Kenmore and Loch Tay
In this lovely little village of Kenmore is a conservation village with all the houses beautifully kept and painted white and black. The village is nestled at the base of Drummind Hill At the end of Loch TAy with a lovely little harbor. It is here that the Loch Tay passes under a single lane 18th century stone bridge to become the River Tay, Scotland’s longest river.
In the centre of the village you will find the Kenmore Hotel which is Scotland’s oldest inn and was built in 1572. The Inn like the houses around is painted white with black trim. In the restaurant at the back you can enjoy a great view of the river through huge windows. It is a popular place for weddings apparently and also for tour groups as each time we went there was another group either American or German or another nationality.
We had a drink or two in the bar which is famous for the hand written poem scribed in pencil by Rabbie Burns when he stayed at the Inn in 1782. There are photos and copies of the poem around the bar and the poem itself is covered with a glass protection and has a bronze plaque telling you theat it was written by Scotland’s most famous poet.
The church on the Loch bank is very pretty and was built in 1759. Inside was quite plain painted white but welcoming. We peaked in when a group of musicians were there practicing one evening.
The village was created in the 18th century by the 3rd Earl of Breadalbane. Just near the hotel is a wall and imposing gated entrance to Taymouth castle which was visited by Queen Victoria on her honeymoon, I believe she stayed there. The castle is not ancient but was built in 1810, unfortunately it was closed when we were staying in Kenmore. You can walk about two miles to the castle but cannot go in. I think it may be undergoing a transformation to a hotel but I am not sure if that rumour is accurate.
Along the edge of the loch is a pebbly beach where you can sit and watch the boats on the loch. We enjoyed watching a dog chasing sticks that were being thrown for him to fetch in the loch. You can walk around onto the south loch road and hire boats and other water sport equipment such as wind surfers.
Also round that side of the loch is the Scottish Crannog centre which I have written a review about on here. This is where you can learn about the Iron Age island settlements that existed on Loch Tay and other lochs in Scotland. There were once eighteen of these island settlements on Loch Tay and the remains of some can be seen on the loch today.
There are a few little shops and a post office in the village and a couple of restaurants besides the Kenmore hotel so plenty of choice in this small village.
Beyond Kenmore there is so much to see from small towns, castles and many walks to enjoy the scenery and flora and fauna of the area. In this area you will find Perthshire’s highest mountain, Ben Lawers; Scotland’s longest river, the Tay; the Highland’s longest and loveliest glen, Glen Lyon and Europe’s oldest tree, the Fortingall Yew which is over 3,000 years old.
Ben Lawers is 4,000 ft and the tenth highest mountain in Scotland. It has a number of routes for experienced well equipped climbers but for those wanting to enjoy a less taxing walk you can follow the path along the side of the burn. In this mountain range there are seven peaks above 3,000 ft so a climber’s paradise.
In Glen Lyon there are four mountains above 3,000ft which are called Munros and five mountains over 2,000ft which are known as Corbetts. At Innerwick there is a picnic area, public toilets and the Bridge of Balgie with its popular tearoom so well worth calling in and starting even a short walk from here.
If you are lucky on your walks you may see red squirrels, Capercalie which are living in the Drummond Hill area since being reintroduced in the area in the 1830s. You may spot eagles, grouse or even wild deer. If you are into fishing then the River Tay is considered excellent by anglers from around the world for trout and salmon.
If whisky is your thing then once again there are a number of distilleries in the area from Dewar’s in Aberfeldy through to the tiny distillery in Edradour near Pitlochry with many others in between all within driving distance.
We spent a lovely week in this area and will certainly come back as there is so much to see and do that we only did half of the things we wanted to do as we ran out of time.