Photographs Aberfeldy Distillery
Rent a Self Catering Cottage in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland.
was in 1787 that Robert Burns penned his famous invitation to
" Come let us spend the lichtsome days in the Birks of Aberfeldie."
Accept the offer of Scotland's National Poet and you too will
experience the unspoiled beauty of this spectacular part of Perthshire.
visitor to Aberfeldy should walk across the famous Aberfeldy 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. The work was completed in 9 months using clorite
schist from a local quarry. onstruction of the bridge was supervised
by General Wade and carried out by soldiers employed as labourers.
Wade considered his bridge at Aberfeldy to be his greatest accomplishment.
Prior to the construction of the bridge, the river was crossed
by a ferry. Thus, the motto of the seal of the Burgh - "
Swift and often goes the boat of Aberfeldy. "
you will also find the Aberfeldy 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. In 1739 King George II authorised the companies be formed
into a regiment of foot, "the men to be natives of that country,
and none other to be taken". That same year they held their
first regimental parade on the banks of the River Tay at Aberfeldy,
on what is now part of the Golf course. The monument takes the
form of a massive cairn surmounted by the statue of Private Farquhar
Shaw dressed in the original uniform of the regiment.
original golf course was created on the site of two of the town's
grazing areas. It was opened on July 5th, 1895, by Lady Currie
of Garth and redesigned in the 1920'2 by James Braid. The golf
course is now extended on the north bank of the river, to the
scene of the first muster of the Black Watch. Access to the north
bank is by the world's first fibreglass bridge, erected in 1992.
The course, which is just a few minutes walk from the town centre,
has eighteen holes and splendid views of the River Tay and surrounding
hills. Angling is also renowned around Aberfeldy. And wonderful
walks are plentiful.
The Birks of Aberfeldy, a wooded den surrounding the Falls of
Moness, has been maintained as a scenic walk for almost 200 years,
first by the Moness Estate, and now by the District Council. It
was visited by Robert Burns on August 30th, 1787, inspring him
to write the " The Birks of Aberfeldy " describing the
beauty of the area.
The present Aberfeldy Water mill, situated on Mill Brae, was
built in 1825 in the form of a two-storey, stone rubble structure
of L-shaped plan, with brick and wooden additions. The kiln
has a pyramidal roof and an unusual shaped ventilator. The mill
is driven by an eight-spoked overshot wood and iron wheel. The
Forbes family of Camserney were the original owners, followed
by McKerchar and McNaughton of Aberfeldy. The Water Mill was
completely restored in 1987 by Tom Rogers, a miller from Cupar
in Fife, and is now open to the public.
is a long tradition of illicit distilling in the Aberfeldy area,
but the present legal distillery was established on its present
site in 1898, and lies just to the east of Aberfeldy overlooking
the River Tay.
Aberfeldy Gallery established in 1981 as a showcase
for the work of local artists and craftsmen. Since that time the
Gallery has become well known for the high quality of artwork
on display and artists from all over the country are now regular
exhibitors. Increasing demands for the paintings, sculptures and
pottery ensures a steady turnover of work and a constantly changing
Gallery concentrates on original artwork and shows paintings of
both a traditional and contemporary nature. The space is divided
into 3 galleries with Gallery 1 showing traditional watercolours,
some superb "Raku" figures, pottery, furniture and decorative
wood pieces hand turned from native trees. Gallery 2 shows contemporary
paintings in watercolour and acrylic together with sculpture carved
from Scottish marble, both abstract and realist in nature. Gallery
3 has just opened and contains a fine show of oil paintings, photography
and new items of pottery. There is therefore something for everyone.
Weem village, just north of Aberfeldy, existed as long ago as
1235, pre-dating Aberfeldy by about 500 years. The ancient village
was previously known as Bail-a-Chlalchain nan Uamh ( Kirktoun
or Churchtown of Weem. ) The village was a centre of religious
and economic importance. The Weem Hotel, a historic Inn, is said
to date back to 1527. This was more than likely the base for General
Wade during the 1733 construction of the bridge at Aberfeldy.
The old church dates from around 1510 and was a place of worship
until 1839 when it became the mauseleum of the Menzies family.
of Weem lies the historic Castle Menzies waiting to welcome you.
From the fourteenth century the lands around Weem were part of
the extensive possessions of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies and it
was here in 1488 that following the destruction by the fire of
the Menzies stronghold, Comrie Castle, the ruins of a later replacement
of which are 4 miles west of Weem It became the seat of the cadet
branch, Sir Robert Menzies built a new mansion, the "Place
Aberfeldy there are two gardens open to the public; one nearby
in Bolfracks, noted for its flowering bulbs and stream garden,
and another at Cluny House which is a beautiful woodland garden.
The Bolfracks estate used to belong to the Stewarts of Atholl,
then passed to the Menzies family and subsequently became Breadalbane
property in 1808. It is now a private residence but the gardens
are open to the public from may to September. Behind the house
is an old burial ground of the Menzies family.
The district around Aberfeldy is rich in natural heritage and
folklore, typified by the thatched cottages of Fortingall. Look
out for the 3000 year old yew tree in the churchyard. The pre-reformation
church was pulled down in 1901 and totally rebuilt. Inside the
church is a rare Celtic bell, characterised by its lack of a clapper.
This bell would have been rung by being struck from the outside.
The famous Yew Tree still stands in the churchyard and is known
to be 3,000 years old - the oldest piece of growing vegatation
in Europe. In 1886, Sir Donald Currie commissioned the architect
James Maclaren to rebuild the village. Maclaren and his partnership
designed the the thatched cottages, the hotel, the two farmhouses,
several estate buildings and the enlarged Glen Lyon House. Fortingall
is a village of great beauty and architectural interest. At Fortingall
you will also be at the mouth of Glen Lyon, the longest enclosed
glen in Scotland. Some of Perthshire's finest scenery can be captured
here. So don't forget your camera !
Simply called "The Glen " by locals, Glen Lyon ( Glen
of Polished Water ) is often proudly proclaimed as the most beautiful
glen in the whole of Scotland. It was known in ancient times as
Gleann Fasach - The Deserted Glen, and by the first Scots as Glelann
Cam Clachan - The Crooked Glen of Stones. Later it became known
as Gleann Abhainn Dubh - Glen of the Black River. Up the glen,
at Bridge of Balgie stands the mighty Ben Lawers, Perthshire's
highest and most fascinating mountain, home to a world-beating
selection of alpine flowers. The magnificent mountain overlooks
Scotland's largest loch, Loch Tay, on whose eastern shores lies
the picturesque village of Kenmore.
It is at Kenmore where you can enjoy unrivalled views of Loch
Tay. The location of Kenmore, the point at which the river leaves
the loch, has always been of importance as a ferry crossing. The
ferry was known as the Cobil Croft (Boat Croft), operated by a
boatman who also cultivated a small plot of land to make ends
meet. Kenmore Church was built in 1759 and the village as it appears
today was laid out in the 18th century by the 3rd Earl of Breadalbane.
of the main entrances to Taymouth Castle estate, the West Gateway,
was built in 1857 and leads directly off the Kenmore village square.
The Estate dates back thousands of years, while the castle was
originally built in the 1500's and demlolished in 1806 to make
way for the present structure. The grounds were landscaped throughout
the ages. The Taymouth Castle Golf Course was designed by the
famous James Braid and laid out throughout the parkland. The second
course in the area, Kenmore Golf Course, was opened in 1992 on
converted farmland by the banks of the silvery Tay. The mildly
undulating fields, the natural mounds with mature Scots Pine and
the ditch and dyke boundaries allow the layout to follow and utilise
the natural features.
Scottish Crannog Centre is situated at Croft-na-Caber just south
of Kenmore. Crannogs are artificially created or modified islands,
the earliest of which dates back some 5,000 years. Crannogs provided
safe havens from wild animals and human enemies, whilst also acting
as refuges for friendly travellers as well as providing for the
ability to control waterways and trade routes. The Scottish Crannog
Centre features an authentic replica of an early Iron Age crannog
based on the underwater excavations of the 2,500 year old "Oakbank
Crannog" located off the village of Fearnan.
There is a very fine stone circle at Croftmoraig, on the Aberfeldy
road 3 miles to the east of the town. It is one of the most complete
groups of standing-stones in Perthshire.
Robert Burns, 1787
Now simmer blinks on flowery 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!
you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized
small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me: