It was early Spring, the last day of March 2017 and the sun was out. My wife and I had the Friday off and a family weekend planned with our baby daughter at the luxurious lodges at Taymouth Marina in Kenmore.
The historic village of Kenmore lies at the foot of the Drummond Hills and on the banks of Loch Tay in the heart of Scotland.
We made our way from Edinburgh late morning and stopped off for lunch in the quaint little village of Dunkeld at the Atholl Arms Hotel, which is becoming a favourite of ours! Before leaving Dunkeld we paid a quick visit to the Dunkeld Smoked Salmon shop, for the weekends supply of breakfast items.
As you turn off the main A9 road and onto the smaller roads towards Aberfeldy, you will enjoy the view of the River Tay as it flows its way through the heartland of Scotland and some of the finest scenery in Perthshire.
Before arriving at Kenmore, we also decided to make a quick stop at the Scottish Chocolate Centre to check out the latest in the world of chocolate design and tasty goodies, of which there was plenty. There you will find a little museum, shop and also a cosy little cafe, you will not want to walk away empty handed!
We arrived a little while before check-in, so made the most of it with coffee and delicious cake at the Taymouth Marina Restaurant, an idyllic setting overlooking Loch Tay and only a stones throw from the lodges. We were also lucky enough to experience a beautiful double rainbow overlooking Kenmore and the iconic Scottish Crannog Centre.
We then got checked into our lodge and it was time to put our feet up, relax and enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness you’ll find being there.
Our lodge was one bedroom, on the ground floor with a hot tub and private terrace. The lodge had unrivaled views across the loch and marina. There was a good size kitchen diner style living space and all the amenities you would expect in a luxury lodge. You will also find free WiFi, which is ideal for checking out the local activities, weather and of course the local eateries, should you wish to dine out one of the evenings of your stay.
I was really keen to try out the fairly recent addition to the marina, the Hot Box. This is a wood burning sauna, which sits on the banks of Loch Tay and beside the restaurant, with some of the finest views overlooking the loch.
It turned out to be perfectly timed as the sun was setting over the loch and with the fire lit, what better way to enjoy a peaceful Friday evening! Even if you’re not staying at the lodges, it’s possible to use the Hot Box for a small charge, so do check this out for when you’re next planning a visit.
Upon my return to the lodge we enjoyed our dinner with the tranquil view over the loch.
Later on that evening we also tried out our private hot tub. An all round great start to our weekend!
On Saturday morning after breakfast, we wanted to see a little more of the countryside. So from a bit of research we planned to visit the Acharn Falls and Forrest walk a short drive or a healthy walk from the lodge and the forest walk itself is just over a mile long. With so many great hill and forest walks around Loch Tay and the area, I would highly recommend you also check out Walk Highlands for ideas and to plan your next outing.
Upon arrival I strapped on the baby carrier and off we went. What a pleasant and calming walk it was too. Make sure you bring sturdy shoes and your camera!
For a quick lunch snack we headed back to the little boathouse by Kenmore marina. After lunch we moved outside to sit and enjoy our coffees in the sun, listening to the water lapping on the shores of the loch. Come here in the evenings and you could experience some of the most stunning sunsets in Scotland! Check this out Past Photos
The new addition of the Loch Tay Safaris boat had just started that day and sailings last about an hour and half. It gives you a different view of the loch and you get to explore the wildlife & nature. We never had an opportunity to try it out on this occasion, but will be when we are next in the area.
After our lunch it was then time to head for the Aberfeldy Distillery, Dewar’s World of Whisky only a short drive away.
This was our first visit to Aberfeldy Distillery and it was our daughters first ever distillery visit, well they need to learn about the water of life sooner or later! We were greeted by Richard at the door and he ran over the style of tour, which in this case started off in what looked like a small private cinema. The short film told a passionate filled story of the history and making of Dewar’s Whisky, and about John Dewar the founder of the whisky and this distillery. We then proceeded to an interactive museum, with the latest technology using Ipad’s to scan key stories and enhance the experience. After about 15 minutes we started the tour and our guide Tom was clearly hugely passionate about their product and the quality of malt whisky that was produced. It is said that gold was once found in the water coming from hill above the distillery, making the whisky so special and golden! The distillery has now been producing whisky since 1898 and their brand is world renowned. The Aberfeldy Malt whisky is the base for every Dewar’s Blended whisky you will find and majority of the whisky produced is used in blends, but some are still sold as single malt whisky’s. Dewar’s also holds a Royal Warrant by Appointment to HM The Queen
That evening we dined at Taymouth Marina Restaurant. They offer a wonderful a la carte menu and daily specials, so something for everyone, including our 14 month old. The setting is fantastic and this time of year you will see the sun set behind the hills in the distance. Weather permitting, they also have outside seating, which allows for an even better experience with taking in the fresh air and sounds from the loch.
On the Sunday morning we got packed up and the 10am check out was perfect for going to the Scottish Crannog Centre.
The Crannog Centre had just reopened for the summer the day prior, so we were really excited to be here for the opening. Despite us having visited the area for many years this was our first visit to this historical and archaeological site. We were greeted and given a brief background to the centre, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017. We then spent a bit of time reading up on the history and work carried out over the years in their visitor centre, not yet a museum, but watch this space!
Next up John greeted us in his traditional clothing and got us all wrapped up warm in traditional tweed blankets, ready for a bit of history and storytelling inside the crannog itself.
Throughout Perthshire more than 40 Crannogs have been discovered and 18 of those found in Loch Tay. They are dating back to the early Iron Age, some 2,500 years ago. These were built to take advantage of the surrounding lowlands for farming and it’s believed built as status symbols or even defence with their unusual locations in the water. John had a great amount of knowledge and stories surrounding the build of the crannog and also about the historic finds over the years. Sitting in what could have been a 2,500 year old house, really brings back memories of going to historic sites and castles in Denmark as a child and I loved it!
Finally we got to see the many methods that were used to produce various simple items for daily life in and around the Crannogs so many years ago. We even saw fire made with a simple stick as they would have done in the past.
Make sure you make a point of visiting when next in the region The Scottish Crannog Centre
On route back through Aberfeldy we stopped off for lunch at Habitat Cafe, which is famous for their coffees and great foods. We’ve now been a number of times and it must be the best coffee for miles!
Flying Scotsman Race (a vintage car Rally throughout Scotland) was taking place throughout Scotland that weekend and passing through Aberfeldy. So it was an absolute pleasure listening to these beautiful vintage cars roaring past the village square, while enjoying our lunch (hard to concentrate on anything else but those beauties though!)
Next stop was home and Edinburgh.
To book your next visit to Taymouth Marina, for the best rates and offers, visit their website and book directly Taymouth Marina
I had kindly been invited to stay at the Taymouth Marina Lodges and the account of all my experiences are honest and all opinions are my own.