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Dunkeld

Adorable Chick

UK & IRELAND diary : Day 10 - 20th April 2017

Dunkeld, meaning "a Fort in the Woods" in Gaelic, is a small village, lying north of Edinburgh in the Perth & Kinross council area, of Scotland. It is said to be as old as 730AD. River Tay (pronounced Tea) flows south of this Village. It is surrounded by thick, wooded mountains. A religious revolution in the form of Protestant reformation hit the village in 16th century, after which it collapsed. Though it was restored in the early 19th century and also made a ROYAL BOROUGH, it failed to develop, remaining to be a small settlement.

Today, the lovely village consists of whitewashed shops, hotels and cottages after undergoing a restoration process in the early 20th century. Speeding from Pitlochry, our bus reached Dunkeld village in about 30 minutes. Characterised by well maintained narrow roads, green grass all around, with picture perfect, colourful trees, this village was right out a fairy tale. It was more like a well maintained ROYAL GARDEN, now turned into a resort. We walked around trying to explore as much as possible. The main entrance of the DUNKELD HOUSE HOTEL, leading to its driveway, caught our attention. It was like a little medieval fortress. We were not allowed to enter without Permission. We were happy with a few photographs against this backdrop. The surroundings were blooming with pretty flowers and berries. We couldn't get enough of the place, before we were requested to board the tour bus.

The vehicle zoomed towards Erigmore , crossing the river Tay. We were in total awe of the Scenic splendour all the way. We stopped in a small place to relish the views of this Mighty river. River Tay is the longest River in Scotland. It originates in the western mountain slopes of the country and flows along Dunkeld , follows a path up and past Pitlochry, where River Tummel joins it as a tributary. It has 6 such tributaries in total. It is famous for its Salmon fishing. The Tay River Forest surrounds major portion of this River. The entire area, garnished with thick woods and trees in various shades of green is a must see. After a few pictures in the area, we drove deep into the forest area.

Tidy Desk

The forest grew thicker and beautiful. We soon reached the HERMITAGE, a special stretch of the Perthshire forest, that was designed purely for pleasure, in the 18th Century by the Dukes of Atholl.

Our vehicle came to a halt. From this point , we were on foot. The "Hermitage", lies above River Braan, yet another tributary of River Tay. The gurgling water of this River could be heard all along our walking trail. We walked in amazement, sighting the thick Doughlas FIR trees, which are reportedly the tallest in all of Britain. The area lies close to the Dunkeld House.

The entire stretch is about 35 acres. There are plenty of walking trails here. The soil here is so fertile, that the forest grew deeper and thicker in a short span of time. Today, it is maintained by the National Trust of Scotland and is a popular tourist ground. Our guide explained how some famous poets and artists drew their inspiration from this place, especially WilliamWordsworth. It was an enriching experience lasting about an hour. We found several SEVERED tree trunks on the way. Our guide asked us to gather around one such cut tree, which peculiarly had coins sticking out from its face. He explained that, since times immemorial, these were believed to be wishing trees that accepted a coin in return for granting a wish.

While making a wish, the trail walkers apparently pushed a coin deep inside the tree trunk. If it continued to stick inside and stay, their wishes would come true. This fact was interesting. We tried pulling out coins from the trunk but failed. Wemoved on ahead and in a while reached the OSSAIN'S hall