We made some great discoveries on our last road trip in Scotland. We were elated when, driving down a quiet countryside road overgrown with trees, we spotted not one but …. two very special RED squirrels. This was such a rare spotting due to the larger pesky grey squirrel. We pulled off to get a better look at these speedy squirrels who seemed to be just as curious about us. We watched one squirrel standup in the middle of the road to investigate who was approaching his territory. Just as I raised my camera he darted off as if high on caffeine!
We also discovered another beautiful Scottish farm shop called Gloagburn Farm Shop. This place was a foodies treasure trove of fresh farm produce and homemade products. We couldn’t help but try the home made apple and bramble pie and melt in your mouth chocolate brownie. This fits our new saying of – Well why wouldn’t ya!!! These desserts tasted as good as they looked. We ended our time at the farm shop by strolling through the animal farmyard.
Next we explored the quaint town of Pitlochry. Just a short stroll from the town centre we headed down to the river to the dam wall to view the man made salmon run. When it is salmon season you can view the salmon as they make their journey back up stream. We continued on a walking circuit acrossing the river Tummel via a picturesque bridge where I spotted a large fish, maybe salmon splashing about in the cool waters below us. It was a little late in the season for salmon. It must be a spectacular sight watching them.
At the end of a nice day we arrived at our new accommodation 20 minutes drive from Pitlochry in Aberfeldy. We would describe our lovely Scottish hosts in Pitlochry as a couple who could be nominated for an award entitled- True Hearts of Scotland! This was a short but memorable stay which was a little unique for us as it was more like a Bed and Breakfast stay. We are so used to self catering but here we were greeted by our host Irene who treated us to an afternoon tea of her prize winning scones and marmalade with her adorable grandsons in toe. On leaving, Irene gave me a copy of her very charming children’s story that she had written, illustrated and published called, Grandma Nelly Tales from Jam – Jar Land. Irene also shows off her creative talent in her pencil shaving artwork which is for sale.
We had a great time chatting with Irene and her husband Euan. Euan told us about his adventures of being a game keeper and he told us his story of how now in retirement he has become a proud banjo maker. We enjoyed learning about these handmade beauties which are for sale. Euan was so chuffed when the famous Billy Connolly came to their house for a jam session which was made into a documentary and Billy Connolly purchased one of his handmade banjos. Now that is one to add to a bucket list.
Our main reason for staying in Pitlochry was to go to the Enchanted Forest – Of the Wild – Light Spectacular which runs for a month. This is a very popular event in this region. We had purchased our tickets around April around 6 months ahead as they sell out. It was pricey costing us about 20 pounds each. We said good night to our hosts and headed out for a great night out, but not really knowing what to expect. Once in Pitlochry we parked and joined the excited queue of people to be bussed into the park. The bus ride which was included in our ticket cost, was very organised and efficiently run. Once on board the bus we listened to a safety talk on keeping to the path at night. It was hosted by a sweet Scottish child which was comical as she made emphasis on walking not running which children find hard to do.
Once off the bus we arrived in the Enchanted Forest at night which was like a wonderland. Seeing a forest lit up at night is really magical. We were met by a tall talking tree which set the scene for all the wows that followed. The colours and shadows made so many parts of the forest come to life. There was so much more detail in the creases and branches of every tree. The forest was definitely alive in a way we had never seen before.
It had been raining and the forest had a sweet pine smell. The reflections on the lake were truly magical. This was topped off by images reflecting like a TV screen through a water fountain. This was so well done it looked like the images of squirrels, deer and salmon were jumping in mid air.
The food was fabulous. We enjoyed mulled wine and wood fired pizza whilst watching the forest lights change their moods around us.
We ended our night by standing on a platform over looking the forest whilst we listened to a recording of a Scottish orchestra whilst at the same time we watched the forest dance and come alive to the tunes of different instrumental music. It was well worth the money as we have never been to anything quite so magical. Just a feast for the senses. If you are a nature lover it is truly spectacular. The Enchanted Forest light spectacular is so popular that at the end of October the tickets for next year’s event will go on sale.
The next morning we were spoiled by Irene our host cooking breakfast for us. It felt like we were visiting my mum having her fuss over us. This was a nice homely experience. Rob shared Irene’s love of coffee but Irene could easily drink Rob under the table when it came to coffee.
Our last day on Scottish soil was spent admiring a 5000 year old tree in Aberfeldy. This yew tree is said to be, most possibly the oldest living thing on Earth!!!!
In the 7th century a church was built in Fortingall next to an ancient yew tree. Long before Christianity this tree was known as the tree of eternity. Sadly souvenir hunters carved away at parts of the tree trunk so a wall had to be built around this ancient treasure in order to protect it.
This was a beautiful drive as it was also home to many colourful pheasants who share the farm lands with grazing cattle.
On our journey to catch the ferry across to Ireland we stopped at the falls of Dochart. An area where water plummeted down causing such powerful rapids. This was the last treasure we discovered before completing our glorious time in Scotland.