News News PERTHSHIRE IN WINTER – TOP 5 2016 Winter in Perthshire brings a whole new level of beauty to this glorious countryside. With the sparking white trees and soft blankets of snow on the hills, our favourite walks and views are transformed into a magical winter wonderland. With more than 200,000 acres of woodlands, which include more champion trees than anywhere else in the UK, Perthshire is Big Tree Country. Together these create Scotland's most spectacular trees and woodlands where there are lots of different experiences to discover and enjoy in winter. From the shimmering Birks of Aberfeldy to the snow white Queen’s View there’s something for everyone and every ability, but if you’re having trouble choosing from the vast array of places to see Perthshire’s winter wonderland, here’s our Top 5 list, in no particular order, to give you a hand: Queen's View The view from here is stunning at any time of year but in the winter snow it turns into a magical fairy tale wonderland. It’s just a very short, all-ability walk to the viewpoint to one of the most famous views in Scotland looking up Loch Tummel to the snow-covered mountain Schiehallion (1081 m / 3547 feet). Although it is generally believed to be named after Queen Victoria who took tea here in 1866, the viewpoint actually commemorates Queen Isabella, wife of Robert the Bruce who ruled Scotland between 1306 and 1329.The nearby visitor centre tells the fascinating story of people and forests in Highland Perthshire, and the accompanying tea room gives you a chance to rest your legs and warm up with a nice mug of tea. Birks of Aberfeldy This beautiful short walk was popularised in a song of the same name by Robert Burns. Follow in the footsteps of the bard through this spectacular snow-covered gorge to the small naturally formed seat where the famous poet was said to rest and find inspiration while listening to the roar of the nearby falls. Here there are stunning views of roaring white waterfalls and across sparkling, snowy treetops to Strathtay.'Birks' is Scots for birch trees and a beautiful birch woodland can be seen at the top of the gorge. You can also see a range of exotic specimen trees in a collection beside the Upper Birks car park. This is the perfect place to capture the colours and mood of autumn. To warm up after your walk, visit the Watermill in nearby Aberfeldy for a warming cup of coffee and slice of delicious cake. Kinnoull Hill and Tower Kinnoull Hill, which is visible throughout Perth, provides a dramatic backdrop to Scotland’s ‘Fair City’. The waymarked nature trails, sparking in the gleaming white snow, lead to the dramatic clifftop escarpment above the River Tay, and Kinnoull Tower, a 19th century romantic folly. This distinctive folly was built as a reflection of the castles on the banks of the Rhine. In common with other private sites at that time, the hill was part of a designed landscape with carefully laid out walks and drives.The views from here down the gleaming river and across to the snow-covered western and northern hills beyond are outstanding. After enjoying the fine views, pop into one of the cosy cafes in Perth and warm up with a cappuccino. Loch Rannoch There are many beautiful walks at Loch Rannoch and in winter the beautiful white glistening snow makes this a magical place to visit.Take one of the short walks around the village of Kinloch Rannoch, or try a longer walk through the frosty Carie and Rannoch Forests and enjoy the magnificent panoramic views of the icy loch. After your walk, why not visit the Riverbank Café in the village and warm up with a cup of tea or lovely mug of hot chocolate. Dunkeld The Planting Dukes of Atholl are famous for planting some 27 million conifers on the Perthshire hills between 1738 and 1830, some of which are in the grounds of the Dunkeld House Hotel. The Tree Trail walk along the river from Dunkeld Cathedral to the hotel is spectacular in winter with the snow sparkling on the Dukes trees. This is a beautiful circular walk with the Hotel half way round – the perfect place to stop for a sumptuous afternoon tea and enjoy the roaring log fire.