The Square, Aberfeldy, and the fountain erected by the Marquis of Breadalbane in 1885
Exploring the Birks of Aberfeldy on one of many wooden walkways
Black Watch memorial statue silhouette at Aberfeldy
Aberfeldy
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I visited Aberfeldy in winter. It's a time of year when there are few tourists around, and yet it is also a time of year when Scotland is at its most beautiful. When I was there a bus stopped at the Black Watch memorial to disgorge its payload of tourists. They all dutifully took a snap or two, got back on the bus, and left. Visitors like that don't actually see Scotland. They just tick things off a list.
In 1787, during his tour of Scotland, Robert Burns visited Aberfeldy. In exploring the area he made his way through a forest at the side of a deep gorge. There, he uncovered a place of such beauty that he felt inspired to write a song. Sitting on a stone ledge, he put pen to paper.

'The braes ascend like lofty wa's, The foaming stream, deep-roaring fa's,
O'er-hung wi' fragrant spreading shaws - The birks of Aberfeldy.
'

Today, you can sit on what is claimed to be the very stone ledge sat on by Burns when he penned the song. I have to tell you that, for me, the Birks of Aberfeldy is probably one of the most picturesque, most exciting, and most enchanting places I have ever seen. Just being there makes one want to sigh aloud. And in winter it is magical; a special place where silver unicorns bow their heads above streams of glass.
THE SQUARE, ABERFELDY
THE BIRKS OF ABERFELDY
BLACK WATCH MEMORIAL
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How to
GET THERE
You can get a bus to Aberfeldy from Pitlochry (change at Ballinluig). Pitlochry has a direct train service from Glasgow Queen Street railway station.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo