Scotland: Crannogs, Forests, and Whisky, Oh My

From St. Andrews, we headed north, delving further into the countryside, aka the land of beautiful scenery and abundant sheep. Arriving in the evening, we made ourselves cozy in Kenmore, which was the tiniest of towns. In fact, it appeared to pretty much consist of our hotel, a post office, a church, and Loch Tay (the lake that the town sits perched on the edge of).

The next morning we began bright and early and set out on a jam-packed day. Before heading out, I snapped a few v. casual pics from what was basically the backyard of our hotel. I mean, not pretty at all, right?? Ho hum!

Our first stop of the day was the Scottish Crannog Centre, which was a short walk around Loch Tay from our hotel. Crannogs are basically large huts out on stilts over the water, used as dwelling places by prehistoric Scots. They are roomier than you might think inside, though it’s still hard to imagine living inside a hut with 19 other people, plus animals, but minus bathrooms and electricity.

Our next stop was the Hermitage, a National Trust-protected forest. We made a long loop through the park, stopping at Black Linn Falls and various other points of interest. The forest is also filled with several very tall Douglas firs – they were striking! In fact, the whole park in general was seriously gorgeous. Nature, man!

Around lunchtime, we headed to the town of Dunkeld. We stopped first at the Dunkeld Cathedral, which dates back to the 14th century, NBD. It’s perched alongside the River Tay and is (naturally) home to yet more stunning scenery.

From the cathedral, we walked through the town, which was small but charming (nearly every building had lovely flower pots hanging off it). We grabbed lunch at Howie’s, then did some shopping in town before heading on.

In the afternoon, it was time for a whisky tasting at Dewar’s in Aberfeldy. We began by trying a single malt, aged 12 years, with notes of heather, honey, vanilla, and citrus (allegedly; my whisky tasting palate is not the most refined, so I had to take Dewar’s word for it). I am not a whisky fan by any means, but … when in Scotland! After our tasting, we also took a short tour through the distillery, learning about the whisky making process from start to finish.

As though the crannogs and whisky and scenery hadn’t been Scottish enough, we ended the day back at our hotel with entertainment from a local bagpiper. It was Scottish overload, and I loved every minute.

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