Cottage and local amenities around Perthshire
The cottage at Moulinalmond really is a stressed-out
city dweller's dream. Imagine opening the blinds and curtains in the morning
to see a manicured lawn, formal Victorian garden, dozens of specimen trees,
a few sheep or cattle, and... that's it! No neighbours. No buildings.
Nothing but acres of fresh air, gardens and spectacular landscape. This
is Perthshire at its best, and because you're self catering you can sleep
late, shop even later (a 24 hours Tesco is a 7 minute drive away !) and
just totally de-stress and unwind.
Perth is the very heart of Scotland, and the
joy of a stay in this cottage is that you have both the cities and the
glorious Perthshire countryside at your doorstep. Why is Perth so special?
Moulinalmond Cottage owners, Syd and Katie House, give their own personal
view of this part of the world and why they decided to come and live here:
'Perthshire offers much of the best of Scotland in terms of Highland and
Lowland landscape: wonderful woodlands and lochs, bustling little country
towns with their mix of gentry and farmers, outdoors enthusiasts, and
incomers from the cities bringing with them new ideas and vitality. Add
into this country mansions and historic castles , and then there is Perth
itself, the county town, with its own distinct history and feel.You can
easily lose a day and a night here exploring the small shops, walking
by the river, or visiting the theatre in the evening.
Then there's the rest of Scotland before you
if you want to go and visit. Edinburgh and St. Andrews - 45 mins away;
Glasgow 1hour 15 mins; Aberdeen - 1 and a half hours; Inverness and Dumfries
- 2 hours. For the active visitor, well, you can take your pick. Golf,
walking, cycling, fishing and other outdoor activities abound close-by.
Gardeners can visit some of the most beautiful country house gardens and
designed landscapes in the country whilst the National Trust for Scotland
look after some of Scotland's finest countryside and beauty spots in Perthshire.
For golfers there is a huge choice of courses in the surrounding area
- as you would expect in the homeland of golf - and Gleneagles is only
a 15 minute drive away. Although you can play many of the great course
at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Blairgowrie, much of the attraction of golf
in this part of the world is in playing the many country courses where,
like as not, you will end up chatting to the locals over a drink in the
bar or maybe even be invited into a round to make up the numbers. Taymouth
Castle, ancestral home of the Earls of Breadalbane is a personal favourite
along with Crieff, and Pitlcochry and the lovely little 9-hole course at
Comrie. Come in spring when the curlews and black grouse play around the
fringes of the muir and heather. (see www.perthshire.co.uk for more information
on the excellent weekly golf tickets available at very reasonable prices
as well as the leaflet guide to local courses)
WALKING & CYCLING
Walkers are spoilt for choice with something for everyone in the walking
stakes. For serious hikers there are numerous 'Munros' (mountains over
3000 feet high are called 'Munros' in Scotland) including Schiehallion,
where the principle of contours for mapping heights was worked out, and
Ben Lawers, with its rare alpine flowers. There are long distance routes
following old drove trails such as the Cateran Trail around Blairgowrie,
and over the hills to Crieff. Perhaps one of Perthshire's best walking
assets created in recent years has been the establishment of path networks
around some of the Highland towns and villages, mainly through woodland
and along riversides. The networks around Dunkeld and Birnam, Crieff and
Comrie, and Pitlochry offer some wonderful walking for all abilities especially
in spring and autumn when the colours are either fresh after breaking
out of hibernation or golden read and yellow as the leaves change colour
for the winter. There are many other areas to walk such as the Tay Forest
Park or in the woods and glens of the historic Atholl Estate. Walking
festivals are common in autumn and pubs and restaurants are beginning
to cater more and more for this type of market.
Cyclists have a number of excellent places to
cycle too. There are even long distance routes passing through the village!
In fact you can cycle to Inverness on a long distance route if you feel
so inclined. Perhaps the best fun is to be had cycling in the Forestry
Commission's forests in the Tay Forest Park. Cyclists are weclome to use
the forest roads with the considerable benfit of having to compete with
no other traffic (apart from the odd 40 tonnes timber truck!). There are
of course plenty of lovely country roads to explore as well if you don't
mind the odd steep climb.
GARDENS and GARDENERS
Perthshire has become a bit of a hotspot for horticulturalists in recent
years. If you are into trees (and we are) there is the 'Perthshire: Big
Tree Country' intiative which promotes the numerous historic tree and
woodland sites around Perthshire. The oldest, the tallest, the widest
trees in Europe all live here! Recent new developments include the Scottish
Plant Collectors Garden at Pitlochry which tells the story of the many
Scots plant hunters who went to exotic places in search of new plants,
many of which now feature prominently in every suburban garden. There
are currently plans to have a showcase 'Scotland's Garden' on the outskirts
of Perth telling the story of gardens and gardening in Scotland.