We are thrilled to share our first guest blog with you! Ally is one of our most loyal guests and we were so delighted to receive this first piece from him following a post we put up on our Facebook page on 25th February 2020. We are looking forward to seeing more from Ally over the coming months.
Fearnan by Loch Tay: My Place of Calm
Alexander Whytock o’ Blairgowrie
Blog #1 – An Introduction
Perthshire is truly the heart of Scotland. Textured by multi-hued fields, rolling hills, woodlands and forests of towering trees, deep valleys, bright lochs and majestic mountains, Perthshire presents a rich and luscious tapestry through which thread the great rivers and roads that provide the lifeblood of Scotland. As a Perthshire person, still living in Perthshire, I am obviously biased, yet having travelled the world and visited many fabulous cultures and epic places, my heart still yearns for Perthshire and in particular, Loch Tay, and to be specific Fearnan. I will admit that I am a relatively recent visitor to Loch Tay. In 2014, a work colleague posted on social media a photograph viewing from one of the Shoreside homes, Ben Lawers, looking onto and westerly along the loch. I was captivated and booked a summer week. Since then we have been recurring visitors, perhaps three times per year, allowing us to savour the changing seasons, captivated by the beauty, the wildlife and soothing recovery from the demands of modern life. Travelling from Blairgowrie to Dunkeld, you take in fields of raspberries, cereals and bright yellow Brassicaceae before crossing the Tay at Dunkeld; this won’t be the first crossing. Motoring up the A9 you experience the gradual change from Lowland to Highland Perthshire. Turning off at Ballinluig you must visit the Highland Chocolatier and taste some inspiring deliciousness. Following the Tay, which has now become a tumbling rumbling cascade, you approach Aberfeldy, allowing an opportunity for your passengers to savour a taste of uisge beatha or auqa vitae from Aberfeldy Distillery i.e. single malt whisky. Still travelling upstream, the road follows the twists and turns of the river, you arrive at Aberfeldy, an important town providing a place of refreshment and refuelling given at several eateries, taverns and inns, each of unique and individual characteristic matching a wide range of choice. Following the road straight through the town, you embark on the penultimate leg leading to Kenmore. The road, hugging the tree lined river, undulates and to the right provides glimpses of distant mountains and side valleys. Passing several farms and Victorian lodges you ascend and descend to the end of Loch Tay, having reached Kenmore. The glimpses become a glorious view of soft green hills dipping into the dark yet reflective Loch Tay, all contextualised by the rising Ben Lawers range, and perhaps, at many times of the year, snow tipped, with a background of blue sky. Kenmore, a small village with a big heart, grew into a Victorian resort and spa, providing a relief for the weary Victorian traveller. Petite white terraced cottages pave the way to a splendidly welcoming village square, backing onto the start of the River Tay. Crossing a beautiful Wade Bridge, the gateway to the Loch, you begin the end of your journey, the last couple of miles to Fearnan. With tree lined hills to the right and the loch to the left, you again pass tree bordered windows onto the loch, until you arrive at Fearnan, where it is here you are presented with, in my humble opinion, one of the loveliest views in Scotland, looking out and west along Loch Tay. Here my heart begins to soar as I breath the air, smell the nature and hear the gentle lapping of the loch against the wooden pier. Here I find peace, rekindle my spirit and relax. A week of gentle contemplation, listening to the owls and spotting the Osprey.