Two Words: Perthshire and Amber. Get there next year.

Went up to Perthshire yesterday.  Joan and I had ‘a grand day out’, fresh air, autumn gold, good beer and great music.

Train to Blair Atholl

Blair Atholl Station

Three of us got off the train into a smirring dull day, dreich and drizzly, with rucksacks of diminishing size, from the solitary walker who strode off ahead of us with a week long backpack down to Joan’s little daysack.   Joan and I headed to Glen Tilt and managed a 10 mile round trip up to about 1000 feet, as the grey sky gradually lightened and blue sky broke through on the glorious gullies and meadows of Glen Tilt.

Glen Tilt




My Twitter Haikus (@DannySMurphy) for the day:






Glen Tilt russet red

Thundering through its gorges

Its foaming river

Scots Pine









Beech red and Larch gold

Scots firs a silvery green

The autumn colours

Red Squirrel






An eagle circles

In a river meadow running deer

Timid red squirrels








It was dark by 5, after a short blazing sunset on the golden larch, then we were off to the pub to sample the excellent Moulin Ales from Pitlochry, followed by live music at the Perthshire Amber Festival.  It is typical of Dougie McLean to use his name and influence to bring high quality acts into small local community venues, supporting his local community and its people.  His generous ethos and outstanding musicianship pervades the events.    Our concert featured Dougie and Julie Fowlis, who has been going down great in US recently.    She has a clean natural voice:

Dougie was playing on his own last night.   An effortless performance, warm and rich.  You don’t get the rich tones of his voice on this YouTube recording, but it is one of my favourite songs.  When I first heard him play it, he explained that, as a young man, he had set off to discover the world and discover himself, but as he got older, he realised that the man he was to become was sitting by the fire, getting older, in the family home.  It’s a beautiful song about father and son, and the community that Dougie is rooted in.

Thanks to George and Ann for giving us a lift back.

The festival is an annual event, just after the final end of the tourist season – put it in your diary for next year.


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