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Tour Glenlyon

One of the most famous, yet rarely visited glens in all of the Highlands, Glenlyon is also one of the longest- at least for a mountain cul-de-sac as opposed to a long rift valley. It opens from the Appin of Dull, at Fortingall, and extends 25 miles westwards, roughly parallel with Loch Tay to the south. Just past Loch Lyon, it merges into a high pass which leads to the head of Glen Orchy.

Throughout that long distance it winds in wild beauty amongst ever more solitary peaks, and varies as much in character, as in width and height. Indeed, its constant variety, between gentle beauty and fierce grandeur, is part of the great attraction of Glenlyon.

West from the village of Fortingall, only a mile up the glen, is MacGregor's Leap, where in 1565, the Chief of the landless Greglach made an incredible leap across the river chasm when pursued by Campbell Bloodhounds. Two miles further up, there are a series of spectacular waterfalls, as the Allt Da-gohb rushes down to the floor of the glen.

At the next hamlet, Innerwick, there is the 18th century Glenlyon Parish Church. But the hub of the glen is a little farther on, at Bridge of Balgie. Here the road forks, one branch turning south-westwards to climb steeply over the shoulder of Ben Lawers to Loch Tay. The other road continues up the glen, climbing to avoid the lands of Meggernie Castle, a fine late 16th century structure, whitewashed and set amidst ancient trees. It was built by Cailean Gorach, or Mad Colin Campbell in 1580, who amongst other exploits abducted the Countess of Erroll and held her there. Another lady is said to haunt Meggernie. She was the wife of a Menzies laird, who murdered her in a fit of jealously, and then cut up her body into halves for better disposal. Perhaps for the best, it her upper half which haunts the castle.

Three miles on, the Glenlyon road passes Loch Cashlie where, at the side of the road are a group of cairns and what appears to be an ancient earth-house. As the head of the glen is neared, or at least the road-end, the scenery becomes more bleak and treeless. Beyond rear the mountains of, Ben Achallader and Heasgarnich, and ranging to the south the fierce contours of the Tarmachan mountains.

Glenlyon is easily reached from Perth:

Express By Holiday Inn, Perth. Ideally located for access to the main motorways in central Scotland, this hotel provides great value for the business or leisure traveller. All 81 modern bedrooms have power shower, hairdryer, television including SKY Sports 1 & 2 and SKY News. Wireless internet access is available. Free car parking is provided. Perth Hotel Breaks.

The Quality Hotel Perth is an elegant Victorian hotel in the hub of social activity, with its Scottish fare and fine whiskies. Bedrooms have television and tea and coffee making facilities. An excellent Perthshire touring base in good golfing country, close to a number of whisky distilleries and the Caithness glass factory.

The Ramada Perth hotel is a former 15th century watermill, located in the centre of Perth, the gateway to the Highlands. Fresh running water is still visible through portholes in the reception and lounge areas. The hotel is an ideal location to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.

If you would like to Tour Glenlyon on a unique tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me: Sandy Stevenson

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