Dunkeld - First Holiday as Four
Our most recent holiday to Dunkeld. We had been a few years ago when we lived up in Perthshire, always saying we’d go back one day. Well that one day was 6 years and 2 children later. We booked a converted barn about 3 miles from Dunkeld in the middle of nowhere so that we could get away from reality. It was right in the Middle of Birnam wood, which made me think of something from the past; turns out it was Macbeth.
“when Birnam wood moves to Dunsinane”
The house was gorgeous, three bedrooms, two upstairs and two down and three bathrooms. The bedrooms were so big you could have had another king size bed in each, and of course my daughter 4 years old, got the biggest room with her own en suite with bath and shower. The queen of the house. Downstairs the gorgeous old cottage windows looking out towards our car and Birnam really made the trip. Being far enough removed from reality, but actually only a 5 minute drive from dunkeld and a wood to walk right behind us. Of course we brought the dog too making our life much easier and the walks much better. I've linked it here.
Here where Shakespere planned Macbeth, was a beautiful walk through Douglas Fir right next to our barn house. It made it a bit more special seeing as there was great literature written in the land we were staying. Great for children out in the wilderness, we even managed to push the pram all the way up the hill with a waterfall and an awesome view. Strangely on our way down the hill someone had decorated two of the giant Firs with Christmas decorations – bare in mind it’s only September! It freaked us out somewhat……
The next day we ignored the wood, we went to the centre to avoid the scary Christmas fairy decorating the wood. Lots of shops for a wander, the “Curios” is the best, all of the antique goodness that you hope you’ll find in a small village in Scotland. There is an orchard that the village has planted itself right before the beautiful stone bridge on the way in and lots more walks. Down at the other side of the town there is an “old tree” which the eldest extremely excited, although quite upset that she wasn’t allowed to climb any; the Cathedral is just past, which looks fantastic, especially for us as it looks onto a field of deer. We kept on walking and thank goodness we also find a park, which helps us massively, as suddenly the holiday was all about the kids, keep walking and you get to a great pub, which all of a sudden makes it all about the adults.
The next day we go to House of Bruar, which as you can imagine never disappoints, except from the price; country fashion, great food, fantastic kids section of toys and gorgeous clothes. I had an excited four year old running round picking things up, saying, “We NEED this,” do we really need these llama ear muffs for £20 ?!?!?! It had to be done; although there is an outlet store out the back which we found on a walk up the hill, for regular souls.
We dropped in at Pitlochry just a short drive from House of Bruar. Having been to the area years before, we had a very different idea of Pitlochry. When we went it was full of old people, bus tours and closed down shops, it was very different this time round thank goodness. The shops were all lovely, some brand new, great bustling atmosphere; the Christmas shop was a must. We walked up behind Pitlochry to the Salmon Ladder, which we had gone to see years before and was totally worth it, for us and the child.
Birnam had nothing apart from the amazing Birnam Arts Centre. Coffee for the adults and play for the wee ones. Not like any normal soft play for children, for age 3+, the play was of old style, with real metal iron, with an old washing board and ironing board, fruit and vegetables in a wheelbarrow with an old till to play with. She had so much fun, makes you realise how hard it was in the past for people, but it really drills it into them, she didn’t mind, straight away knew exactly what to do. Kids pick up everything.
Kenmore was by far our favourite. Right on Loch Tay, the views are amazing, you could dream there for hours. So quiet with an amazing castle entrance and park for the dog and the eldest. We’ll go back again when they’re older as the Crannnog Centre is there for us when the kids are older, not that there wasn’t a tantrum when we said no this time. We ended up in the hotel pub, there was a folk band playing all Scottish songs and you couldn’t have felt more Scottish if you’d tried which was amazing. If we didn’t have the children with us we’d have been there all night, we drove through Aberfeldy, a few miles from Kenmore. Lots of shops, walks, pubs and cafes, we vowed we’d be back with more grandparents.