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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Birks of Aberfeldie

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.

birks pathThe 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 gorgeBirks 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. birks foxglove birks pathVarious 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. daylight hedgehog 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.hedgehog2

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.

birks bridge

From this little wooden bridge you could see one of the cascades of water flowing and falling down into the gorge to meet the Moness.birks waterfall 2  Not a lot of water in it but rather pretty all the same.

birks waterfallFurther 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.  birks top falls2.

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 birks upper bridgeThere weren’t so many views of the river or falls on this side, unfortunately




birks view

birks path2

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.birks wild flowers 3birks wild flowers




birks wild geranium


Yes, I know that was three, rather than a couple, but I did want to get these in somewhere!

Talk again soon.


Katrina said...

Can you believe I've not been there yet? It looks lovely, especially when I compare it with Tentsmuir - I'm sure Burns didn't write a poem about that!

Peggy Ann said...

Oh Evee! Not a more perfect spot to recharge in all the world! I'm pinning this as a place I want to see when I come across the pond!

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

Hi Katrina and Peggy. It's very beautiful walking in the woodland and calming too! You both should see it one day. It would be interesting to see the falls in spate after a lot of rain but I guess the walk would be more difficult with muddy paths to negotiate! I think I'm in need of another break away already. Where next I wonder!