You will see lots of wildlife around – deer, hares, pheasants, family of moles beside the hut (digging up the place!). There are field voles in the rushes in the field and most days a Red Kite flies over (eyeing the hens I am sure), buzzards galore and in the summer the Ospreys return and takes a turn past.
In the evenings you will hear and sometimes see owls, there are both Barn and Tawny Owls. Spring Summer and Autumn the little Pipistrelle bats are also swooping around from their roosts in the garage and kennels.
In the Spring the Swallows and House Martins arrive back and take up residence in their family nests around the cottage, kennels and garage. They are amazing to watch flying and swooping. There are stoats and weasels and pine martins and cute little red squirrels in the Pineatum (the woods across from the hut – gate to the left when you walk down towards the stables – really nice walk) and in February and March when the snowdrops and bluebells are out, it is magical.
Things to do , places to see
• Drive to Balquhidder – lovely 40 minute drive through Callander, Strathyre alongside Loch Venacher. Mhor84 Motel is a wonderful stop for brunch etc, really great food, bit funky, before driving on up Balquhidder Glen (Rob Roy’s grave at the Church) and further on up to Monachle Mhor really nice hotel and open for coffees, lunch, dinner right at the end of the single track road at the end of the glen.
• Cycle/walk the Sustrans cycle way from Callander to Balquhidder. Great path and refreshment stops in Callander, Balquhidder and half way at Strathyre. You can go on further to Killin walking the old railway line – fab.
Pubs, Restaurants, Bars, Tearooms, Cafes, Delis & Grocers
• The Lake Hotel – closest hotel within walking distance (1.5 miles) for lunches and dinner (in winter a day time visit is best for views over the Lake)
• The Woodhouse about 10 minutes away towards Kippen is one of our favourite places for brunch, breakfast, lunch, coffees etc. and great deli and butchers and is very popular with everyone!
• The Smiddy is also good for breakfast (till 11.30am), lunch, coffees etc and also has an excellent deli and butchers and large shop, about 20 minutes away.
• The Lion & Unicorn, Thornhill – 20 minutes – warmest welcome and hearty delicious food (only need to book weekends in Summer)
• The Old Mill, Killearn – country pub and restaurant about 20 minutes away – really delicious food (fancier than L&U), friendly staff and great choice of ales and gins (possibly need to book at weekends)
• The Fintry Inn – country pub about 15 minutes away – nice drive – often has live traditional music Sunday afternoons to go with your Sunday lunch.
• Kippen Inn, Kippen (10 minutes) –breakfasts, lunches and dinners and great beer garden.
• The Cross Keys, Kippen – about 10 minutes away – cosy traditional pub with delicious meals – recommended.
• The Pier Tearoom, Stronachlachar (30 mins).
• Mhor Bakery on Callander main street (about 18 minutes) has delicious food and small tearoom. Their jap cakes are delicious.
Lots of shops and cafes, bars in Callander.
• Mhor84 Motel, Balquhidder (40 minute drive) is a wonderful stop for brunch etc, really great food, bit funky. Same people who own Delzique in Glasgow’s west end.
• Monachle Mhor, Balquhidder Glen, really nice and fairly expensive hotel and open for coffees (reasonable price!), lunch, dinner right at the end of the single track road at the end of the glen.
Things to do, places to see
Scenic walks from your hut
Cycling – bring your own (secure storage) or hire bikes from Aberfoyle bikes
Go Ape, Aberfoyle
Inschmahome Island, Lake of Menteith (Pictured above)
Loch Katrine – steamship trip, cycling
Sustrans7 walk/cycle Callander to Killin
Hills – Ben A’an, Ben Lomond, Ben Venue
Enjoy a bbq – pre-order from Aberfoyle Deli or visit Skinners Butchery at the Woodhouse