My third visit to Loch Tay in Perthshire and this time it was to celebrate my 28th birthday. Relaxing in front of a cosy fire, trips to a local pub and frosty walks were just what I was looking for and I knew a return to Loch Tay would be a perfect place for that.
Jon & I booked a stay at a converted mill, a gorgeous airbnb that the listing didn't do justice. We felt very lucky to stay in such a wonderful place with views overlooking the loch.
We arrived at Loch Tay about an hour before sun set, after a lovely drive from Edinburgh through the Trossachs. Since it was such a nice day we decided to detour last minute up the road toward Ben Lawers. We parked the car before the road got too icy and made it on foot to reach the Ben Lawers Dam. It was very cold and windy, so it didn't take too long before we were on our way back to warm up in the car. The sun was setting and the sky was turning pink. Plenty of sheep on the road made us take a slow journey down the mountain and it gave us plenty of time to take in the sunset.
By the time we reached the bottom it had turned dark and the search for the mill where we were spending the night began. After plenty of back and forths we found the house and after exploring all the rooms and being surprised at how much bigger it was than the photos, we lit the fire and pulled the blankets out.
The sun was out again on Saturday which meant after breakfast I soon had itchy feet and wanted to go out to explore. We drove out along the loch and round to the crannog centre for some great views. The short walk up to the Falls of Acharn was lovely and the waterfalls were flowing fast. For lunch we stopped off at the Habitat Cafe in Aberfeldy for some delicious soup and hot drinks, just what I needed after a cold walk. We carried on back towards the mill, making a stop at Castle Menzies and another short walk through Weem Wood to St David’s Well.
By the time we were back in the car the Wales v England rugby had started, so we hurried back to drop the car off and then walked along the road to the pub at the Ben Lawers Hotel. They were playing the rugby in a small room which looked like it was someone’s living room with three big sofas. We were later joined by a family from Newcastle, but thankfully a couple of them were also Welsh supporters! After some drinks and a defeat, we walked back to the mill for another night sat in front of the fire.
My birthday began with strawberry pancakes and Jon walking in with a birthday cake lit with matchsticks (after forgetting the candles!). We spent some time on the balcony watching the clouds lift and the sun peak out over the mountains. Soon we were back on the road in the direction of Edinburgh, but we were lucky again with the weather so had to make a stop to squeeze in another walk before we went back. We walked the Kiltyrie Hidden History Trail which was a great loop, but it was quite open and the wind was very cold so we had to keep moving. We made sure to climb on to a boulder for some jump photos though. Back in the car for the rest of the journey home after another lovely trip to Loch Tay!