Single-track road in Glen Lyon
Anyway now that I’ve explained that back to what I was saying, in order to get a true flavour of great Scottish driving I would suggest that you have to experience at least one single-track road. I have a few favourites that I like to visit on a regular basis. Some near Glen Coe just for the majesty of the Highland Mountains that really are awe inspiring, and then closer to home there is the road to Loch Katrine that never fails to appeal no matter what the season.
Today I just needed to get away from it all, it had been a long hard week and the rain hadn’t made it any easier so I headed out to Perthshire. I deliberately stayed away from the open roads and stuck to the wooded roads, before long I found myself in Crieff which is where I would have liked to have begun this drive. Driving past
This particular route took me along some of the most dramatic small roads in central
This road takes you quickly into a hidden valley. There are frequent blind summits and two entertaining humpback bridges (the first in particular can be quite startling). The land at times seems almost hostile, a feeling added to by the sight of ruined dwellings long since deserted by crofters forced from the land. The dreaded hairpins appear in the distance, a slow and low-gear approach gets you round in one piece. You climb towards the rounded tops of hills, scoured by glacial erosion into volcanic-shaped craters and rock-strewn lunar landscapes and finally reach a plateau where, as you can pause in the layby, you find acres and acres of silence.
The road soon moves abruptly downhill and the small town of
Next stop on the route is the charming
At the far end of the village, next to the church, is the thing that most people associate with this part of the world the ancient yew tree. It is thought to be 5000 years old and the oldest living thing in
On the hill behind this the Romans built a fort. It is rumoured that Pontius Pilate was born here but such a claim seems a bit extreme when you consider this area would have been at the very edge of the
Next Glen Lyon beckoned. The start of the glen is a sunny birch tunnel close to the Birks of Aberfeldy, and the sight of white-silver bark struck by the early afternoon sun is wondrous. The glen snakes westwards and reveals the mountains beyond in
Birks of Aberfeldy
At this point, I left the glen road to head to my final destination: Ben Lawers. This final stretch of road feels as though it could be in the furthest reaches of the
However enough of my bitching if you ever get the pleasure of taking this drive and walk I would encourage you to sit in the warmth of the sun in the long reedy grass drinking in the view below before returning to the car park, but that might mean going in summer, today though nice was a little on the cold side. Anyway from there you can watch as the sunlight flickers on the surface of the mighty Loch Tay. If you are lucky to have a day like today the sky will be pure blue allowing the daylight to dance on the summits of Ben More and the Tarmachan Ridge.