Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Newton Bridge, Amulree

Newton Bridge is a very popular stopping point for walkers or picnics. The River Almond flows under the bridge giving the area a peaceful serenity before carrying on down through the Sma' Glen.
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Monday, 26 February 2007

Loch Tay

A few bright spells today, just long enough to get this photo of Loch Tay and Ben Lawers. This photo was taken from just off the Kenmore to Amulree road.

Glen Lyon

A dull Sunday afternoon but Glen Lyon never ceases to be breathtaking. Glen Lyon is one of Scotland's most beautiful glens. It starts at Fortingall and runs for some 20 miles to Cashlie. Over the journey it changes dramatically in character. At its base the River Lyon has cut a deep gorge known as MacGregor's leap. It gets its name from an outlaw member of the MacGregor clan, who is said to have escaped justice by leaping the falls. Watch out for the ruined stone bridge, which dates back to the late 18th century, on the opposite bank

The Glen is packed with history. It is infamous for having been the home of John Cambell of Glen Lyon - responsible for the Glen Coe massacre. You will also find close to Fortingall, the remnants of an early camp, said to be of Roman origin. Local fables and the writings of the medieval historian Holnished suggest that this was the birth place of Pontius Pilate. In the grounds of Fortingall Church you will see the remains of what is perhaps Europe's oldest tree. It is not much to look at today, but in the 18th century it was found to have a circumference of 54 feet. In the field opposite the Church is a standing stone which commemorates the medieval plague in which the whole village perished save one old woman. Some of the grave stones in the Churchyard tell their own stories.

Further up the glen is the Bridge of Balgie Post Office and tea room which is a good stop off point before heading up over the pass to Ben Lawers. Glen Lyon is a must for photographers of all levels and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful you will find in Scotland.

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Sunday, 25 February 2007

Fairtrade in Aberfeldy

The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.

For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Mark it must meet international Fairtrade standards. These standards are set by the international certification body Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO).

Producer organisations that supply Fairtrade products are inspected and certified by FLO. They receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects.

Many businesses in Aberfeldy, use Fairtrade products whenever possible. In November 2002 Aberfeldy became the first Fairtrade Town in Scotland. The voluntary Aberfeldy Tradecraft Group are participating in Fairtrade Fortnight from 26 February 2007 – 11 March 2007. Literature relating to Fairtrade will be available at many places in the town and on 10 March they will be holding a carnival day. The list of events can be seen by clicking on the link below -

Fairtrade Carnival Aberfeldy

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Grandtully St Mary’s Church

Another place worth visiting if you are in the Aberfeldy area is, St Mary's Church at Grandtully. A long, low, sixteenth century church, with a finely painted wooden ceiling illustrating heraldic and symbolic subjects, added in the 1630s.

Logierait Church

On the way, to, or from, Aberfeldy, the Church at Logierait, Perthshire, Scotland, is always worth a visit. The church was founded by St Cedd around 650. Cedd was a missionary of the Celtic church of Iona. Alexander Mackenzie, was born in Logierait Parish, and was the second Prime Minister of Canada from November 7, 1873 to October 9, 1878. He was buried in the family grave in Logierait Church Yard. The headstone on the wall of the church, was erected by his widow and children many years later.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Road To Aberfeldy

Approaching Aberfeldy from the South on a beautiful day in February 2007.

The Quaich

The Quaich (from the Gaelic word "cuach") has a rich heritage in Scotland - indeed, they are a uniquely Scottish invention. A traditional Scottish drinking vessel to offer a guest a cup of welcome and also as a farewell drink, usually a dram of whisky. Travellers were known to carry a quaich with them. With this welcoming meaning in mind my wife and I named our coffee shop in Aberfeldy "The Quaich".

Traditionally made of wood, it is a shallow circular-drinking vessel for whisky, with a pair of small lug handles projecting horizontally from opposite sides of the rim. The lugs, though functional, are of a unique carved style giving the quaich much of its special character.

Quaichmaking was a highly regarded profession in 17th century Scotland. Quaichmakers probably made all sorts of wooden eating and drinking vessels, but took the name of their profession from their best work, much as workers in silver and gold called themselves goldsmiths.

The Quaich in 1745 travelled with the Scottish Army in Bonnie Prince Charlie's canteen. Its bottom was made of glass so that the drinker could keep watch on his companions. A more romantic Quaich had a double glass bottom in which was kept a lock of hair, so that the owner could drink to his lady love; and in 1589 King James VI of Scotland gave Anne of Norway a Quaich or "Loving Cup" as a wedding gift.

In more recent times, the Quaich has been used as a favour at many Scottish weddings, being presented to all at the top table. A symbol of the shared love and partnership between their hosts. Also at christenings (in Kilmuir in Scotland, there is a wooden quaich which was formerly used as a baptismal font, thus the quaich has become a traditional baptismal gift), or even births, to drink the health of a bairn and to share the love and celebration of that new life.

It has a special place in the heart of all who know something of its history and is a prized possession of many people who have an association with Scotland. And will always be remembered in its traditional use as a visitor's welcome or farewell cup by proud clan chiefs, worthy merchants or humble crofters, and in this, the quaich has kept its simple but beautiful shape and friendly purpose.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Loch Kinardochy

A winter view of Loch Kinardochy, a small hill loch, which lies in a shallow basin set high in the hills between Aberfeldy and Kinloch Rannoch. Loch Kinardochy Images.

Schiehallion Mountain

Schiehallion Mountain from the South.

Schiehallion Mountain

Located a few miles to the North of Aberfeldy is one of Scotland's most famous mountains. Schiehallion Mountain, meaning either, the Seat of the Caledonian Fairies, or the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians, is one of the most romantic and interesting mountains in all of Scotland. On the east side of the mountain lies the Maiden's Well, where on the first of May, the girls from local villages would dance and drink to bring health and good fortune for the year to come. Schiehallion also has place in scientific history, as it was on its slopes that an attempt was made to measure the mass of the earth using the displacement of a pendulum, Nevil Maskelyneby the then Astronomer-Royal, Nevil Maskelyne. Schiehallion Mountain was chosen for this purpose due to its isolation and conical shape. Coincidentally, many calculations to work out the absolute geographical centre of Scotland arrive at spots very close to this hill. Among those helping Maskelyne was William Mason who invented the contour line. Mason gave his name to the Mason-Dixon Line which marked the boundary of the northern and southern states of America. Tour Scotland.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Loch Tay Boat Song

Download Loch Tay Boat Song.

Old Aberfeldy

Haggarts of Aberfeldy

P & J Haggarts was established in 1801 and since then has been producing estate quality tweeds which are most suitable for making country clothing for women and men. Haggarts have a wide range of outdoor wear and country clothing for every occasion. During each of the last 100 years the firm has been the proud possessor of Royal Warrants granted by members of the Royal Family, and currently from H.M. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Haggarts of Aberfeldy.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

The Birks of Aberfeldy

“The Birks of Aberfeldy” by Robert Burns

Robert Burns wrote this ballad in late August 1787, during a visit to the Birks of Aberfeldy, then known as the Den of Moness. Legend has it that Burns wrote the song after resting in a natural seat on the rock, just at the side of the Birks. This natural seat is well-known and a plaque now exists at the exact spot where Burns was inspired to write the ballad.

Now simmer blinks on flow'ry braes,
And o'er the crystal streamlet plays,
Come, let us spend the lightsome days
In the birks of Aberfeldie!

Bonnie lassie, will ye go,
will ye go, will ye go,
Bonnie lassie, will ye go
To the birks of Aberfeldie?

The little birdies blithely sing,
While o'er their heads the hazels hing;
Or lightly flit on wanton wing
In the birks of Aberfeldie!

The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
The foaming stream, deep-roaring, fa's,
O'er-hung wi'fragrant spreading shaws,
The birks of Aberfeldie.

The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi'flowers,
White o'er the linns the burnie pours,
And, rising, weets wi' misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldie.

Let Fortune's gifts at random flee,
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me,
Supremely blest wi' love and thee
In the birks of Aberfeldie.

Robert Burns Biography

Friday, 9 February 2007

The Black Watch

The Black Watch was formed at Aberfeldy in Perthshire in the early eighteenth century as an independent security force, or 'watch', to guard the approaches to the lawless areas of the Scottish Highlands. Instantly recognisable due to the famous red hackle cap badge and the traditional dark blue and green government tartan kilt from which it got its name, The Black Watch was renowned as one of the great fighting regiments of the British Army. Black Watch Books.

Castle Menzies near Aberfeldy

A spectacular sixteenth century castle, restored by the Menzies Clan Society welcomes visitors. Seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 400 years. Castle Menzies Video.

Kenmore Hotel

Scotland's Oldest Inn was established on the 3rd of November 1572, with the "model" village, of Kenmore being built around the hotel from 1760. Find The Best Deals.

Old Kenmore

For long the area of influence for the Campbells of Breadalbane, the area around Loch Tay was subject to their improvements to the land and also their clearance of many people from the area in the nineteenth century. Old Kenmore.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Magnificent Scottish Bridge

The magnificent bridge that General Wade constructed over the River Tay at Aberfeldy. The Bridge has five arches and is four hundred feet across. It was completed in 1735 for horse-drawn traffic, but, as you can see, it is still in use today.

Aberfeldy Area Events

The Wind in the Willows. 25th of March 2007. Scottish Crannog Centre, Kenmore, 10am to 4pm. Launching our new programme of Rural Skills Workshops, learn how to put ideas into practice using willow and hazel rods. Make a basket, short hurdle for the garden, or an ornamental feature. Includes all materials and you get to keep your handiwork! No experience required. Booking Essential. Scottish Crannog Centre.

Aberfeldy Area Events

Grandtully White Water Races. 3 - 4 March 2007. Racing down a measured section of the River Tay. Stanley to Thistlebrig on Saturday, at 12noon; and Grandtully on Sunday, at 11am. Canoe Scotland.

Aberfeldy Maps

This map is part of the Ordnance Survey's Explorer series designed to replace the old Pathfinder map series. At 1:25,000 scale this detailed map shows a host of Aberfeldy area attractions including gardens which are open to the public, nature reserves and country parks as well as all official footpaths, bridleways, roads and lanes. Aberfeldy Maps.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Aberfeldy Golf Club

Aberfeldy Golf Club is an eighteen hole parkland course located in the heartland of Scotland with dramatic views of the Perthshire countryside. Aberfeldy Golf Club. Golf Scotland.

Aberfeldy Bridge

Every visitor to Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland, should walk across its famous bridge, which provided the vital crossing of the River Tay for General Wade's network of military roads. The bridge was constructed in 1733 to the design of architect William Adam, father of the more famous Robert Adam.

Loch Tay Boat Song

Loch Tay Boat Song

When I've done my work of day,
And I row my boat away,
Doon the waters of Loch Tay,
As the evening light is fading
And I look upon Ben Lawers
Where the after glory glows;
And I think on two bright eyes
And the melting mouth below.

She's my beauteous nighean ruadh,
She's my joy and sorrow too;
And although she is untrue,
Well I cannot live without her,
For my heart's a boat in tow,
And I'd give the world to know
Why she means to let me go,
As I sing horee horo.

Nighean ruadh, your lovely hair
Has more glamour I declare
Than all the tresses rare
'tween Killin and Aberfeldy.
Be they lint white, brown or gold,
Be they blacker than the sloe,
They are worth no more to me
Than the melting flake of snow.

Her eyes are like the gleam
O' the sunlight on the stream;
And the songs the fairies sing
Seem like songs she sings at milking.
But my heart is full of woe,
For last night she bade me go
And the tears begin to flow,
As I sing horee, horo.

She's my beauteous nighean ruadh,
She's my joy and sorrow too
And although she is untrue,
Well I cannot live without her.
For my heart's a boat in tow
And I'd give the world to know,
Why she means to let me go
As I sing horee horo.

Download Scottish Music

Aberfeldy Black Watch

By the Aberfeldy Bridge you will find the Black Watch memorial commemorating the raising of the world famous regiment. In the wake of the 1715 Scottish rebellion, companies of trustworthy Highlanders were raised from loyal clans. They became known as the Black Watch for the watch they kept on the Highlands and from their dark government tartan.