Travel | Scotland, P1

Chapter One: Perthshire


Enchanting, wistful, and wise, the landscape of this country spills out as though from a storybook. That is how our hotel emerged as we approached its sprawling grey stone structure wrapped in a delicate mist. ⁠

Gleneagles was created to be "The Riviera of the Highlands," conceptualized in 1910 and opened in 1924. Each room finds its name and decor in a place of nature, inspired by lochs and great forests, wildflowers and woods. The halls are a labyrinth of wood and curious textures, and the grounds host both lovers of falconry and golf! ⁠

We don't play sports ourselves, though I can appreciate the lush green lawns, but we fell immediately for the ferocious birds of prey. ⁠

If you'd asked me two years ago if we could take another family trip like this, I wouldn't have known what to say. It seemed as though our lives would never resemble what they once had, and travel felt so far out of reach. But now I feel beyond grateful to share these experiences with my family, discovering something new each and every day. 



Chapter Two: Library of Innerpeffray


Just like Vienna last Christmas and New York in spring, our trip through Perthshire, Scotland brought us to the doors of a library—but unlike those famed institutions, this one was so quaint you could have easily driven by, never knowing what a treasure you’ve missed. ⁠

Founded in 1680, the Library of Innerpeffray is the oldest lending library in Scotland, hosting a rich and varied collection of rare books dating all the way back to the 1500s with subjects diverse as witchcraft, animal husbandry, farming, and medicine. Surrounded by sprawling pastoral landscapes, the house is small yet dignified, and I can only imagine how people felt having access to books at a time when each one was as rare and expensive as a Rolls-Royce is today. ⁠

We met with the librarian at the start, who’d spent so much time among the tomes that all you had to do was suggest a subject, and she’d know exactly where to find it on the shelves. With her assistance, we got the chance to hold some of their oldest books, photographing the prize of their collection: a beautifully preserved 18th century atlas. ⁠

London, of course, went hunting through the stacks with a 14 year old volunteer who pointed out her favorite books, including one with a unicorn at its center—a motif we continue to spot in every stop of our journey through this incredible country.⁠



Chapter Three: Abercairny Estate


Abercairny Estate is a quiet wonder that’s existed for centuries, home to the second oldest living thing in the UK, and a small stone chapel that’s remained largely untouched for five hundred years. If you wander the cemetery, you might accidentally cross over plots dating back to the 1300s, when the Moray family first claimed the land as their home. Purple-topped thistles and wildflowers weave through the landscape, leading curious minds down a path to a Yew tree that’s stood for a thousand years. 

This is why I wish everyone could travel at some point in their lives. 

There is nothing quite like standing on the precipice of time itself, touching stones that were first lain five generations ago, hearing the same birdsong that a Scottish lord might have paused to listen to in the far past. And though the original estate no longer stands due to age and deterioration, the bones of it remain. 

It was on these grounds that our travel guide surprised me with a birthday cake and a picnic by the water, where a flock of geese and their little ones swam. On a private tour we got to see fairy houses someone built into a few trees, and a series of statues I was desperate to take home.

Be the first to comment...
Leave a comment