Happy Hogmanay everyone!
It was my birthday and I usually like to explore somewhere new in Scotland on that day. Walking, hiking, running, anything to get me outdoors after Christmas festivities!
So … despite Storm Frank causing chaos, Alan and I headed up north for the day to Perthshire, the heart of Scotland.
It was watching the Outlander TV series that inspired me to visit this area. Season 1 was filmed in our bonnie Scotland. Also, a brilliant blogger had already visited some of the filming locations and shared her adventures which made me want to visit even more. Thanks Susanne from Adventures around Scotland!
I was hoping to find the filming location for Craigh Na Dun, a small cluster of Scots Pine trees with a mysterious circle of standing stones. The standing stones are not real sadly, but the location is.
It was wet and wild when we left home, but when we reached Glasgow it was clearer and I could see the mountains. It looked promising!
But then it totally changed … as you would expect in Scotland. Storm Frank was upon us as we got nearer to Perthshire with rivers and lochs flooded.
This part of Scotland was so beautiful! The autumn colours were vibrant and when I was in the car I kept seeing photos I wanted to capture, but we had nowhere to stop. To really explore and photograph this area we would need to be on foot.
Ironically, there was a camper type van in front of us for a wee while with the Fraser clan moto ‘Je suis prest’ on the back. It means ‘I am ready’. This was significant as the Outlander series includes characters who are from Clan Fraser!
Kinloch Rannoch was our first place to explore but the road was getting worse. We’d driven through what we thought was deep water before but further ahead it got deeper and more dangerous. Following the car in front was our decision whether to go through the water or not. When eventually the other car turned around so did we.
So we headed back to Tummel Bridge and took photos of the raging River Tummel.
Wow, what a lot of very fast running water. The noise was so loud I could hardly hear Alan speak. It was very dangerous looking but impressive too.
I was lucky I wasn’t driving so admired the scenery along the way. All Alan could hear from me was “wow, look at that, it’s so beautiful, watch that huge puddle!”
We stopped to admire the Schiehallion mountain which is a Munro (a mountain over 3,000 feet). One of my challenges next year is to climb a Munro, so this might be the one.
Update: I finally completed my challenge in May 2016 and climbed the beautiful Schiehallion mountain.
The fictional Craigh Na Dun
I was so happy when Alan found the location where the fictional standing stones were filmed. We waited until the rain went off a bit and headed up to the trees.
The mounts for the fake standing stones were still there from the filming! Either that or they’d mysteriously shrunk into the ground! Mmm … we were very careful not to disturb anything.
The scenery was just so beautiful though, even on a dull, stormy day.
I wanted to take lots of photos and stay longer but after about five minutes Storm Frank popped by unexpectedly with a squall of wind. The rain was hammering down in all directions and we were soaked to the skin.
Frank almost below me off my feet at one point. He wasn’t happy at all! It was like a sign for us to leave now, even though they were not real standing stones.
I had to get one more photo before I left though. This was the hardest photo ever. The wind kept blowing Jamie and Claire down and I could hardly stay standing sometimes with the gusts.
Jamie and Claire were soaked to the skin too, but they kindly stayed to pose for a photo, only just!
We headed back to the car soaked to the skin, then after about five minutes it calmed down and we saw blue sky! What was that all about? Spooky!
I really didn’t want to leave, but it was going to get dark in an hour so for safety reasons we needed to start our journey home.
Another strange thing was our satellite navigation in the car suddenly stopped working … we really depended on this to get back out. After about ten minutes of trying to turn it on, eventually it worked.
The way out
The flooding was getting worse with almost every road back out being closed.
We must have tried about four ways out. It eventually got really dark and we were driving through small windy roads not being able to see the deep water in places.
We really thought we were going be to stranded and was thinking of parking in a car park overnight, sleeping in the car. We had some food, our camping stove and a sleeping bag, so we did come prepared.
It would have been an experience, but we really needed to get back home for my children and our two cats.
After a few hours we eventually we found a way out to the A9 and was on our way home. Phew!
It was a great adventure to say the least and I will visit again as the scenery is stunning.
I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!
Thanks for reading.
Love, Dawn-Marie x