Back in August, we visited Scotland and we had the most amazing week. Some could say too relaxing because it has taken me some time to sort through all of my photos. Well, all stories must have a beginning and ours began at the Crieff Visitor Centre. We’d been in to Crieff town centre to look for some information on the attractions in the surrounding area and the ladies in the Tourist Information Centre had suggested that a very good place to start was the visitor centre up the road. There we would learn a bit more about the history of Crieff as an important cattle-droving centre and about the town in general.
This gorgeous young man is an excellent example of kyloe or Highland cattle. Highland cattle are famous for being sturdy which is important given that they were bred on the treacherous Scottish Highlands.
Groups of Highland cattle are called ‘folds’ of cattle as opposed to normal cattle which are grouped in herds. We found them to be rather shy except for when we tried to gently attract their attention and then they seemed rather scary.
The visitor centre has a factory and outlet for Caithness Glass, a famous glass-making enterprise. We had the privilege of watching some of their most skilled glass-makers at work.
My photos don’t even begin to do justice to the painstaking pace at which these masters work to make the most beautiful paperweights and other objets d’art. If you visit the Crieff Visitor’s Centre website, you can see examples of the finished products.
The final part of the centre that we visited was the Drovers Exhibition. This is a lovely exhibition that tells you all about the cattle-droving trade that made Crieff an important crossroads in Scotland in the early 1700s. They were really hard and brutal times and the exhibition tells you all about how the cattle drovers survived and what the markets must have looked like.
This was the first major history lesson that I had in Scotland and it was to be a week where I learned much more about the people, culture and history of the land. It was the first sign I had that Scotland really is a very different country from England and it was really interesting to learn about it all.
We left the visitor centre and headed out on our very first Scottish castle-hopping experience.