David McNicoll of Highland Experience USA, is back again to give us more baby boomer travel advice on visiting Scotland. Today, he’s introducing us to an active trip exploring Highland Perthshire. All I can say after reading the article is “I want to go!”
The celebrated Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott once said of his native land that the most beautiful part was Perthshire – and who are we to disagree? This large county occupies the middle of Scotland, centered on the basin of the broad River Tay: a world where the arable farmland of the Lowlands meets the majestic mountains of the Highlands. Picturesque villages are sprinkled through a patchwork of fields; and in the north, a myriad of lochs and rivers shimmer amid lofty peaks, dark forest and purple moorland. The county town of Perth was once capital of the kingdom; while Gaelic speaking clansmen paid undying loyalty to be-castled chiefs in the hills —a clash of cultures that would see battles fought and history forged.
Highland Perthshire makes up two thirds of Scotland and is an area that combines outstanding natural beauty with a rich heritage. Baby boomers will find it is easily accessible from Edinburgh or Glasgow, both by public transport or car. There is regular train and bus service from the bigger cities of the Central Belt, and most of the mini-coach tour companies make trips here. If you are driving yourself then the whole area opens up. Exploring some of the hidden gems such as the Black Wood of Rannoch or Glenlyon can be a truly wonderful experience. There are also many quaint villages, such as Aberfeldy or Pitlochry, to use as a base for more boomer exploring.
As well as fantastic scenery, there are numerous places to get off the road and do some walking – both low level and hiking: Dunkeld, Blair Atholl and Kenmore offer the best locations for this. There is also a well developed network of cycle paths, off-road vehicle safaris and opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife watching. While all that sounds very energetic, Highland Perthshire is a place where you feel instantly relaxed, with many places to enjoy some peace and quiet. Perhaps you’d prefer to have a whisky or a beer while you do your relaxing? The area boasts three distilleries, all of which offer tours, including Scotland’s smallest: Edradour. There are a couple of micro-breweries and most towns have friendly pubs full of charm and character.
Baby boomer history fans will be spoiled by a plethora of choices. Blair Castle, seat of the Dukes of Atholl, sits in the small village of Blair Atholl, and dates back over 700 years. It is one of the best castles in Scotland to look around, with countless exquisite rooms to wander around at your leisure. The grounds are pretty impressive too; including an arboretum and Hercules, a perfectly preserved Georgian planned garden. Twenty miles further south is Dunkeld: a stunning village nestling on the banks of the Tay, surrounded by wooded hills. The town, is home to a 700 year old Cathedral church and charming streets, built in 1689 following a famous Jacobite battle.
All over the region, history and scenery combine with a deep cultural heritage; from the standing stones of Croft Moraig to the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. Accommodation options are plentiful too. Enjoy luxury at the 5-star Dunkeld House hotel, stay in a B&B and hear about the area first-hand from the locals, or find relaxation by staying in a self-catering Highland lodge. Why not create your own baby boomer trip to Highland Perthshire, see what you want to see and enjoy this wonderful corner of Scotland?
All photos courtesy David McNicoll
This is not a paid or sponsored post. David offered solid information about visiting Highland Perthshire that we thought our baby boomer readers would enjoy.