scottish Highlands than the superb façade and highland grandeur of the Atholl Arms Hotel in Blair Atholl. Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.

It is unnecessary to do much more than merely to mention the falls of the Bruar. These are invariably visited, even by those who often enquire for nothing else at Blair; and it has rather been the object of this book to point out those places which had been comparatively over-looked, or which have remained unnoticed and unknown.


He who visits the Bruar, turns his back on the beauties of Blair; nor is it long before he finds himself on the verge of an uninteresting country; this spot being the last effort at orna-ment, as well as the last specimen of picturesque scenery, that occurs before entering on the dreary and endless moors of Dalnacardoch and Dalwhinnie. It is therefore more striking to those who arrive from the north, and who, be-numbed by the iteration of barren rudeness, for which there is neither grandeur nor novelty to atone, hail it, like an Oasis in the desert; as the untameable and unhappy landsman, whom a whole Atlantic has not reconciled to heavy lurches, narrow births, bilge water, and the bucket, thinks no landscape so captivating as the barren rocks of Scully or the wild cliffs of the Lizard. Those on whose recollections the pre-vious images of all that Blair and all that its neighbourhood contain, are still vibrating, must let down the tone of their expectations, if they would extract from it all the pleasure it can afford.

An examination of the cascades of the Bruar is rendered, not only very commodious, but pleasing, independently of their own interest, by the numerous walks and plantations which surround them, and by the convenient seats that not only mark the principal points of view, but offer an occasional repose, which the length and steepness of the paths render not unacceptable. Of the three falls, the middle is the principal in dimensions. The slaty character of the rocks, broken into innumerable small parts, and therefore deficient in breadth of manner does not form a very favourable boundary to the falling water; and here also we miss that profusion of varied and rich ornament which at-tends the different scenes formerly noticed; the tangling shrub, the impending tree, the grey trunk or withered branch bending across the stream, and all the profusion of fern, arid grass; and rush, and moss, which add so much of beauty to similar spats throughout this country. ..... Amid these dark and solemn woods, or under the wild and wide spreading branches of some ancient pine, over-shadowing the ground with its solid masses of gloomy foliage, the cascade, like other objects, receives a new character. Among these silent forests, where an unvarying, twilight, sobriety of colour, seems to ever reign, where not even a bird is seen to flit among the branches, the bright lake no longer enlivens the surrounding scenery, but receives, itself, a gloom, which it reflects but to double that in which all is alike involved. Even the brilliant azure of the sky is unable to give these half-wintry scenes the gaiety which it confers on all else; partaking of the cold and more than chastened colouring and lights, on which, no less than on the broad unvarying uniformity of tint, the solemn repose of this class of landscape depends.

Thus a day is coming when the cascades of the Bruar will acquire a distinction of character which they have not yet gained; and when, independently of their own interest, they will possess the merit of being utterly distinct from all the other examples of waterfalls in which this country abounds........Those who have read the works of our native poet, Burns, (and who has not?) need riot be told that the suggestion which produced these scenes, is supposed to have originated with him. We need not, enquire too minutely into the truth of this opinion; but we need only, look round on Dunkeld, as well as on Blair, to be convinced, that the person who executed the improvements of the Bruar, could not have been much in want of such a suggestion.

Still, where there is much to be done, something may easily be overlooked; while familiarity will often blind the eyes of a proprietor to that which arrests the attention of a stranger; who may thus be of use, just as the critical spectator is to that painting on which tbe.eye of its own artist has dwelt too long. It is thus that even the Author of these pages has imagined improvements on the scenes, both of Dunkeld and Blair; though conscious, at the same time, that it is no more easy to impress a proprietor with the same anticipations, than it is, in the moral world, to produce uniformity of thinking among mankind.

But it is necessary to take leave of the falls of Bruar; and I need only add, that those who would see these cascades in perfection, must chuse the season of rain, if a choice is allowed them. The Bruar owes much to its water: it can scarcely possess too much; and will not bear to mourn its fountains dry.

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