Holiday adventures in Perthshire & Angus

“Grace is finding as waterfall when you were only looking for a stream.”

—Vanessa Hunt
Shee Waters, Glenshee

[Large photo share]

Hubby and myself spent a week in Angus which was really lovely. We rented a converted barn cottage in Kirriemuir which we used as a base to visit places such as Aboyne, Braemar, Blair Atholl, Balmoral, Ballater, Pitlochry, Blairgowrie, Kenmore, Glenshee, and the Kingdom of Fife, including St Andrews, etc. We were very fortunate with the weather, i.e. one full day of heavy rainfall and the rest of the time it was lovely and sunny with occasional cloud cover. We wore t-shirts most of the time, although we packed sweaters too (just incase). We didn’t need them I’m glad to say.

Reekie linn waterfall, Glenisla

Less than two miles along the road from where we were staying was the Reekie Linn Waterfall. The Reekie Linn is a pair of conjoined waterfalls on the River Isla just north of Alyth at Bridge of Craigisla. The River Isla flows south from the Cairngorms Mountains through Glenisla before merging with the River Tay south of Dunkeld. The trip to the waterfall is a ten minute walk along a very narrow woodland path which follows the rim of a deep gorge with 150 ft unprotected drop – so great care is needed when visiting this particular site.

I wanted to check the route to the waterfall before taking a camera and backpack along with me on a second trip and I’m so glad I did! Part way along the path I felt really queasy. For most of the route you can see the sheer drop below in clear view. By the time we reached the first of the two viewpoints, I was ready to turn back. There was no way I wanted to try and scramble along to the second one. I’m a self-confessed chicken, but I’d rather be a live chicken thank you very much. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t have a head for heights and I should have known I’d bottle it.

For photos of this renowned Scottish waterfall check out the link here: Reekie Linn Waterfall.

Glenshee

Needless to say, I didn’t return to photograph the waterfall! I would have loved to have bagged a photo of it, but at least we found a nice ‘safe’ location with smaller waterfalls along in Glenshee the next day. No steep 150 ft drop here, just a gentle trek across wild heather and down a short hilly path. Hubby took the dog for a walk further along the hill leaving me in peace with my camera and tripod for a good half hour or so. Total bliss! I was truly in my element here.

Waterfall photography

Shooting waterfalls (top image) is a new photography genre for me and I really enjoyed the challenge. There aren’t many waterfalls where I live so I wanted to make the most of this opportunity. On a more technical note, I could do with a polarizing filter for the lens I used and would also have needed an ND filter to lower my shutter speed for an even smoother look in the water, but I’m quite happy with the effect I managed to create on my first attempt without such.

Afterwards, we headed along to the Glenshee Ski Centre and bought ourselves some lunch before setting off for one of the many viewpoints in the Glen to enjoy our ‘picnic’ outdoors. Most of the parking spots were packed which is not surprising given that Glenshee is such a wild and beautiful place – not only popular with skiers in winter but with sight seers, photographers and climbers all year round.

For more information re: Glenshee, check out Things to do and see in Glenshee.

Lochs, glens & a golden eagle

We travelled along a winding road which took us right up into the hill tops of a very pretty glen. At the top, we discovered this gorgeous location which looked so peaceful and still. There was even a deer down by the water drinking but I was too late to photograph it. We must have startled it because it ran off into the trees in the background.

Both Perthshire and Angus have the most beautiful lochs and glens. Later in the week, whilst driving along one particular glen—I won’t say where—hubby spotted a golden eagle circling in the sky on the top of a hill. Ourselves and the occupiers of another car traveling behind us stopped for a good 20 minutes or so to watch this majestic sighting.

damsel sheep in distress

On the way back to the cottage, we spotted a pregnant sheep stuck on her back and clearly in a lot of distress. Hubby to the rescue and the poor wee thing was soon back on her feet again. Hubby said the look she gave him whilst rescuing her was ‘worth every penny of the holiday’. Auch, he’s a big softie at heart.

KIRRIEMUIR

About 7 miles from our accommodation was the quaint little town of Kirriemuir, home of JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan and home of the yearly Bonfest International Music Festival. We visited the small cottage where Barrie once lived before checking out the statue of Peter Pan in the middle of the town square.

Peter Pan statue, Kirriemuir

Not far from the town centre is another statue erected to the memory of Bon Scott, AC/DC’s frontman singer who also originated from Kirriemuir.

Bon Scott Statue, Kirriemuir

Holiday cottage

Below is Glenisla Escape (aka The Old Barn) which we rented during our holiday. It’s a holiday property based on a working farm. During our stay there were all sorts of animals and birds wandering around the courtyard or in fields in front of the barn including geese, goslings, hens, a cockeral, horses, cows and their calves. There was even a pair of swallows building a nest in the front door porch. By the time we left, the nest was almost complete. It was kind of special watching all such from indoors. The swallows swooping around the large glass door entrance and the geese in the yard kept the dog amused, that’s for sure! He was mesmerized watching them.

The best kept secrect in scotland

One of the most interesting places we visited whilst traveling around the Kingdom of Fife was a place called ‘The Best Kept Secret in Scotland’. It’s an old 1940’s Cold War Nuclear Bunker. If you’ve ever wondered what one of those ‘secret bunkers’ looks like inside, then try and make it along to visit this intriguing visitor attraction if you are ever in the vacinity. You won’t be disappointed.

inside the bunker

On first sight, SBKS looks like an old stone cottage with daffodils and other flowers planted up all around it. You would never guess what lay deep beneath this attractive stone building – not in a month of Sunday’s. We thoroughly enjoyed stepping back in time and taking a look into what was designed to be a safe command post in the event of a nuclear invasion. I’d love to return another time and take a more detailed look around. There’s just so much to see that it would take hours to walk around and take it all in as much as we’d have wanted to. Our dog was in the car outside and even although we picked a cooler day to visit this attraction, I couldn’t help but worry about him out there on his own. I hate leaving him in the car for any length of time.

My camera battery went flat on me from the word go and I had to keep switching it on and off to use up any last remnant of energy I could wrangle out of it! I’d have taken lots more photos if this hadn’t have happened. Note to self: “Make sure you carry a spare battery in future!” I was so annoyed with myself.

Below: A few images from Scotland’s Best Kept Secret. There were lots more rooms than pictured below – some were unavailable to the public leaving you wondering what lay behind them!

One of my favourite rooms was a small chapel which visitors were allowed to wander around inside. It had a beautiful pipe organ which seemed to fill a good 1/4 of the room, and there were old hymn books and Bibles tucked nice and tidy into the back of wooden chairs. The atmosphere seemed very still inside the chapel – more so than in any of the other rooms. We felt compelled to whisper and for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to photograph this particular room! All that was in me wanted to leave the peace undisturbed. I knew I could never replicate the atmosphere with a camera in any way that would to do it justice. Once we’d finished looking around the chapel, we left and closed the door quietly behind us.

Below: a Russian missile. Not sure what it was doing at SBKS, but it was interesting to look at. I guess it was included on-site as part of the Cold War theme, but it wasn’t part of this wonderful visitor attraction as such in the genuine sense. It was obviously just an ‘added extra.’

Gift shop

There is also a small gift shop and cafe on site where you can purchase ice cream, cake, coffee, books, mugs and all the usual tourist bits and bobs associated with a visitor attraction. We purchased a book re: ’50 Places to Visit Underground in Great Britain Whilst on Holiday’ plus an old vintage-style recipe leaflet. I’m a sucker for all things vintage.

St Andrews, Fife

On the way back to the holiday cottage, we passed through St Andrew’s. The old stone buildings, cobbled streets and shops were stunning to look at – really charming and full of history and character. St Andrew’s Cathedral was closed to visitors and members of the public for repair work which was a shame because we’d love to have wandered around this historic building and spent some time there absorbing its history, etc.

St Andrew’s University buildings were every bit as interesting to look at. They too oozed character and charm. St Andrew’s town is a beautiful location to visit and wander around. There is so much to see and take in. I could quite happily live there or on the outskirts. Mind I think my heart is still in the Isle of Skye.

Golf open championships

The 2022 Open Championship, officially the 150th Open Championship, is a golf tournament to be played 1417th July on the Old Course at St Andrews. Whilst we were in Fife, we noticed lots of preparations being made ahead of this grand event. I can just imagine the terrific atmosphere there will be around this type of sporting competition—not to mention the buzz of having celebrities and sports people attending too. Pretty cool!

A wander through Balmoral

On the journey home, we stopped at Balmoral. At the time of writing, the Queen is in residence at Balmoral Castle ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations next month (June 2022). We looked to see if we could spot the royal standard raised at the castle but couldn’t see it. George pointed out Crathie Kirk which I wouldn’t mind visiting some time when it’ll be open again to the public. It was closed on Saturday when we arrived unfortunately. We treated ourselves to a consolation ice cream and continued on a short wander around the town before resuming our journey home.

Can’t believe the holiday passed so quickly. We had a really enjoyable time. Hope you enjoyed our holiday photo shares too. It’s really fine to get away somewhere different for a wee break every now and again.


Please note: I am not affiliated with any of the companies/links posted on my blog pages and therefore I do not receive any commission, etc for such. Links are provided for information only.

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