Birks of Aberfeldy

Scotland has an unfathomable allure to almost everyone you meet. The mention of Scotland elicits the almost universal comment “Oh, I love Scotland, it is so beautiful!” My husband, who has Scottish heritage, is one of these and is quite obsessed with all things and places Scottish.

I have no love for the barren cragginess of much of the highlands but I do adore the lush greens and burbling waterways of Perthshire. I have written previously of the absolute beauty and serenity of sitting by the River Tay on the flower studded grass of Dunkeld Cathedral.

Fourteen years later we returned to Perthshire, staying at the Moness Resort, near Aberfeldy, near Pitlochry. To satisfy others’ yearning for rugged beauty, we climbed the nearby Cairn Gorm – from the cable car station; in summer. We trudged through deep snow and endured windy snow flurries. I appreciated the view from the top, enjoyed seeing a wild ptarmigan, but it was freezing, barren and inhospitable. Not my cup of tea.

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Summer guided walk on Cairn Gorm

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Ptarmigan

For a truly beautiful spot you can’t go past the walk, near the Moness Resort, at the Birks of Aberfeldy. So gorgeous, in fact, that renowned Scottish poet Robert Burns penned these lyrics on a visit in 1787. He claimed to have written this whilst standing under the Falls of Moness and Birches of Aberfeldy:

Bonnie lassie, will ye go,
Will ye go, will ye go?
Bonnie lassie, will ye go
Tae the birks of Aberfeldy?Now Simmer blinks on flow’ry braes,
And o’er the crystal streamlets plays;
Come, let us spend the lightsome days
In the birks of Aberfeldy.The little birdies blythely sing,
While o’er their heads the hazels hing,
Or lightly flit on wanton wing
In the birks of Aberfeldy.The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,
The foaming stream, deep-roaring, fa’s
O’erhung wi’ fragrant-spreading shaws
The birks of Aberfeldy.The hoary cliffs are crown’d wi flowers,
White o’er the linns the burnie pours,
And, rising, weets wi’ misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldy.Let Fortune’s gifts at random flee,
They ne’er shall draw a wish frae me;
Supremely blest wi’ love and thee
In the birks of Aberfeldy.

Traditional.

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Robert Burns (the one on the left!)

There is a large car park at the beginning of the walk which, in itself, is really attractive! When we were there the rhododendrons were in full bloom and were quite magnificent.150505_Aberfeldy Birks walk (23)It is not a long walk, the length being determined by how often and long you stop to soak in the ambience. If you walk clockwise you get the uphill stretch over with whilst you are fresh. It is not steep and is easily manageable with lots of excuses to stop and breath in the surroundings. It is so green with moss everywhere, gorgeous trees and the ever-present sound of cascading water. Now it’s time to let the photos talk:

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