To Perth and Back

I set off in the rain, confident (well, sort of) that the forecast was right, and that Perthshire would be basking in summer sunshine. As I crossed Rannoch Moor and looked at the grey horizon, my confidence started to wane and dropping down into Killin it vanished. First stop was abandoned, as I didn't fancy getting wet. However, by the time I reached the far end of Loch Tay, the rain had gone and the sun was starting to shine.

Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy is a Victorian watering hole at the eastern end of Loch Tay. It has therefore been a tourist trap for the better paty of 200 years, and still attracts coach loads every day throughout the summer months. Fortunately, I think I was early enough to avoid most of them, but the town was far from quiet! The town is, in reality, nothing special. A typical Victorian mish-mash of Architecture, the Hotels being the grandest buildings, while the houses at the western end of the main street are fairly ordinary terraces built of the local stone. Unfortunately, I missed the Tay Bridge to the north, until I was back in the car and so didn't get a picture, but below is a shot up the main street.

Perth

After crossing through the Perthshire Hills, and driving through the picturesque Glen Almond, I arrived in Perth. It is, as a Victorian may have described it, a 'fair city on the banks of the Tay'. Again, much of the Architecture is from that era, and yet there are some exceptional buildings to see. I wandered through the city centre, browsed the shops, ate my lunch on the banks of the River Tay and found the Medieval Parish Church of St John and the much newer Episcopal Cathedral of St Ninian.
Considering the importance of the city as the historic crossing point of the River Tay, it is perhaps surprising that there are only two road bridges across the river. The older bridge is
Perth Bridge, built in 1766 after over a century without a bridge - the medieval structure which had stood for 4 centuries was replaced in 1616 by a structure which lasted a mere 5 years. A little further downstream is the Queens Bridge, which replaced the older Victoria Bridge in 1960.
Elsewhere in the city, the mellow buff-stone terraces rise to four or even five stories, with shops at street level, and are interspersed with public buildings of varying architectural quality. In the northern suburbs, the Black Watch Museum is housed in a former 'castle', with a leafy park stretching back to the river. But, it is the river itself which always steals the show in Perth, with it's wide parks on and tree-lined banks it is Perth's greatest asset.

Auchterarder & Muthill

After spending the better part of 4 hours wandering around Perth, I headed west once more, to Auchterarder. This is a pleasant little town just off the A9 between Perth & Stirling. However, I had soon explored as much of the place as seemed worthy, and decided to head on, intending to stop at Crieff and on Loch Earnside before I got home. Below is a view up Auchterarder's main street.
Before I ever got to Crieff, however, I passed through the little village of Muthill, where a ruined medieval church stands on the bend of the main road. The stark outline of the ruinous walls against the blue sky attracted my attention (below), and so I stopped to take a few photos. Aside from the old church, and its two more recent neighbours, there was nothing else exceptional, so I carried on.
By the time that I reached Crieff, the sun had gone, replaced instead by a blanket of grey cloud, and as I headed west towards Loch Earn, the wipers had to be put back on. Thus, after a very enjoyable sunny day in Perth, my last two stops (just like my first) had to be abandoned due to the weather.