If you have a day to spare, exchange Fife for Perthshire and let the beauty of the Southern Highlands soothe your mid-semester blues. In just an hour and a half, you will be surrounded by Pitlochry’s beautiful canvas of graceful trees and sparkling water.
Don’t let the drive put you off. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the trip, as the further north you go, the more majestic your surroundings become. From stone farmhouses accompanied by grazing sheep and cows, to misty mountains glistening in the rain, each bend in the road will provide you a stunning new vista. An autumnal visit certainly shows off the landscape at its best and transforms the road into a royal avenue, with trees of red and golds.
Park up in Pitlochry at the tourist office (it’s free on Sundays) to be ideally positioned for a jaunt around the town. Make friends with the locals and their canine companions, as you walk down the street to the sound of an accordian. Browse the stores for a vast array of tartan clothing and a plethora of sweet smelling soaps you never knew you needed. And, if you are not opposed to celebrating the season early, pop into the local Christmas store for a burst of festivity and perhaps pick out a decoration or two.
There are plenty of places to eat in the town, from cafes to pubs, so be sure to fill your stomach before hiking through the nearby surroundings. The streets are also lined with a variety of sweet shops, containing all the flavours of fudge your heart could desire. So why not pick up some sugary snacks to power you through the afternoon.
After you have explored the town to your satisfaction, put Loch Faskally in your satnav and head out of town for a scenic retreat. The road around the loch is punctuated by passing points, which are perfect for taking photos and enjoying the views. Pull up by Garry Bridge and disembark, to explore the forest on the other side.
You will be transported to a wonderland of secret glades and lush mossy banks. One moment you will imagine yourself in Middle Earth, and the next, in an eerie corner of the Forbidden Forest. Stop and listen to the creaking trees and the water crashing on the rocks downstream. Be sure to wear your wellies, as the ground can be a bit boggy, but the adventure is well worth a pair of muddy jeans.
Pitlochry is a destination certainly not to be missed. It is very feasible for a day trip, and the short drive will transport you to an exciting new landscape that will make all your essay writing struggles seem very insignificant and far away.
Images courtesy of the author.