Places to visit in Perthshire without travelling too far each day.
by jo145 on July 13, 2013
Only a short drive of 2 miles from Dunkeld, in Perthshire we had a lovely afternoon observing many birds but the Osprey was our main reason for visiting. The centre which is run by the Scottish Wildlife trust is open daily from March 1st to October 31st from 10am – 5pm and from November 1st – February 28 only Friday to Sunday from 10.30am – 4pm. Very reasonably priced at £4 for adults, £3.50 for concessions and 37.50 for a family of 4 or 50p for Scottish Wildlife trust members. Toilets were at the rear of the visitor centre. It was wheelchair accessible to the lower hides and visitor centre.A short walk from the car park is the Visitor Centre where you can buy a coffee, muffin etc and sit and watch all sorts of birds through the viewing window plus the lovely little red squirrels, who I’m sure knew we wanted to take their photos! The Greater spotted woodpeckers weren’t quite so obliging but we managed to take some photos and the very helpful ranger pointed out a redpoll that was feeding. Information was available so you can identify the birds, and they flew in and out all the time we were there.The reason for our visit though was to see the 26 year old osprey who had returned again to nest and her "little" one. There was a choice of hides with windows, some were open making taking photos easier, and a bit cooler as it was a hot day, although you did need a good camera. Telescopes were set up so you could observe the nest and watch the young osprey stretching its wings. Seating made your wait a bit more comfortable and in one of the hides was a video link, as well as in the main centre so you could get a really good view. Osprey’s have been nesting here since 1969.There was a shop selling all the usual wildlife gifts and souvenirs to help with covering costs and bird seed etc. Some of the framed photos were taken locally I believe.Throughout the year there are special events and school parties are welcome, plus arranged walks. Loch of the Lowes is a large freshwater loch with a diverse aquatic flora, fringed by areas of fen, reedbeds and semi-natural woodland. We didn’t see any of the fallow deer, but we did see the Great crested grebe and her 2 chicks, the rangers were concerned as a large pike had made an attack on the mother but fortunately she saved her babies. The male osprey didn’t catch any fish whilst we were there but they were expecting him to visit at any time.Well worth a visit, it was enjoyed by young and old alike, by people who are bird enthusiasts and others who were just interested in seeing the Ospreys, a good way to spend some time if you are in the area.
by jo145 on July 10, 2013
Renowned writer of children’s stories with beautiful drawings of animal figures, most people connect the Lake District with Beatrix Potter but she took her holidays with her family in Birnam for many years and this is where her most famous characters were drawn. Mrs Tiggy-winkle was even based on a local washer woman!Birnam is a very quiet place on the outskirts of Dunkeld but the Beatrix Potter Exhibition is well worth visiting at the Birnam Arts Centre. Parking is available outside the centre and it is easily accessible by train.The Beatrix Potter exhibition is run by volunteers and costs just £3 per person with a maximum of £12 per family. Children under 3 years go free. It is open from 10am – 5pm daily from April to October and until 4.30 from October to March.Well thought out it is a fantastic place for children to play including having a dressing up wardrobe with beautifully made clothes like Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher and Mrs Tiggy-winkle. Children are encouraged to play at doing the washing, pegging it up and doing the ironing. Or play at the shop with lovely bread, cheese and fruits as well as old tins and a till and scales.Do some fishing with Jeremy even. My Granddaughter loved being Mrs Tiggy-winkle doing the washing and also had fun sitting at the table and pouring tea. There were wooden jigsaws suitable for many ages,Victorian toys and games, a schoolroom area, with paper and crayons and so much more. A video was set up for when a rest was called for or comfy floor cushions and a selection of books to read.Grownups could follow Beatrix’s life and check out the showcases, if they had time to tear themselves away from the play area! It is possible to exit the exhibition and visit the garden, with a collection of mosses belonging to Charles McIntosh , a local amateur naturalist who encouraged Beatrix and also stone characters from the stories.He was a postman and became renowned as a botanist before his death in 1922.There is a Gift shop with many collectible products and books and a foyer café with tasty snacks and good coffee.A notice requests that toys are replaced and the area left tidy for other little people to enjoy. My Granddaughter is now 2 but last year she still had fun and I’m sure if we holiday near here again she’ll be back. £3 well spent on a wet summer’s day and the ticket lasts all day so we could go out and back in later!
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