It was in 1787 that Robert Burns penned his famous invitation to " Come let us spend the lichtsome days in the Birks of Aberfeldie." Accept the offer of Scotland's National Poet and you too will experience at first hand the unspoiled character and charm of this spectacular part of Perthshire.
And that's not all ! Combine the charm of the area with the thriving but gentle pace of Aberfeldy and its surrounding communities - its historic castle, a working mill, its distillery, its reconstructed 2,500 year old crannog which paints a fascinating picture of early Iron Age life, and, at every turn, the glorious landscape of Highland Perthshire.
Every visitor to Aberfeldy should walk across its famous bridge, which provided the vital crossing of the River Tay for General Wade's network of military roads. Nearby you will also find the Black Watch memorial commemorating the raising of the world famous regiment. Angling is renowned around Aberfeldy, as is golf. And wonderful walks are plentiful.
Just outside Aberfeldy close to Weem lies the historic Castle Menzies waiting to welcome you. Two gardens are open to the public; one nearby in Bolfracks, noted for its flowering bulbs and stream garden, and another at Cluny House which is a beautiful woodland garden.
The district around Aberfeldy is rich in natural heritage and folklore, typified by the pretty thatched cottages of Fortingall. Look out for the 3000 year old yew tree in the churchyard. At Fortingall you will also be at the mouth of Glen Lyon, the longest enclosed glen in Scotland.Some of Perthshire's finest scenery can be captured here. So don't forget your camera !
At bridge of Balgie stands the mighty Ben Lawers, Perthshire's highest and most fascinating mountain, home to a world-beating selection of alpine flowers. The magnificent mountain overlooks Scotland's largest loch, Loch Tay, on whose eastern shores lies the picturesque village of Kenmore. It is at Kenmore where you can enjoy unrivalled views of Loch Tay.
With its Tower, Church and Churchyard, new Museum, winding Glen walks, Mercat Cross and Traditional Houses, Abernethy village has much to show the visitor, in addition to its resounding history--although scarcely resounding perhaps was the sorry day when the great King Malcolm Canmore did homage to William the Conqueror, in 1072, at Abernethy, as evidently the only way to get the Norman and his invading army to go home. It was Malcolm's English Queen Margaret, later sanctified by grateful Rome, who instituted the pro-Romish movement in Scotland which was to oust the Celtic Church not only from Abernethy but from all the land.
Abernethy was made a burgh of barony in 1476, under the famous Archibald Bell-the-Cat Douglas, Earl of Angus; and his present-day descendant, the Duke of Hamilton, bears the style of Lord Abernethy amongst his many subsidiary titles. The Douglases had inherited Abernethy by marriage with the heiress of the MacDuff line of Hereditary Abbots of Abernethy, who became secularised as the de Abernethy family. To them, as the second main stem of the great MacDuff house, had passed the right of crowning the Scots monarchs, after the end of the senior stem, Earls of Fife--hence the Duke of Hamilton's presenting to the present Queen her Scottish crown at St. Giles Cathedral in 1953, at that significant ceremony.
About two miles east of the village, and actually over the Fife border above Newburgh, are the remains of MacDuff's Cross, where once all man-slayers to within the 9th degree of consanguinity with the Earls of Fife or Lords Abernethy, could claim sanctuary and gain remission of penalty other than the payment of a fixed indemnity to the victim's family--a most useful inheritance in otherwise lawless days.
To the other side of the village, high on a shoulder of Castle Law hill to the south-west, is the site of a famous Scots hill-fort, massively built of dry-stone walling with binding timber beaming, a type of construction noted by Julius Caesar. These forts were roughly contemporary with the Roman Invasions. It was in 80 AD that the celebrated Agricola "opened up new nations, for the territory of tribes as far as the estuary named Tanous (Tay) was ravaged", according to the Consul's son-in-law Tacitus. The Carpow Roman fort's site, unlike the Pictish one, is on low ground near the Tay. Nearby is Carpow House, and the scanty remains of old Capow. Here was the ancient seat of the Lords of Abernethy.
Abernethy is ideally located for easy trips to the St Andrews, Dunfermline, Culross, Perth, Edinburgh, Falkland Palace, and all of historic Fife and Perthshire.