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October 3rd 1866

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The Queen’s View

It was five years since Prince Albert had died; Queen Victoria was still in mourning but again she returned to Scotland remembering the happy times she had had with “dear Albert” . Earlier in the day she had gazed upon Taymouth Castle (see July 16th). She returned to Aberfeldy and crossed the Wade Bridge.

“Soon after this we turned down the hill again into woods and came to Tummel Bridge where we changed horses. Here were a few, but very few people who I think from what Brown and Grant, who as usual were in attendance, said, recognised us but behaved extremely well and did not come near. This was at twenty minutes to four. We then turned as it were homewards, and drove along the side of Loch Tummel, high above the loch, through birch wood which grow along the hills. It is only three miles long. Here it was again very clear and bright. At the end of the loch on a highish point called after me ‘The Queen’s View’ though I had not been there in 1844, we got out and took tea. But this was a long and unsuccessful business; the fire would not burn and the kettle would not boil. At length Brown ran off to a cottage and returned after some little while with a can full of hot water, but it was not longer boiling when it arrived and the tea was not good. Then all had to be packed and it made us very late.

It was fast growing dark. We passed Alleine, Sir Robert Colquhoun’s place, almost immediately after this and then at about half past six changed horses at the Bridge of Garry, near or rather in the midst of Killiecrankie; but from the lateness of the hour and the dullness of the evening, for it was raining, we could hardly see anything” .

Poor Queen Victoria’s visit to the Queen’s View was somewhat unfortunate. Today she would have no problems with tea or picnic snacks, though she might well complain about the lack of solitude. The site is now looked after by the Forestry Commission and boasts a viewing platform and a visitor centre.

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