Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Highland Town of Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy town square

It has been such an exciting couple of months in London that I haven’t dedicated much time to my other travels lately.  I thought it would be the perfect day to visit the town of Aberfeldy in Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands.  Aberfeldy is a small market town located close to Crieff and Pitlochry.  It is not as geared to tourists as other towns in the area but it is certainly worth a visit.

The Birks in Aberfeldy

Above you can see the town square and the derelict Birks cinema built in 1939 in the Art Deco style.  This building is such a gem, it would be amazing if it was refurbished and used as a cinema or theatre once again.  Oh! It looks like such a project is indeed underway by “The Friends of the Birks” and the patron of the project is the superb actor Alan Cumming who was born in Aberfeldy.  This is great news!

Scottish Baronial Architecture Aberfeldy

During our visit to Aberfeldy, I was thrilled to see more examples of Scots Baronial Style architecture that we saw throughout our visit to Perthshire. This gothic revival style really inspired my imagination and I imagined creepy rain storms, mystery and intrigue in the Scottish Highlands.

Aberfeldy High Street

Were it not for the sight of modern cars, you could easily imagine that you had stepped back to Victorian times when visiting Aberfeldy.  Many of the shops had closed when we were there but I think this is a town that will see great growth and rejuvenation in the years to come, especially when the cinema reopens.

Rogues Shoes Aberfeldy

We had lunch in the Fountain restaurant behind the old Victorian water fountain.  Of course, after a long walk through the town, we were enjoying lunch far too much to worry about taking photos!

The Fountain Bar and Victorian Water Fountain Aberfeldy

If you look into the distance in the photo below, you can just make out the hills of the Scottish Highlands.  Aberfeldy is known for its beautiful, scenic walks.  Perhaps that is why JK Rowling recently bought a house nearby?

Victorian Drinking Fountain Aberfeldy

Our primary reason for visiting Aberfeldy had been to visit The Watermill, a famous bookshop, art gallery and coffee shop located at the edge of the town.  The Watermill was so exciting that it deserves its very own post!

I will leave you at our approach to the bookshop and another view of the gorgeous scenery in the distance.

Scenery at The Watermill

Situated in Perthshire, Aberfeldy is located at the intersection of the A826 to Crieff and the A827, which branches off the A9 to Pitlochry. 

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27 comments

  1. Pretty exciting to visit this town in the Highlands with you ! Can't wait to see you covering the Windmill !

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  2. Yes, I do so love my mini vacations with you, Scotland! I love it!

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  3. A nice walk trough the town...
    Thanks a lot !
    Best regards from France,

    Pierre

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  4. Wow..totally gorgeous..I'd be quite happy wandering around there..beautiful Emm!
    Victoria

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  5. It's very nice there, kind of a cozy atmposphere!

    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  6. lovely tour! all those wonderful old stone buildings makes nearly every small village in europe worth visiting. we are too willing to tear down and start over here in the states. it's quite sad.

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  7. I really adore English buildings :) They are charming and gorgeous!

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  8. @ This is Belgium: Thank you. I think you will like the Windmill!

    @ Northsidefour: Thank you! I felt quite refreshed after my short break (or trip down memory lane) to the Highlands yesterday too!

    @ Pierre: Glad you enjoyed it.

    @ Jen: Before I met you.

    @ Victoria: Scotland is amazing. If you ever get the chance to visit, do so!

    @ Ola: I agree. It was lovely.

    @ Bon Bon: Thank you! I know, it is so important to maintain old buildings and a sense of identity and history.

    @ Ashley: It is not English! This is in Scotland and the architectural style is quite unique to Scotland.

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  9. Like it... it seems a cute town... :)
    nice pics

    ** filipa
    http://atravelerjourney.blogspot.pt/

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  10. I want to have a lunch at the Fountain restaurant! And I would like to dine with J.K. please :)

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  11. I don't believe I have ever been there, though the "Windmill" sounds a powerful incentive to get along. I like that baronial type architecture. Don't think anyone does that kind of gothicky stuff better than the Scots!

    I'm very glad the little cinema might be rescued. There are still quite a few of them around, but not many actually show movies any more. Yet I find them absolutely charming and I will go and see almost anything in one, whereas it is a real job to drag me off to the Vue or 3-D Odeon round the corner!

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  12. Wow, the air looks so clear - I can almost smell how clean and fresh it is (he says, breathing in diesel fumes from the nearby East End main road)

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  13. Those are nice pictures, and the town (which I have never heard of, to be honest :-) ) looks like a lovely place as well.

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  14. btw, just browsed around the other sections of your site for a while - I really love how you structured everything - think I'm going to try to make mine look better too

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  15. The Scots know how to do quaint!

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  16. The Scots know how to do quaint!

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  17. What a fun visit. I am enjoying this virtual tour.

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  18. Is that a clock in the middle of the road?

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  19. Looks like a fun place to do window shopping. I am sorry to hear many of the stores are closed. It is far more interesting to see old style buildings than the generic architecture of today.

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  20. I'm originally from this area (Dunkeld actually which is just south on the A9) though living in London, so it is quite interesting to read this from a visitors perspective. I never actually knew about the cinema repoening which is pretty interesting, but surely it will be quite small but in saying that there isnt another one until Perth which is a fair trek from Aberfeldy! Also - never knew Alan Cumming was from Aberfeldy, lol he seems far too cool for such a rural place lol!

    Good article.

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  21. I'm very fond of Scotland, and to me it seems that you have captured much of the essence of a small town life. Loved it!

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  22. It has been probably over 15 years since I last visited Aberfeldy, and it looks much the same. Apart from back then there probably wasn't so many closed shops - sign of the times.

    Perthshire isn't really a part of Scotland I have explored very much, I mainly passed through there going over to the West Coast, where those wee hills turn into mountains...

    Hopefully they can raise the rest of the money for the cinema project asap... it will do a lot of good for the community for sure...

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  23. Oh my goodness! I just happened to come across your site through a link and saw the word 'Aberfeldy' which brought back a huge rush of memories. I spent the first 3 months of my UK life in 2004 in Ardeonaig which is just down the road and I would often drive to Aberfeldy on my days off.

    This just made my day :) A x

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  24. great photos. beautiful architecture and great place to go for a stroll.

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  25. What a wonderful trip down memory lane as I have visited a few times starting in 1949 with my parents. My grandfather was Andrew Gatherum living 1 Chappel St.Thanks for the memories Margaret Karl New Zealand

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