Between the towns of Crieff and Aberfeldy, Pitlochry way is in this unknown Glen (or valley), from among the many that exist in this area south of the Highlands. The valley, about 3 km long, is the true geographic step of the Lowlands to the Highlands, it is flanked entirely by mountains of medium height and split in two by the river Almond. It is a typical place for picnicking, hiking, fishing, taking the kids/pets on a trip and others. Generally it has few tourists and travelers - people simply do not visit out of ignorance (and in large part by the lack of information available). Known since Celtic times as the Strait Valley, this valley is another example of a typical mountain landscape of Scotland. It is one of the major attractions of the route designated as Scenic Route Perth.
"Visit Scotland" offices have replaced the old tourist information offices in Scotland. The rise and attraction of this country encouraged local authorities to centralize the country's visitor information, in some places this has been more successful than in others. In this case, the information in Crieff is located in one of the city's most historical buildings. It is one of the less promoted areas in the country, so this office will provide useful information about how to explore the area, routes to follow and telling you everything that you can see. Unlike other offices, it is very focused on the local level known as Strathearn (a county with pre-medieval origins) and less on promoting further afield, protecting their own interests.
The city of Crieff is not well known as it is in the county of Perthshire and Kinross, which makes its existence somewhat subordinate to that of Perth, the capital city. In the medieval county of Strathearn, Crieff was the most prosperous city in the area, rivaling some of the most important commercial centers. Today with more than 6,000 inhabitants, Crieff is a lively urban area and attractive because it is unknown. From Crieff there are many scenic routes that are unknown to non-local travelers ... and for the fans, in the vicinity of Crieff is the The Famous Grouse distillery. Crieff has many churches, an active center, with one of the best fish markets of central Scotland and with an air of isolation that makes it very special. I mean, after walking a bit for this city, we have the impression that we are in the Britain of the 80s, everything seems more traditional. Access to Crieff are beautiful scenic routes, indicating their isolation during the harsh winter months. I've done the route Stirling - Crieff in December and is amazing ... absolutely all white with frozen trees and beautiful scenery, but very careful eye and is very dangerous and we may be alone in the middle of nowhere without a soul to pass - 20 ° C. They breathe the air of traditional Scotland.
In a rural area near Crieff, looking for some other Augustinian Abbey (medieval) of Inchaffray or "Islands of Masses", we found one of the west transept walls situated among the fields carrying the same name as the now defunct Abbey. But we could not go to it because it was on private property. After investigating the existing archaeological and historical documentation, we realised the amount of real estate barbarity committed in a historic site. To begin with, the existing road, in its construction in the nineteenth century destroyed part of the ruins of the abbey, and to top it all off a property is for sale that contains the existing ruins of this abbey with the condition of being able to carry out architectural work to take advantage of building luxury houses, whose fencing keeps the ruins (??). Has the government nothing to do or say about it? Given that we are talking about the country's historical heritage. We found the water source which is the why the abbey was built there, but unfortunately we could not do much more ... there are beautiful fields and abandoned ruins ... without further comment.
How can you go to scotland and not visit a distillery? The tourism in which everyone falls on these trips is necessary and also interesting to know the process and development of any beverage, distillery history and the brand. You forget it all after 5 minutes but you do not care much as the organizers don't seem to realise whilst they go on telling you about how old the place is and how important is the name in the area and all that... very well and when we tried the whiskey?.
This is the thing that brings travelers to the village of Fowlis Wester. In the geographical center of the village, you can see a reddish standing stone surrounded by a fence, a decent replica of the original stone, which can be found inside the church, together with another, smaller stone. Its excellent preservation is probably due to the fact that it was kept indoors, safe from erosion, wind and water. The stone has a cross on one side with religious motifs such as images of the apostles, and on the other, various figures, including a man and a cow. This type of stone cross was often found in the tombs of important people, and in this case it has been dated to the mid-600's. It is a wonderful piece in great condition, and free to visit.
The River Earn is not the longest river in Scotland, nor is it particularly well-known by visitors, but it certainly has an interesting historical legacy. It starts in the lake of the same name and runs for about 75 kilometers until it merges with the River Tay in Abernethy, and is considered to be a tributary of this river. It passes the historical village of Comrie, Crieff (former capital of Strathearn, with several monasteries and some Pictish ruins) and the Bridge of Earn. Its uneven rocky bottom makes it impossible to navigate by boat, but also means that it is a perfect environment for Scotland's most famous fish: the salmon. The river teems with salmon, and is very popular with fishermen. There are also some great hikes running along the river, offering beautiful scenery. Some documents suggest that the course of the river was a possible route of pilgrimage for the way of St Fillan.
Laggan Forest is one of the most wild and beautiful parts of Comrie. I strongly recommend taking a hike here, but always follow the path, unless you want to disappear forever! Local legends say that any traveler ve strayed from the path would never be seen again. And certainly, this part of Scotland is famous in folklore for witches, goblins and the like ... even if you don't believe the tales, stick to the path, because it's easy to get lost in this lush forest (it's best to bring a compass and a map with you).
The path through the forest is almost circular, and it takes less than an hour to complete, beginning and ending at the village of Comrie. Great in summer, but particularly beautiful in autumn. And there are plenty of benches to relax if you get tired. Very attractive, natural and peaceful ... I hope to return in winter to see what it's like when there's snow on the ground.
Lednock Glen is a valley located in the north of Comrie, with plenty of options for visitors looking for something to do. In the eighteenth century, this area was home to shepherds and their families. It is part of Breadalbane Park, known as the land of the giants, and the local authorities recommend visiting in autumn, when the colors are truly spectacular. You can follow a well-marked circular path past some beautiful waterfalls, a forest, hills and meadows. The total distance is about 6 km. Interestingly, if you're lucky you'll see one of Scotland's rarest native species, the Scottish wild cat. It's in danger of extinction, but a regeneration programme is taking place. Larger and more dangerous than a domestic cat, it nevertheless shies away from humans and is quite elusive. The valley itself is a beautiful natural area worth taking the time to explore, with waterfalls and gorgeous colors.
St Fillans is a small village on the side of the Lake Earn, the source of the river of the same name. It's almost impossible to date the founding of this town, but it's believed to be Celtic; indeed, it is said that the famous Catholic saint Fillan retired here for the last years of his life, hence the name. Today it is a beautiful little town with great views, where you can hire a boat to sail across the lake or do a spot of fishing.
Small but very charming, it has been named one of the most picturesque villages in the country several times. In the year 2005 it was the center of a controversy when major planned work was to disrupt the rocks and forests surrounding the area, but the people mobilized to put an end to that, as the area in question is believed to be home to protective fairies! It sounds incredible, but really, myths and legends are an important part of this country. This is a great place to spend the day, with plenty of options for hikers and mountaineers.