DAN BEAN enjoys a break on the tranquil shores of Scotland's Loch Tay

NESTLED amongst the hillsides and lochs of Perthshire is Kenmore, a small but charming village on the shores of Loch Tay.

Situated about 80 miles north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, north west of Perth and more or less in the heart of Scotland, it feels a million miles away from city life, and with peaceful waters and tranquil, green forests, it's easy to forget about the bustle of urban life for a few days.

Accommodation was provided by the family-run Mains Of Taymouth - a country estate and golf course located over the curve of the road around the loch, with stunning views and facilities which are open to all.

From here, it's less than a five minute walk into Kenmore, which features a riverside pub/hotel/restaurant, post office, historic church and small children's playground, but the real beauty of the village is the location.

Loch Tay is about 17 miles in length, with Kenmore situated on the northernmost shore. A few steps from the Mains complex is a delightful bridge, used as much by passers-by to take amazing photographs of the water, as it is by traffic.

Further along the shore is a pebbled cove, fully open to the public, and a perfect place to spend a few minutes feeding the ducks and spotting the wildlife, but walk a little further, and you will find Loch Tay Safaris.

The business is in its first year, and will take families on a cruise all around the loch - said to be one of Scotland's deepest - while knowledgeable boatmen share details about the history of the area, and point out the wildlife and natural beauties which is only accessible by water.

If you're looking to go further afield and want to see even more wildlife, Highland Safaris is based close to the next village along the loch - Aberfeldy.

Open all year round, it features 4x4 safaris, a red deer centre, barn owl encounter, walking and bike tracks (with bikes available for hire), a maze, discovery trail and you can even try your hand at panning for gold.

As for Aberfeldy itself, it is home to the wonderfully Art Deco Birks Cinema & Cafe Bar, which looks delightfully unique among the village architecture, but is open seven days a week and screens the latest big screen releases - a perfect refuge in case the changeable Scottish weather becomes a little too bleak.

The village also has The Watermill - an award-winning independent bookshop, art gallery, cafe and community hub - and is a stone's throw from the world-famous Dewar's distillery, which offers tours and fill your own bottle experiences for any visitors fond of a wee dram.

Those with a sweet tooth can visit Iain Burnett's chocolate workshop, where 'The Highland Chocolatier' develops and creates gourmet goodies which are carried by international hotels and clients including Gordon Ramsay, Albert Roux and British Airways.

Situated just outside Aberfeldy, Burnett promises "the best truffles in the world", and offers a chocolate exhibition, tasting, and an award-winning hot chocolate in the attraction's cafe.

While the distance may seem intimidating to those who dislike driving - this reviewer's journey took roughly seven hours - the scenery alone is worth the trip.

And once you reach the shores of Loch Tay, and sit with a glass of wine and a delicious dish of local venison, and open your eyes to the beautiful surroundings, it's hard to think of a reason not to pay a visit.


Mains of Taymouth has previously been voted "best holiday cottage complex in Britain" by a national newspaper, and includes a fantastic onsite bar, restaurant serving delicious locally-sourced produce and operated by knowledgeable and friendly staff, as well as a shop, also stocking local produce as well as gifts.

The estate includes a variety of four and five-star accommodation, from open-plan apartments, farmhouses and one or two-bedroom villas, and custom-built 'highland lodges'. This reviewer was put up in Smiddy Cottage - a luxurious redeveloped three-bedroom blacksmith's cottage, featuring flatscreen televisions, two bathrooms, modern kitchen and private courtyard garden complete with hot tub.

Golfers who love the game but don't want to pack their clubs are also catered for at the nine-hole course, with clubs and equipment available to rent onsite, while younger visitors can enjoy pony rides at the onsite stables and a playpark conveniently located next to the Courtyard Bar/Restaurant's outdoor seating, so adults can keep an eye on the youngsters while enjoying a drink.

To find out more about Mains Of Taymouth, including details on special offers running until the end of 2017, go to taymouth.co.uk or phone 01887 830226.

For information on the Loch Tay Safaris boat tour, go to lochtaysafaris.net and for the Highland Safaris go to highlandsafaris.net or phone 01877 820071to discuss both.

Details about the cinema in Aberfeldy can be found at birkscinema.co.uk or by phoning 01887 822845, and the bookshop can be found at aberfeldywatermill.com or on 01877 820802

Information on Iain Burnett's chocolate attraction can be found at highlandchocolatier.com or by phoning 01887 840775.

More details about things to do in and around Aberfeldy can be found at visitaberfeldy.co.uk