Back in 2003, Kevin and Jayne Ramage discovered a derelict mill in Aberfeldy in the Scottish Highlands. So enchanted were they by this listed building that they went on to open The Watermill, a bookshop, art gallery and coffee shop. The Watermill won the prize for the Bertrams Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2008.
We’d had a wonderful time exploring Aberfeldy, but our primary reason for visiting the town was to visit this famous bookshop and we certainly weren’t disappointed. It is said to have the largest range of titles in the Scottish Highlands and it is the perfect place to spend the afternoon browsing.
It is hard to pinpoint what is so special about this bookshop but perhaps it is the attention to detail. There is but one copy of each book which no doubt contributes to their ability to house a vast collection. The assistants were really friendly too and were quite happy to assist you in finding books.
The cafe is located on the lower level floor and opens up onto a veranda next to the old mill stream. I loved that you could still spot old bits of mill machinery about the building. It gives a lovely authentic feel to the whole bookshop.
There is an art gallery on the upper level of the building which is home to regular exhibitions. Being a fan of modern and urban art, I especially appreciated the pieces by Banksy and Blek le Rat.
As with most towns in the Highlands, you just need to peek down any side street to see breathtaking scenery. This is the view that you would enjoy if you sat beside the mill stream on the veranda and enjoyed a cup of coffee.