I’m currently sitting in a beautiful house in rural Scotland overlooking sheep, hills and woodland – the perfect remedy to crazy London living. It’s a bit early to get outside, so I’m sorting out photographs from my last trip up here.
After our fabulous sculpture walk at Jupiter Artland, we piled in the car and drove north to Pitlochry, a pretty town on the cusp of the Highlands. Matt and I had visited a few times in our pre-children days to walk, and we’d been wondering if we could get the children to climb the local mountain – Ben y Vrackie.
The weather dawned dry and warm, but extremely cloudy. We couldn’t see the peak, but we decided to give it a go because we knew the approach was lovely and there were alternative routes we could follow if the path upwards looked a bit iffy. As soon as we left the little car park, we found ourselves in peaceful woodland gently climbing towards the hill.
We had to spent quite some time at a little wooden bridge while the children performed Three Billy Goats Gruff at length!
But soon we were walking again. As we came out of the trees, we were surrounded by flowers, ferns and bushes – it was so pretty.
Soon we were out in the heather moorland and the views opened up. Despite the heavy, low cloud we could still see for miles.
As usual, the children bounded off ahead while Matt and I chatted about our route options. The clouds didn’t look like they were doing to lift, so we started planning an alternative route to the mountain. Just before the path steepened for the final climb to the summit, a smaller path branched off around a loch so we decided to head for that.
But before we had a chance to stop them, the children started the climb! They are like mountain goats and sprung up the steep path. We had lots of comments from other hill walkers who seemed quite surprised by how young they were – we were very proud!
It took a while, but eventually we made it to the top where we posed by the cairn surrounded by clouds! Their first Scottish Corbett – only 221 to go till we’ve bagged them all!
It was pretty chilly and windy up top, so we decided to head down to find a more sheltered picnic spot.
With Loch a’ Choire coming into view, we set that as our lunch target and continued down.
We were certainly ready for food by the time we’d reached the shore! We rested on some boulders for a while before following the path around its perimeter.
Rather than retrace our steps, we followed an alternative path through the moorland. I love the muted colours of the heather and bracken.
Soon we were heading back down towards the woodland and our B&B, Atholl Villa.
It was a wonderful walk – it makes me so happy that we are able to go on full day walks as a family now.
It was a short but refreshing trip to Pitlochry. We enjoyed a sunset wander around the town, including a trip to the famous fish ladder and dam.
With an evening flight home the next day, we still had time for a bit more fun. We were up bright and early to visit the gorgeous Dunkeld Hermitage. We were amongst the first people to arrive, so we felt like we were the only people there. We felt tiny amongst the giant Douglas fir trees.
Alex found time for a spot of flossing (!) and there was plenty of chasing amid the trees and boulders.
The sound of the river got louder and louder as we neared the Black Linn Falls. We spent ages in the little folly at Ossian’s Hall looking at the rushing water.
Before I close this post, there are a few more photos to share from our trip north of the border. I spent a day in Edinburgh with the kids before Matt was able to join us. We revisted the Camera Obscura as the kids as they’d enjoyed it so much the last time we’d visited. As with our last trip, my favourite bit were the fabulous views from the roof top terrace
And, of course, the children loved the illusion exhibits on the floors below.
To close, the main reason we were visiting the area was to see my grandparents who are both celebrating their 90th birthdays this year. I am so grateful my pair have got to know their great grandparents 🙂