Hotel in Pitlochry

Winter Words 2014

Winter Words is celebrating its tenth birthday this year and there is a stellar cast of contributors, and content, to choose from at Scotland’s leading festival of the written and spoken word.  Running from Friday 14 until Saturday 22 February, with the main focus at the weekends, you will be spoilt for choice.  There are some familiar themes laced through the festival, including Scottish history and culture, our wonderful wildernesses and rural life, but there are some events with very quirky twists!

The programme of illustrated talks covers a very wide variety of topics from living with dementia (Sally Magnusson’s reflections on caring for her late mother), the wives of 19th century polar explorers (Kari Herbert) and a history of the Vikings (Neil Oliver), to the challenges of a mountaineering career (Sir Chris Bonington), being a district nurse in the 1960s (Jane Yeadon) and our connection to the past through Caledonian pine forests (Clifton Bain).

Winter Words 2014 also includes a three day writing workshop, with Festival regular Zoe Venditozzi, aimed at aspiring authors and including discussions, editing, pitching to publishers and a one-to-one tutorial to examine the writer’s work in progress.

Eddie Small will be offering a workshop where you can learn how to write about your own family history (or someone else’s!) and you can even knit your own favourite bits of Scotland with Ruth Bailey and Jackie Holt!

An evening with broadcaster Lesley Riddoch is designed to incite discussion and debate on how things in Scotland need to change, whether independent or strongly devolved and there are five gourmet Literary lunches to whet your appetite, with topics embracing Beatrix Potter, Scottish fruit & vegetables and recent books by Kenneth Steven, Eddie Small and Alan Brown.

Ticket prices vary and you can book events on 01796-484626 or  

The Steamie / It's a Wonderful Life

Pitlochry Festival Theatre this year will extend its season through the autumn and in to the winter with a production of an all-time Scottish favourite - The Steamie. The play has already made appearances at Pitlochry twice before. The last time out was a decade ago in 2003 when the production was a smash hit. This time, play will run from October 24th every day until November 17th - with performances often twice a day. Coinciding with Highland Perthshire's Amber Festival as well as The Enchanted Forest, Pitlochry's Autumn production is a must see when you are in the area. The play by Tony Roper is set in that great Victorian institution, the Steamie. It's Hogmanay and four women are getting their heavy loads of washing done in time for the bells. The quartet provide a hilarious window in to life in 1950s Glasgow. The laugh-a-minute comedy will provide the perfect antidote as the nights draw in!

Pitlochry Festival Theatre are also staging a Christmas musical this year after the huge success of last year's White Christmas. From 29th November until 22nd December, the Scottish Premiere of It's a Wonderful Life will grace the stage at PFT. This new musical by Thomas Sharkey promises to be hugely popular - make sure you get your tickets early...

2013 has been an exciting year at PFT - the theatre continues to provide year-round entertainment but 2013 is proving that the appetite for live theatre here continues to grow year on year and it is fantastic to see that live productions will continue almost without break from Spring until Christmas. A round of applause for that!

The Enchanted Forest

Don't worry, Summer is not yet over, although it is worth keeping one eye on the upcoming Autumn season. For Pitlochry, the highlight in recent years has been the remarkable success of The Enchanted Forest, a light and music show based in Faskally Woods by Pitlochry. Since its inception, The show has been an incredible success, with sell out audiences again expected this year. In fact, in 2013, The Enchanted Forest tickets have been selling 4 times faster than last year - an incredible statistic given the phenomenal success of the last few years meant that the exhibition received numerous awards from local and national governing bodies for being the event of the year. Indeed although there have been 30,000 tickets released for sale this year the expectation is that these will be completely sold out and thus it is a requirement that you book early in order to avoid disappointment. This year, the show is entitled 'Absorb' and has been designed by Scottish lighting designer Kate Bonney and sound designer RJ McConnell. A specially commissioned orchestral piece by composer John Beales will also be included in the set.

We would be delighted to welcome you to The Pine Trees Hotel during your trip to see The Enchanted Forest this year. With buses taking you to the site directly from Pitlochry, we are in an ideal location for you to enjoy Scottish Autumn colours like you have never seen them before... Book your tickets now at 

Horse Trials

The Blair Castle Barclays International Horse Trials and Country Fair will be taking place next week from 22nd-25th August, 2013. As always this event is set to attract thousands of spectators and many world-class competitors to the region. For Equestrian Eventing, the horse trials at Blair Atholl remain one of the premier competitions in the calendar, given that competitors in the 3-star category are once again set to compete in the beautiful grounds of Blair Castle. This year, one of the jumps on the Cross Country course has come from London 2012 - look out for it!

As a spectator you can watch world-class dressage, show jumping as well as a technical cross-country event. During the competition you can also browse the stalls and food-tents or just savour the atmosphere. Numerous activities such as the dog-agility course and falconry demonstrations are also always popular.

2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the Blair Castle Horse Trials and this year it will be the last 'warm-up' event before the European Championships in Malmo, so a number of high-profile athletes will be competing in order to be in peak condition for Sweden.

Blair Atholl is situated just North of Pitlochry and the event is easily within reach of the Pine Trees Hotel. We always look forward to the weekend and the great atmosphere that it brings to the region - come and sample sporting excellence right here in Highland Perthshire!

Play Review: Present Laughter

I went to see Noel Coward's Present Laughter at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Saturday night and can fully recommend the play to our guests. Theatre goers of all ages will enjoy this production. Mark Elstob as lead character Gary Essendine is hilarious with his postulating and general sensitivity to adversity.  Joseph Mann puts in an unnervingly convincing performance as the eccentric young writer Roland Maule. As always the set and costumes are wonderful and the laughs continued all the way to curtain call with the actors remaining in character in their reaction to the applause.

The audience loved the jokes and this was certainly Pitlochry Festival Theatre on form. Here at the Pine Trees we are always delighted to host theatre enthusiasts. Contact us for more information about Pitlochry Theatre Breaks.

Production information: Present Laughter
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, June 8-October 16
Noel Coward

John Durnin

Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Cast includes:
Mark Elstob, Irene Allan, Karen Fishwick, Martine McMenemy, Jill Myers, Jacqueline Dutoit, Joseph Mann, Dougal Lee, Simon Donaldson, Carl Patrick

Running time:
2hrs 40mins