Situated 14 miles north of Perth
off the A9,
Perth to Inverness road.
The present Medieval Cathedral, part of which remains in use as the the church of the local community, is the site used by Celtic missionaries, known as Culdees, in 570 A.D., built then as a wattle monastery this was rebuilt in stone in 848 A.D. by Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots (the King who united the Picts and Scots into one nation).
Some of the original red stones may be seen in the east gable of the choir.
The Cathedral is dedicated to St Columba, whose name means "dove". Tradition has it that his relics, brought from Iona by Kenneth MacAlpin for fear of desecration by marauding Norsemen, were buried under the chancel steps.
The existing Cathedral was built in several stages over 200 years between 1260 and 1501 and is of Gothic and Norman style.
Although the Cathedral has a turbulent history, the Cathedral and grounds are the most peaceful and tranquil of places I have ever come across.
On the south side of Dunkeld Bridge, a seven arched bridge (and its tollhouse) built by Thomas Telford in 1809, over the River Tay, is the Victorian village of Birnam. Both town and village, surrounded by thickly wooded hills, are well worth exploring being steeped in history.
On a final note, Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggywinkle, of Beatrix Potter fame, are very much at home here and are honoured with a special garden - The Beatrix Potter Garden. Beatrix Potter drew inspiration from childhood holidays spent along the banks of the River Tay and is reputed to have written "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" on one of her trips here.
This page alone cannot do Dunkeld and Birnam and the surrounding area full justice, if you can, do visit.