I decided to take up an offer on one of these internet voucher schemes that landed in my Inbox a couple of months ago, and booked a couple of nights in a holiday cottage on the outskirts of the pretty Perthshire village of Aberfeldy. Things had been weighing heavily on my brain for a bit so I saw this as a chance to get away just for a short time and relax.
The weather was continuing hot and sunny so it was lovely on the first morning to feel a cooler air, just right for walking round the woodland path up one side of the gorge and down the other, a trail called The Birks of Aberfeldy. Birks are Scottish birch trees, and it was Robert Burns’ poem The Birks of Aberfeldy that gave the former Den of Moness its new name, and its fame! He had enjoyed the walk himself in the 18th century and was moved to write about it. However it isn’t just birch trees you find as you cross the wee bridges over river and burn (stream), and follow the river upstream, but other varieties of native trees, beech, oak, elder, rowan, alder, etc., and wildflowers too. Various birds flitted and called to accompany the sounds of the water down in the gorge, rippling and tumbling over rocks. Because of the hot dry weather we had been having there wasn’t a lot of water in the falls. I’d love to see them when there was plenty of water in them! The path was well worn, but in parts had to revert to stone steps or decking, because of erosion along the banks. Well, there have been plenty of feet treading the path over the last few hundred years, including those of this wee guy who was running in front of me for a while, before deciding to change tack and head back towards me again.
He ambled along towards me, passed me, and then disappeared into the grass and bracken. So cute! I didn’t think of seeing a hedgehog in broad daylight. Normally I think they only come out at dusk. I remember years ago one came to my kitchen door each evening in the hopes of having a feast from the cat’s bowl.
Further up there were more waterfalls to be crossed, before reaching the top of the path, crossing the wooden bridge over the upper falls (below}, and beginning to descend the reasonably gentle slope down on the other side. .
This is the bridge over the highest fall where you can look down at the head of the fall and watch the water flowing away from you and begin to tumble downwards There weren’t so many views of the river or falls on this side, unfortunately
but all of a sudden you get to a point where the trees don’t crowd together and there in front of you is the hill called Ben Vrackie and you know that Aberfeldy is in the dip behind the green hill in the foreground. As you can see the sun came out and it was getting hotter. I would be glad to get back to the cottage, and the swimming pool in the hotel complex, where I planned to stay for most of the afternoon! Soon the car park was just ahead and my car sitting in the shade under the trees. I read on a sign somewhere that the walk was about 3 miles. If it was then I feel quite proud of myself! Hips and knees coped with the uphills and downhills, and the swim, well, the laze around ) afterwards helped to relax tired muscles. Just a couple more photos today before I go – some of the wild flowers I encountered on route.
Yes, I know that was three, rather than a couple, but I did want to get these in somewhere!
Talk again soon.