When we woke up in the extremely homely Atholl Arms Hotel it was bucketing down outside so we thought a walk was the obvious choice?! We’d loved the hotel’s award winning beer garden right next to the river and Perthshire’s greenery is really lush (it’s such a beautifully overgrown region), add to that that Dunkeld is such a picturesque wee town that we wanted to continue to explore alone the river whatever the weather.
I’d thoroughly recommend this gentle walk for kids who like the great outdoors. From our hotel. From there we ventured past the dinky 18th century merchant cottages which have been restored by the National Trust and then let out to tenants or sold to keep the town centre bustling and lived in.
We then made a beeline for the cathedral on the banks of the Tay. Apparently its construction was started in 1260 and finished in 1501, then it took a battering in the reformation, so if anyone is anxious about their own extension or decorating project this may make you feel a bit better. The cathedral once housed the relics of St Columba but for us it was a welcome haven from the rain.
We didn’t stay long as Mr Toddler preferred being outside jumping in the puddles (I blame a certain pig for this fascination). The trees along the river are gentle giants- Perthshire isn’t known as Big Tree Country for nothing. From the cathedral we followed the river, and the heavy canopy of the trees kept the rain off us to a certain extent. A clear path led the way and the mist lay low in the hills creating the Scotland that Americans pay thousands to visit and photograph. Atmospheric is a bit of an understatement. The greenery was profuse and must be utterly stunning in autumn when the golds, red and oranges come into play or when the winter frost makes the woodland sparkle.
We followed the river till we arrived at Dunkeld House Hotel. Here our bedraggled tribe had a coffee and a ‘snack’, and the staff were remarkably welcoming considering how ‘outdoorsy’ we were (i.e. mucky). From here we retraced our steps and returned to the sanctuary of the Atholl Arms Hotel, a little wetter and a little wiser.
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