The perfect weekend for me is being out and exploring. If you had asked me how a perfect weekend would look like to me 2 years ago I would have said lying on the couch watching Netflix… I still enjoy that, especially when it’s miserable outside but since living in Scotland I can’t just stay in the house. I get really impatient.
This weekend I went up around Pitlochry in Perthshire and to Blair Athol at the edge of the Cairngorms and to St Abbs along the East coast of the Scottish Boarders.
I left Edinburgh early in the morning on Saturday to my first stop near Blair Athol – the Glen Tilt trail. I knew it was going to rain so I was well prepared with rain gear and socks to change ;). When I arrived at the car park to start the trial it just started to rain rather heavily so I waited in the car for a bit until it eased up. You can mostly tell these showers do not last too long. It stayed dry for the next half an hour – basically the whole way up the Glen Tilt viewpoint. Then I could not really enjoy the view as in this moment it started raining again ;).
So I kept on walking passing the shooting range. This was actually quite scaring. Because the shots were echoing in tn the Glen and you could not really tell from where they were coming even tho I knew the range was on the left to me. They do short shootings and long shooting there. On days where they do long shootings you are not allowed to pass as it is too dangerous to get shot…
The sheep did not seem to care much about the noise tho. They were more afraid of me then the shooting… Even tho it may not be the nicest thing to hike in the rain it does give Scotland its well know appearance of low hanging clouds over hills and that moody atmosphere which I actually love. Hence, I actually do not enjoy a complete blue sky in Glencoe either ;).
As it had rained a lot in the past weeks the River Tilt and all the waterfalls along the hill sides were full on with water. When I crossed Gilberts bridge to head back on the other side of the river I stopped to have a little lunch under a big old beech which had rather impressive branches and it gave me good shelter from the rain to eat more or less in a dry space ;).
The noise of the river rushing past was pretty impressive and on the path back I met a group of people with canoes assuming they probably went on a rafting trip on the river.
It stayed pretty dry and sunny on the whole way back to the car.
I then made my way down to Pitlochry, a cute little village in Perthshire. However, it was really busy with tourists. I parked up at a car park towards the exit of Pitlochry and only went to a Café nearby to have a coffee and a scone.
I then walked up to a waterfall in the woods. I so cannot wait to see Perthshire in autumn. When all the leaves are in bright orange, yellow and red colours. I am seriously longing for October to come. When I was in Scotland last year at the end of September, the trees only just started to colour. It was already amazing but it must be magnificent when they are actually all brightly coloured.
Until I headed back to my car I was lucky staying dry but then it chucked down again :D. I waited a bit at a bus stop until the worst was over.
I left Pitlochry and drove a few miles down to the Hermitage. I wanted to visit the place back in March when I came back from my trip to Loch Rannoch but I took the road from Kenmore to Dunkeld and did not realise the Hermitage was further up the road of Dunkeld. I had also quickly stopped there last month when I came back from my Lewis and Harris trip but as it was very wet and I was super tired I did not actually get out of the car.
So I finally made it there and was not at all disappointed. Especially – as I said the rivers are full of water from the rain – the waterfall was pretty impressive. And the whole surroundings with the Ossian Hall and the stone bridge and high trees makes you think you are in some enchanted forest. As one guy commented on one of my Instagram pictures of the waterfall – in winter you would believe you are in Narnia. And I totally believe that. Again – can’t wait to visit the place in autumn and then of course hopefully when there is snow.
Same with Pitlochry actually. I bet the village looks super romantic and beautiful with snow all around.
There were also salmons jumping up the waterfall but I did not catch a pic this time. But they were huge!
On my way home it seriously started to chuck down the closer I approached the Firth of Forth. When I was on the bridge I could hardly see anything. I managed to get a bit ahead of the shower when arriving at home so I did not get completely soaked on my way from the car to the front door. At least I was greeted with a lovely rainbow 🙂
St Abbs had been on my agenda for quite a while now. But other than not minding rain and clouds in the highlands, I do mind rain when at the coast. Especially because it is ALWAYS super windy.
I checked Saturday evening how the weather looks like at the East coast and decided spontaneously to head down to St Abbs. It is something over an hour drive from where I live in Edinburg. I have to go through all of Leith which can take a little while on a busy day.
The coast line of East Lothian and the Scottish Boarders is pretty amazing and I have been neglectful to see it properly so far to be honest. The farthest I have been has been a short visit to North Berwick a few weeks back. But the weather was awful.
When I arrived at the car park of St Abbs National Reserve and opened the boot to get my shoes changed the first thing that happened was that I got stung by wasp into the inside of my upper left arm. Cannot actually remember the last time that has happened to me. It hurt massively. And throughout the afternoon I constantly had weird shivers through the whole of my body coming from the sting. But obviously I did not drive all the way down there to then get hold back by some nasty wasp to do the coastal path to the lighthouse.
However, the sting confused me so much that I forgot to pack my rain cape and honestly just prayed to God it would stay dry on my little trip.
It was bloody windy along the coast and I after passing the lighthouse and heading down the main road that you can also drive down to the lighthouse it got so strong I was really fed up and can honestly tell I rather have rain than strong winds. It is super loud in your ears. Your hair is all over the place and most of the times in your eyes and the skin of your face just feels constantly rubbed.
The path itself is really nice to walk though but you have to be careful as there are no fences whatsoever to protect you falling down the steep cliffs. And strong wind makes it even more dangerous. The views were amazing tho as I had a rather blue sky most of the times and ultimately a deep blue sea.
As said when I arrived at the lighthouse I made my way further on the along the road and had a little snack break at the top of Pettico Wick where it was not THAT windy for change. I then followed the path along Mire Loch which was pretty muddy at places. But the path was quite adventurous and I really enjoyed it.
So I did my loop walk and came back onto the coastal path heading back towards the car park. And I could already see the clouds building up behind me and I knew if I don’t arrive at the car in time I will get soaked… and obviously no rain cape and in that wind you can forget about an umbrella.
It was only a few hundred metres away when the first drops fell and I was already along the fields when it started to get heavier so my umbrella at least gave me a little bit of shelter until I arrived at the café at the car park. I had a diet coke and a crab sandwich before I made my way home then.
I would have liked to stop at Dunbar as well but I was tired and it was late Sunday afternoon so I do that next time I head down there. I also still want to go down to Lindisfarne so I definitely do a trip down the coast again at some point :).