Isn’t It Always About the Weather in Scotland?
|A pleasant morning in Branklyn Garden, Perth, Scotland.|
|Three days later...a cold snowy wind whips off the loch.|
|At St Fillans GC in 60 degree weather.|
|Lovely flowers in the gardens.|
|The next day the cold rain hits the course.|
|Then the rain turns to sleet.|
|The Montrose Medal GC looks pleasant, but the wind was 20 mph and bitterly cold.|
|On the way home from Montrose in a bloody snow storm.|
Scotland is lovely in whatever condition and we are actually looking forward to heading up into the Highlands and north with snow on the hills. Should be quite photogenic.
Why Do we Choose Crieff as Our Home Base?
|High Street, Crieff.|
Besides being adopted by a family (John and Jacky Clifford who own Merlindale B&B) we believe Crieff (Perthshire) is a great place to stay.
|Merlindale B&B in Crieff is our Scottish home.|
There are several reasons we recommend Crieff to all our friends who travel to Scotland? First, Crieff (from Soottish Craobh meaning trees) has an interesting history. It was a drover’s or market town where Highlanders would bring their cattle and hides to be sold every year in the Michaelmas (October) tryst or market. In fact, Rob Roy MacGregor visited Crieff to sell cattle and his son was chased and shot in the streets of Crieff. Besides being a drover’s town, Crieff was also where Bonnie Prince Charlie held his final war council (The Drummond Arms Hotel)
|Art on the Drummond Arms Hotel.|
before the disastrous defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden in April of 1746. It is also home to Scotland’s oldest lending library, the Innerpeffray Library.
Secondly, Crieff is centrally located for tourists.
|James Square, Crieff.|
St Andrews is a little over an hour away, as are both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Stirling with its magnificent castle and Bannockburn battlefield (both of Braveheart fame) is less than an hour away. At the edge of the Highlands, Crieff is also only a few minutes from the famous Gleneagles Resort and Golf Courses where the Ryder Cup matches were played in 2014. But you really don’t have to go out of town to have plenty to do and see.
Crieff is home to The Famous Grouse Experience (Glenturret Distillery), the most visited distillery in Scotland. The town has two 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course. The High Street shopping area has a plethora of specialty shops including J L Gills (my go-to whisky shop),
an Edinburgh Woolen Mills shop,
|J L Gills--whisky paradise in Crieff.|
|A local fruit and veg shop.|
bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, a deli, a couple of art galleries, a well-stocked tourist information shop, and a world renown candy shop. At the east edge of Crieff is the Crieff Visitor’s Centre with the famous Caithness Glass Works. Near to the visitor’s centre is a Stuart Crystal shop
After all that you really need to relax and have something to eat. Crieff has several tea or coffee shops, including The Red Squirrel (my writing office since there’s no Starbucks here).
|High Street, Crieff.|
There’s also no dearth of fine dining establishments either—Yann’s is our favorite, but The Lounge, The Gallery, and Delivinos are also popular. Plenty of pubs in town serve good pub fare if that’s to your liking.
If this sounds like a commercial for Crieff, it is. Anne and I spend about six weeks a year (spring and fall) in Crieff and we love it
|A fence in Crieff's residential area.|
—the people, the shopping, the attractions, the food. We enjoy other towns in Scotland as well, especially Peebles, Grantown on Spey, Aviemore, Ballater, and Dornoch. But it is Crieff which is our Scottish home.