Reap The Benefits of Nature with 5 great outdoor activities in Perthshire
It has been proven time and again that stepping into nature is one of the best things we can do for mental health, physical health, and overall wellbeing.
From the age-old pursuits of hillwalking and munro bagging, to the very modern-day activities of wild swimming and forest bathing, getting out and about can soothe the mind and body and bring happiness to the soul.
If you were lucky enough to grow up in Highland Perthshire, in your younger years you may simply have gone for a walk in the woods and a douk in the Loch!
Scotland – and Highland Perthshire in particular – boasts some of the world’s most outstanding natural scenery. So often when we’re greeting guests, they tell us they’ve chosen our beautiful wee corner of the world for their short break or family holiday, because of the glorious expanse of natural beauty and fresh, Highland Perthshire air.
Why is being outdoors so good for us?
We all know that any form of exercise will release those feel good endorphins, helping to boost our mood. However, did you know that research has shown by taking that exercise in a green space and reconnecting with nature, you can supercharge the benefits?
A 2018 study by King’s College London found that exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong is beneficial to our psychological health. And in 2020, researchers at Cornell University found that just 10 minutes in nature can help us feel happier and reduce both physical and mental stress.
Of course, we’ve always kind of known this, and so to help you turn your next staycation or weekend break in Scotland into a burst of endorphins, we’ve rounded up some of the most beautiful walks, hikes, and outdoor activities across Aberfeldy, Kenmore, Pitlochry, and Dunkeld.
Farm Tour and Feed Round at Errichel
We’re kicking off with our new weekly tour right here at Errichel. Pull on your wellies and join me, Becky, on the farm rounds as I head out to feed and check the hens, ducks, pigs, ponies, goats and cattle.
People of all ages will love this opportunity to meet the four legged and feathered characters of Errichel including a very large black pig called, Rare-breed Sheep and Shetland Cattle.
Hear all about their antics – the good, the naughty and the unbelievable! – and learn more about life on a hill farm in Perthshire, our ethically-reared animals and our farming ethos.
Our Farm Tour & Feed Round takes place at 10am on selected Fridays and lasts about an hour. There is a maximum of eight spaces available, so book now to avoid disappointment. Suitable for children over 8yrs (younger children can join, all must be accompanied by an adult). Wellies and suitable weather gear essential!
Book online or email or call for further details. 01887 820850 email@example.com
Culture Meets Nature at Corbenic Poetry Path
This is one of our favourite walks in the area and I can’t express enough how wonderful it is.
The Corbenic Poetry Path is set in the grounds of the old Drumour shooting lodge and estate near Dunkeld. The path was built by the Corbenic Community and showcases the work of some of the best poets living and writing in Scotland including John Glenday, Jim Carruth, Kenneth Steven, and many more. Their words are incorporated into the path, creating “a magical and inspiring place where people, poetry and landscape meet” (Andy Jackson).
Local artisan stone carver Martin Reilly inscribes lines of poetry for the Corbenic Path, and also trains others in the community to carve. The path is made up of a variety of natural materials and weaves through open hillside, moors, woodland and riverbanks, blending in and complementing the surrounding terrain and leading you to peaceful, hidden corners which might otherwise go undiscovered.
It takes around an hour to an hour and a half to complete and is free to everyone. Discover more here.
See the red squirrels at Cluny House Gardens
A frequent question from guests is ‘where can I see red squirrels in Perthshire?’ We’re spoiled here in Aberfeldy as we quite often spot red squirrels in our own gardens. For visitors, I’d recommend the nearby Cluny House Gardens where seeing them is almost guaranteed!
Located just down the road from us in Aberfeldy, Cluny House overlooks the scenic Strathtay Valley and is home to many exotic plants and trees originating from the Himalayas and North America.
The garden originated in the 1950s, and since then has attracted people from all over the globe to enjoy their breathtaking collections. As well as the glorious array of greenery and colour, you’ll also find wildlife round every corner – including those gorgeous red squirrels – and a variety of different bird species
One of the most striking attractions is the Tibetan cherry tree, a large tree notable for its mahogany peeling bark. Other species that flourish in Cluny House Gardens include lilies – some of which reach a staggering 4m height – and meconopsis, also known as the blue poppy.
Cluny is one of the sites included in the Perthshire Big Tree Country Heritage and Access project, celebrating the amazing woodland heritage in the area and coordinated by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust.
£5 per person, children £1. Annual season ticket: £10 – cash only, thank you.
Opening times: 0900am – 6pm
Family Fun With Wee Adventures
Open 8am-8pm, Mon-Sun
Run by our lovely local friends, Biscuit and Sarah, Wee Adventures aims to feed the soul and live long in the memory. Whether it’s the most memorable day of your holiday, quality family time adventuring together, a fun activity day for the kids and their friends, a day out in nature with this amazing crew will set you up for anything!
Activities include – deep breath! – canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, tree climbing, zip-lines and rope swings, bush craft, forest fun and mountain biking. They run across the whole area including Weem Forest, The Birks of Aberfeldy, Bennybeg Crieff, Loch Tay, Loch Faskally and the River Tummel.
Prepare to leave inspired by Biscuit’s contagious enthusiasm for all things outdoors!
Run by local guide and all-round lovely person, Chris Wain, Unique Adventure Tours Scotland provides bespoke tour packages that incorporate everything you need – transport and activities – to get out and about in Highland Perthshire.
Chris knows all the best Lochs, rivers, and hikes, and will create your own day out itinerary to suit your ability and adventure spirit. He also offers Paddleboarding lessons for beginners, and for more experienced water babies, he can provide boards and ideas for the waters around Aberfeldy.
Every Unique Adventure Tour can be adapted to your requirements – choose your starting point, duration, and activity combinations. With luxury local add-ons and your own private guide, your tour will truly be one-of-a-kind.
• Nearest town: Aberfeldy
• Opening hours: 8am to 8pm every day (9am to 8pm on Sunday)
Pull on your wetsuit – or for the hardiest amongst you your swimming costume – and prepare for a swim the glorious waters of Loch Tay. Rarely more than a mile to a mile and a half wide, it plunges to 150m deep at its lowest point and is the sixth largest loch by area in Scotland. Taymouth Marina is located at the east end of the Loch and provides an ideal base for wild swimming.
If you prefer more leisurely outdoor pursuits, then hit the small beach at the head of Loch Tay. This s quiet lochside beach boasts beautiful views with Ben Lawers emerging from the waters in a dramatic backdrop.
Climb Aboard A Loch Tay Safari
At fifteen miles long, Loch Tay is the largest loch in Perthshire and one of the deepest in Scotland. Set amidst a dramatic landscape and flanked by the impressive Ben Lawers mountain range to the north, the waters of our Loch hold the key to the remains of human settlements that are thousands of years old. A closer look will uncover the long history of the loch’s inhabitants, its heritage and folklore, and Loch Tay Safaris is the perfect way to find out more.
Suitable for all ages with regular sailings several times a day and a discounted price for families. You can also book for an exclusive trip while you’re enjoying your holiday at Errichel.
Believe us when we say, you will spend an entire day at Highland Safaris and Red Deer Centre. One of our favourite ways to get out and into nature, the opportunity to stand face to face with Britain’s largest native land mammal – the magnificent red deer – is hard to resist!
A ranger will tell you all about the lives of red deer, allowing you to stroke and feed these incredible animals. Visitors, young and old, also love to meet the barn owl, and enjoy a hands-on demonstration.
As well as the Deer, the friendly team also offer an exhilarating Land Rover safari tour, a scenic walking trail and viewpoint, mountain biking tracks and a kids’ play area.
We’ve only just scraped the surface of the fabulous outdoor actitivies available on our doorstep here in Perthshire – look out for future blogs, and in the meantime, do secure your dates for accommodation in our welcoming B&B or beautiful Cottages.