On my morning adventures in Culross (day 2 of my Scottish holiday), I wandered into a historical building that I thought held the information centre and instead found myself in a photo gallery. As the photos were largely nature scenes from around Scotland, I enjoyed a nice long browse as well as a delightful conversation with the photographer himself, G. H. Graham.
As Graham asked where I would be traveling next, he showed me photos from some of his favorite walks in the area. He gave me loads of good information for visiting the Hermitage and exploring other walks around Birnam and Dunkeld, and he also offered ideas on places to discover around Pitlochry.
On my last visit to Scotland, I had stayed in Pitlochry but not explored the area much. Prior to this holiday, I had discovered a map for an extensive walk from the visitors centre at Killiecrankie (a couple miles north of Pitlochry), along the glen, and around to a few spots of interest before returning to the centre.
Graham suggested an alternative: from Pitlochry, start at the dam and fish ladder and circle Loch Faskally. The bridge crossing at the northwest end of the loch connected to the Killiecrankie walk if I wanted to explore further.
After my long walk to and from the Hermitage the day before I headed to Pitlochry, I decided to make my decisions about the day’s directions as needed. And a good thing, too, because when I arrived at the Pitlochry train station, it was snowing. The snow wasn’t heavy, but it made for cold, wet weather, and I could see more snow flying in the higher elevations.
I decided to start the walk around Loch Faskally, crossing the river below the dam and walking up past it to the loch. By then, the sun was shining and the flurries had tapered off, so I happily made my way along the woodland path.
The skies clouded up again, and by the time I reached the Clunie Bridge — where I had the choice of continuing the path on my side of the water (to the Linn of Tummel, about 4 miles), crossing the bridge and heading left to Killiecrankie (about 3 mi), or crossing the bridge and turning right to return to Pitlochry (about 1 1/2 mi) — I could see waves of snow flurries sweeping down from the hills and blowing right at me.
That made the choice easy: back to Pitlochry I went. I pulled up my hood a couple of times as the precipitation increased, and then the snow would pass and the sun would come out again. Typical April crazy weather!
While I did not exactly close the loop back to Pitlochry, I did find my way from the path to the main street in town — and to a tea room that welcomed me with a pot of hot tea and a fresh scone! And while I didn’t hike my original goal of the Killiecrankie Walk, I’m satisfied with what I did and saw instead.