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Unique Lochside Property In Former Astronomical Observatory



Updated: 01-Mar-2016
Holiday Home overlooking Loch Faskally, in Pitlochry, Scotland - In Two Acres Of Private Woodland, But Is Five Minutes Walk To The Shops And Pubs

A short walk from the centre of the busy highland town of Pitlochry, the house has an amazing main living space, three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a conservatory and kitchen. The property is on the edge of Loch Faskally and some of the best walking and mountain biking in the Highlands can be accessed without need for a car. Pitlochry itself provides restaurants, bars and a professional theatre.

  • Sleeps 8
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Pets considered
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

I discovered The Observatory when I came to write an article about it nearly twenty years ago. I was bewitched by the building, its location and its amazing history. In the intervening years, I have written hundreds of articles about property for The Sunday Times, the newspaper for which I mainly work, but nowhere else has moved me to consider a purchase. My children and I try to spend as much time as we can at The Observatory, but when we can't, we love to share it with others.

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Speaks English

Guestbook comments from the owner

This place has saved my sanity on several occasions over the last two years. Apart from being a unique building, it is perched on a tree-covered hillock looking out over Loch Faskally. If you've ever been dragged round the famous fish ladder you'll probably have parked barely a few hundred yards from The Observatory but you'll be forgiven for not noticing it as it's completely hidden from the 'day trippers'. In fact that's half the fun...

Kirsty Reagan, Edinburgh

Under strict instruction from the rest of the very happy campers to email and let you know that the 7 of us all had a fantastic weekend. We three girls arrived on Friday evening a couple of hours ahead of the boys and after sorting out all the food, etc, my friend Janet said to me 'Are you gonna light this fire then Sue?' So we opened a bottle of red and sat watching the stove come to life. We were a bit disappointed that your directions were so good that the boys found 'the Observatory' in the dark, no problem, and spoilt.
Jan 2013
  • 1 of 1

5 Reviews

based on 5 holidaymaker reviews


Easter weekend

  • 4 of 5

We had a lovely weekend. House is really quaint, but functional. Close to town centre, bars restaurants etc. The directions we were given were spot on and easy to follow. Even though the house is so close to town, you'd think you were in the middle of nowhere, it's that quite and peaceful.

  • Review Submitted: Mar 31, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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0 0

Fabulous house

  • 4 of 5

We spent a wonderful New year at the Observatory, a house full of character and history. Ideally situated in the centre of Pitlochry but with a real sense of privacy and seclusion. The house is very well equipped and has a wonderful wood burning stove much needed in the wild weather that we experienced! A great house for relaxing, celebrating and just enjoying!

  • Review Submitted: Jan 8, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Brilliant Weekend

  • 5 of 5

We had a brilliant weekend in the 'SHED'! A great venue for a family get-together with a HUGE main room & 3 bedrooms. Only 4 of us stayed the weekend with another 8 coming for a family celebration on the Sunday & everyone wished they could have stayed. The adults all fell in love with the setting & the quirkiness of the property & the cosy feeling the log burner gave. The children just loved the space & the outdoors & the games & DVDs which were provided!

The Observatory oozes charm & history. It is obviously a well-loved family home & we would all love it to be ours! & we do intend to return with everyone wanting to stay.

It is conveniently placed for walks in the country & for strolls up to the shops & the various hostelries in Pitlochry! No need to use a car with the train station only 5 minutes walk away. There's plenty to do to easily fill several weekends. It must be stunning all year round!

  • Review Submitted: Nov 15, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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2 0
East Yorkshire

Welcome break!

  • 5 of 5

We spent a wonderful week at Yeomans - despite the weather!!!

We had 4 generations staying at the house ( plus our dog) and it was equally suitable for everyone. We were in Pitlochry for a family wedding and the location of the house was perfect for everything we needed.

The house was warm, comfortable, homely and very well equipped. We would definitely stay there again.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 7, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Ipswich, Suffolk

A Truly Unique Experience

  • 4 of 5

We have stayed at the Observatory several times over the years but not since 2009. It was reassuring to find that nothing much had changed, except perhaps a new LCD TV and wireless internet! That is the timeless appeal of The Observatory, steeped as it is in its own unique history and situated imperiously atop its own wooded knoll above the serene Loch Faskally. Pitlochry is rightly a very popular tourist attraction and the short walk into town over the railway will reveal a thriving small-town hub that is frequently thronging with tourists from the world over. A short walk in the opposite direction and you are upon the famous Pilochry Dam, home of the equally famous Salmon Ladder.

Back at the Observatory and you can relax in the calm, untroubled solitude of the 'hut' knowing that, once you are rested and you have booted up, packed your daypack and selected your path, a vast array of scenic and challenging walks in the woodland, highlands and hills surrounding Pitlochry are right on your doorstep. I had hoped to visit Ben Vracki (the highest hill overlooking Pitlochry) but unfortunately the weather was not quite good enough but we did most of our other favoured treks, including the short 'excuse' for a walk up to the Edradour distilliary. My backpack seemed somewhat weightier on the return journey... Cheers!

Take the Observatory as you find it. It is a home from home for the owners and has the worn edges and corners that a place with this history and character has a right to. After a day exploring the surrounding landscape, light up the log fire to take the chill out of the evening, settle back with a good book and a wee dram of whisky, and toast the day. Splendid!

We shall return...

  • Review Submitted: Sep 18, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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From the Owner

The Highlands of Scotland are magical with their genuinely wild mountains, lochs and castles. The Observatory appeared to me as a microcosm of Arthur Ransome-esque magic from which my family and I could enjoy this natural playground. Rather more prosaically, it is also unbelievably easy to get to, from central Scotland, England and further afield. Indeed, its proximity to the railway station, and good local communications make car-free holidays a practical possibility. Pitlochry is close enough to reach on foot (even for the most sedentary) and yet seems a world away.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : Edinburgh at 70 Miles Nearest Barpub : McKays at 0.2 Miles Nearest Golf : Pitlochry Golf Club at 0.7 Miles Nearest Train : Pitlochry at 0.1 Miles Nearest Motorway : M9 at 53 Miles Nearest Restaurant : Auld Smiddy at 0.6 Miles Nearest Ski : Aviemore at 57 Miles Car: not necessary

Special interest holidays:

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is eight minutes' walk from the house, as is the Scottish Plant Collectors Garden. There are two distilleries in Pitlochry, both of which offer tours - ten minutes and a lovely 30 minutes walk from the house.


There are beaches on Loch Faskally and Loch Tummel from which people swim - although the water's temperature is as you might expect in the Scottish highlands.


Edinburgh and Dundee airports are both approximately 60 minutes drive away (the former is a large, international airport with hire car facilities etc). Pitlochry railway station, with direct services to London is under five minutes walk away. It is possible to holiday in at The Observatory car-free very easily. Cars can also be hired in Pitlochry. The town is on the A9, Scotland's main north-south trunk road.


Perth 26 miles, also direct rail connection

Stirling 60 miles, also direct rail connection

Aviemore 60 miles, also direct rail connection

Edinburgh, 70 miles, also direct rail connection

Glasgow, 84 miles, also direct rail connection

Invernes, 86 miles, also direct rail connection


Rental rates

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
Deposit required to secure booking, with balance payable one month before let commences.

Changeover Day:
Change over day is generally Saturday. Entry is after 4 pm, departure is by 10 am. Weekends and mid-weeks lets are available in the low season and I will be flexible about entry and exist dates when I can.

Notes on prices:
I will happily consider weekend and shorter terms lets outside the high season.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Updated: 01-Mar-2016
Available arrival
This property calendar has not been updated in the last 60 days. Contact the owner for latest availability.


From the Owner

There is enough magic about this extraordinarily unusual house that it is a delight to be there, even when the weather is inclement. In the bright sunlight, winter and summer, it is in the middle of a natural wonderland, but close enough to golf courses, the boat station, pubs and restaurants, that more 'civilized' pursuits are equally feasible.

Property Type

  • house


  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic


  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove ...


  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster


  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area


  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library


  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • pets considered

Location Type

  • lake
  • mountain
  • waterfront


  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • ski
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water tubing

Floor Area

  • 1400 sq. ft.


  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Bathroom with extra-long cast-iron bath and toilet. Separate shower room, which has its own toilet.


  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1
  • Bedroom 2
  • Bedroom 3
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 8 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Three double bedrooms, one with unique 'cathedral' ceiling.


  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • Veranda ...


  • Self-catering

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website


  • Notes on accommodation: This is a unique wooden property built by Professor George Forbes in 1906 and added to by Sir Robert Watson Watt (the inventor of Radar) after world war two. Now a comfortable, quirky, family home, it has all mod cons, a fabulously secluded position and easy accessibility to the rest of Scotland and beyond. Outside: The property stands in very private gardens, running to a shade under two acres. There is ample opportunity for tree-climbing, den making, hide and seek and barbecues. The garden overlooks Loch Faskally in which some hardy souls swim. There are also boats for hire. Utility Room: Broom, mop, cleaning necessities. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Towels and linen are included in the cost of each let. The house is cleaned at the end of each let.

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