In this Year of Homecoming 2014, why not make time to explore some of Scotland’s tucked-away treasures and off-the-beaten-track beauties?
For example, if you’re on holiday in Perthshire this September for the Ryder Cup 2014 and are looking for interesting things to see and do near Auchterarder, here are some suggestions for what you can experience on the days when you’re not on the fairways at Gleneagles.
There are wonderful towns and villages to explore in the area surrounding Auchterarder from nearby Crieff and Perth, to Dunkeld, Blairgowrie, Aberfeldy, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl further north. Heading west will take you over to Dunblane and Stirling, and onto the Stirlingshire towns – such as Killin, Callander and Aberfoyle – that skirt the edge of the magnificent Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Did you know that Blairgowrie is hosting the Junior Ryder Cup in September? The Perth Races, at the famous racecourse at Scone Palace, will be held between the Junior Ryder Cup in Blairgowrie and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. If you’re coming to both Ryder Cup events, why not also enjoy a great day out at the races? (The race course is just outside Perth, 14 miles from Blairgowrie and around 20 miles from Gleneagles).
Our holiday home owners have shared some great tips for things to see and do while you’re in Ryder Cup country, such as:
- The River Ericht and Ardblair Trail walks in Blairgowrie
- The Hermitage Walk in Dunkeld
- The Perth Sculpture Trail
- Inchmahome Priory near Aberfoyle
- Elcho Castle near Perth
If you’re a keen walker, Fiona Margarita of Invermay Holiday Lets has these recommendations for you:
You can follow the Cateran Trail, starting from the River Ericht in Blairgowrie, which takes in Bridge of Cally, Kirkmichael, Spittal of Glenshee, Glenisla and Alyth. A section can be picked to walk for a few hours but a car will be required as well as proper walking boots.
Beyond Spital of Glenshee is Glenshee itself which has a number of very easy Munros to climb. It is also possible to climb Lochnagar either from the north of Glenshee via Glen Callater and the north end of Jock’s Road (which runs to Glen Doll) or from the Angus hills. However, full hillwalking gear and map-reading skills are required, as well as mountain experience.
The Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve at Glen Doll (at the end of Glen Clova) is an amazing place for wild flowers, walking, waterfalls and wonderful scenery.
Or you could take in spectacular scenes from the comfort of your car. If you have limited time but want to see more of Scotland, Fiona also suggests a memorable day trip that takes you north on ‘the road less travelled’. Instead of following the A9, you can take the A93 from Perth and Scone Palace, past the Meikleour Beech Hedge, on to Blairgowrie, and then through Glenshee and Braemar into stunning Royal Deeside. Either continue through Ballatar and Banchory to Aberdeen or detour onto the A957 just after Banchory to head towards the coast and Stonehaven (make sure to visit the magnificent ruins of Dunnottar Castle). Take the A90 south and turn off at Kirriemuir, which is the gateway to the Angus Glens. From Kirriemuir, travel on to Alyth and then back to Blairgowrie.
And our last tip for planning your Ryder Cup 2014 experience – base yourself in a holiday cottage in Perthshire or Stirlingshire, and make the most of the owner’s local knowledge for your very own bank of tips. Take a look at Ryder Cup 2014 Scotland Accommodation here.
All images courtesy of Fiona Margarita, Invermay Holiday Lets, Blairgowrie ©.