Scotland Flag

Aberfeldy >  Google™ Map  Perth and Kinross Coat of Arms

Scotland Flag UK > Scotland > Perth and Kinross

Jun 2015

Perth and Kinross Coat of Arms

If you're of a similar, leisurely, outdoorsy persuasion then you'll probably already know about the Birks of Aberfeldy, an old Scots word for birch trees, of course, but more on that in a minute.

Parking is available off Moness Terrace where you can stay longer than the permitted hour in the main square. You'll end up there anywhere and it's where you'll find the Habitat Café.

This really was rather good with an excellent and extensive menu for a light lunch, or more, and the  best coffee in Perthshire, probably.

That wasn't good enough, however, for one cowardly, online commentator a while back and this goes way beyond bad reviews. Their username was presumably... 'the_jerk_of_aberfeldy'.

Yeah! Take that you troll! You don't want to be messing with this pair on this here, erm, wireless.

The recently restored and reopened  Birks Cinema is just around the corner. It's run by a community group and the Art Deco building is not all about the films, they've coffee and cake and host other special events and conventions.

One particular favourite is Star Trek where members of the audience come dressed as their favourite characters... the 'Captain Kirks' of Aberfeldy.

It's thought it can be seen where this one is going?

The old watermill used to do just that, grinding grains for the local Dewar's distillery.

It ran for over 150 years until 1983 and a couple of renovations later sees it in its current guise, an award-winning bookshop, art gallery, café and 'design-led homeware' since 2005,  they say.

The wheel supposedly still works and provides the power for the froth on your frappé, they also say.

Opened, rather randomly, by  Michael Palin, no less, there are regular exhibitions in the gallery and amongst the books, there's a small section stocking CDs and sheet music. The homeware's in the barn next door where you can buy a rug or a gadget for the kitchen. Hey! Them pineapples won't core themselves.

All of this is just behind the high street and if you've trouble finding it, head to the main square and Checheks restaurant where you can just ask one of the... 'Turks' of Aberfeldy.

OK, the restaurant's actually 'Persian & Mediterranean' but a commitment has been made and that's close enough?

  Dewar's Distillery

Guided tours and a visitor centre for those fond of a drop of uisge unless you're the designated driver when it doesn't sound like half as good an afternoon out.

This is looking west along Bank Street and those distant hills are nearly 15 miles away by flying crow.

It's presumed to be Ben Lawers, a near-4,000 footer that's as big as the mountains come round these parts. It's the main attraction on a horseshoe ridge where seven  Munros can be  bagged in one go just not today, eh?

Ben Lawers was started off up once but the rain kicked in, just before the wobblies, probably, and yes, that'll be the old vertigo. You can still drive nearly a quarter up it but the small visitor centre's long gone and they've since moved the car park.

Speaking of parking your car, there looks to be a bit of wealth here and cocking a snoop at the local driveways, a lot of large, German saloons... the 'Mercs' of Aberfeldy.

  Checheks Restaurant (The Square)

Fed up with 'neeps and tatties'? Try 'ten eastern dips at' Checheks? Aw man, that anagram so nearly worked, just needed that extra 'r'.

Head south along Crieff Road and past the old Town Hall until, at last, the  Birks of Aberfeldy.

Now, here's a confession, this is becoming a bit of a struggle. The staff at the bank and the cast of Birds of a Feather nearly got a made up mention for goodness's sakes. Yes, the 'Clerks' and the 'Quirkes' of Aberfeldy.

It's just a two-and-a-half mile  walk up a steep gorge to a waterfall and back. A tip, though, go up the left-hand side where handrails will help you up the hairier bits and the views on the opposite, gentler slope back are supposedly better.

This place was popularised in a 1787  poem of the same name by  Robert Burns, no less, who's celebrated in bronze on a bench by the Urlar Burn.

His penchant for romantic prose make his words all just a wee bit twee e.g. 'The little birdies blythely sing...' not to mention several mentions of 'Bonnie lassie's.

There's some graffiti on a bench, just as you start on the way back down from the waterfall. Lyrically, the style is a little grittier, urban even, but the subject matter is timeless.

With a little bit of work, this could easily be adapted as a modernised, extended sixth verse...

'Hae did whit tae hae an' whin' ... In the Birks of Aberfeldy.'

Yes, lovely spot this. Just one of... the 'Perks' of Aberfeldy.