Helen Rose Outdoors
In the heart of Scotland with real hospitality, clear sparkling air, beautiful scenery, rich clan history, fine food, plenty of space and lots to see and do. Pitlochry is primarily a holiday destination, which caters for the holiday maker year round in its own special way. The people are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful as it has been a tourist destination for well over 150 years, counting Queen Victoria amongst its earlier visitors. Pitlochry is set in spectacular scenery and is ideally located for touring Highland Perthshire or further afield with Edinburgh 75 minutes to the south, St Andrews 90 minutes to the south east, Loch Ness 95 minutes to the north and Braemar and Royal Deeside 90 minutes to the north east.
The walking club http://www.meetup.com/Glasgow-HF-Outdoor-Club/ arranged a weekend of low level walks there in April. The daffodils were out and the area had a lovely Spring feel. This is a good time to go to the Highlands before the midge season starts. Midges are the bane of walkers’ lives. They have very shallow biting jaws, attacks are confined to bare skin. They don't bite through cloth and they home in on their prey by detecting the higher than normal levels of the carbon dioxide that we exhale, although it's unlikely you'll be able to hold your breath for the entire length of the walk. They are tiny and hang about in very large groups. They don’t like smoke so it is ideal to sit beside a smoker on walks or bring a BBQ! Anyway we did two walks over the weekend and stayed at a hotel, a change from the hostels of the past!
The first day was a walk through Glen Tilt from Old Bridge of Tilt beyond Blair Atholl as a circular walk as far as Marble Lodge which sounds very grand but is just a pretty cottage. The last time I was in Glen Tilt was to bag some Munros behind it and we arranged a lift on the coal lorry as we were carrying full packs to spend a night in the Tarf bothy. This time it was pleasant as a group to walk up the path in Glen Tilt in good weather with our usual refreshment stops for morning tea and lunch. There were good paths all the way and we followed the River Tilt up the glen. We crossed old stone footbridges and after leaving the forest we were looking up to the hills such as Carn a’Chlamain.. There was a short diversion to view the Falls of Fender which can be seen vaguely through the trees, some of the water is diverted to a small hydro scheme. The trees are silver birch. There were also views over to Blair Atholl Castle famous for the Atholl Highlanders, a Scottish ceremonial infantry regiment. The regiment is not part of the British Army but is in the private employ of the Duke of Atholl, and based in Blair Atholl, where it serves as a tourist attraction. Although it has no military role, and is made up of around 80 friends and estate workers, it has been called the United Kingdom's, or Europe's, only "private army" recognized by the law.
The following day we walked from Pitlochry to Moulin and through the forestry. We continued on under the A9 road bridge, an eerie feeling with the traffic thundering overhead. Unfortunately, the weather was wet but we were not deterred and eventually reached Killiecrankie where the Visitors Centre Manager kindly let us eat our packed lunch indoors. The Pass of Killiecrankie is a magnificent wooded gorge with the River Garry flowing along its base. The Battle of Killiecrankie, the major event in the first of the Jacobite uprisings, was fought nearby. The Visitor Centre, on the east side of the Pass, tells both the story of the rich natural history of the Pass and the story of the battle.On 27 July 1689 the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful gorge was shattered when the first shots in the Jacobite cause were fired. One soldier escaped by making a spectacular jump across the River Garry at the spot now known as Soldier's Leap. It had stopped raining so we continued the walk towards Pitlochry. Due to the recent heavy rainfall some bridges had been washed away and we had a short diversion on the road. We walked around Loch Faskally, a very pleasant way to Pitlochry where some visited the teashops!
That evening was party night in the hotel and most of the group hit the dance floor, literally speaking! A very enjoyable weekend in good company in a comfortable hotel. All thanks to the organisation of Stephen which we much appreciated.
Coming attractions; Jersey, Isle of May and Mèze.
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