We recently returned from a lovely long weekend spent in Perthshire, and I wanted to share a short trip report, as I found the area to be very family-friendly and accommodating of my little lassie.
Bob drove us up to Aberfeldy on Friday afternoon, and we arrived at our holiday cottage within a few hours. We did make a stop in Crieff for a quick cup of coffee and nappy change, but this was our only stop along the way.
We stayed in Larch cottage, in the tiny village of Weem. The cottage itself was fairly rustic, the door handle kept falling off, and there was a slightly odd smell that may have come about as a result of people staying there with dogs. However, it was very comfortable on the whole, and met all of our needs for the four day stay.
Upon arrival, we settled into our temporary home, before heading into Aberfeldy for a quick dinner. Bob and I both grabbed a veggie burger from a local pub, and Eloise had an Ella’s Kitchen sachet with some garlic bread from the restaurant. Afterwards, we headed back to the cottage for an early night, before the fun began the next day.
We’d brought a lot of our own food with us to the cottage, partly as we didn’t know what the veg options would be like in the town, and partly because we had cooking facilities available in our cottage, so figured we might as well save a bit of money! We had a quick breakfast in the cottage, before Bob drove us into town to do some exploring. Aberfeldy is a very picturesque little town, and it was a lovely bright day, so I snapped a few photos.
I’d expressed interest in visiting The Watermill, an independent bookshop, art gallery and coffee shop. I was particularly excited about this as it happened to cover three of my main interests in one place! How exciting! We had to take a family selfie outside, of course.
We had a look around the inside, and I could have easily spent all day in here. They have a variety of books in different genres from non-fiction to classics, and an adorable little children’s literature section that I completely neglected to photograph. I was very excited to find the editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with the covers in house colours. Naturally, Bob insisted on getting a photograph of me holding the Hufflepuff one, as I consider myself a dedicated badger these days – loyal, patient, hard-working and fair.
After a wander around the art exhibition, and a peek in the coffee shop, we were ready to head for lunch in the town. We’d already spotted Habitat Cafe, which had some interesting vegan options, so we decided to eat there. It surpassed all of our expectations. Firstly, they offer Violife vegan cheese sandwiches, so we were pleased that our needs were accommodated. They also offer a wide range of coffees and teas, and the staff are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about coffee. I had a chat with a staff member about which coffee to choose, and he also let me know that they offer both soya and oat milk, for us non-dairy drinkers.
In the end, I opted for an oat milk latte to drink with my sandwich, and considered it one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had! Both Bob and I ordered the Violife sandwich, and Eloise, who is vegetarian rather than vegan, ended up with a regular kids’ cheese sandwich. Bob also ordered some vegetable soup for alongside his sandwich.
I have no words for how delicious this sandwich was. I’ve been home for a while now, and I’m still thinking about this damn sandwich. Big chunks of Violife cheese, pickle and plenty of salad and crisps on the side. Eloise, who is still learning about food, was also thoroughly impressed with her cheese sandwich. If you don’t believe me, look at her happy little face! She doesn’t always love the things she tries, but this was such a great kids’ meal. It had big chunks of mild cheddar on white bread, which was perfect for my kiddo, who is an absolute carb addict.
After lunch, we realised we’d done enough exploring Aberfeldy for that day, and decided to drive over to Pitlochry, which is about a half hour away. We had a wander round the town, and I used my Mummy sense to find us a swing park. Eloise had a shot on the swings and a roundabout, before a massive rain shower ended our visit, and we drove home to cook some dinner in the cottage.
On Sunday, I woke up excited, knowing that we were planning to go visit the Beatrix Potter exhibition and garden in Dunkeld. I’m a massive Beatrix Potter fan, and being a Literature graduate, I often gravitate towards literature themed holidays. I’d specifically chosen to stay in Weem, knowing that it was only a short journey from Dunkeld and we could go visit Peter Rabbit.
When we arrived in Dunkeld, we did a quick nappy change in the public loos next to the car park, then had a wander around the village. We soon stumbled across a nice cafe with veg-friendly options to grab some lunch. The cafe is called Howie’s Bistro, and they offer a few vegan options, plus some options that can be made vegan easily. They also offer soya milk for tea and coffee, which is always nice. Both Bob and I fancied a full Scottish breakfast, so we ordered the vegetarian breakfast without egg. I chose some hummus, bread and carrots from the kids’ menu for Eloise.
We were all pretty satisfied after this meal, and ready to head on to the Beatrix Potter exhibition, which is in the centre of Birnham. We drove the short distance to Birnham, and as it was lovely and sunny when we arrived, we had a chance to explore the garden. I took about a million photos, because it was all so cute, but I’ll just share a couple with you!
The garden is lovely, with lots of hidden paths that you could explore with bigger kids, and bronze statues of some of the Beatrix Potter characters, as well as some information on Potter’s life. We allowed Eloise to walk with us round the garden after we’d explored the exhibition, as it’s a lovely large green space that is perfect for kids of all ages.
The exhibition itself is very much aimed at children, with some information for adults to read. Most of the exhibits involve toys, books, or children’s entertainment, and the kids are allowed to touch the toys, providing excellent stimulation for small people! Eloise and I looked at a few books, but she was most taken in by an old toy train. My kid absolutely adores any kind of toy vehicle, and this is always the type of toy she goes for in any room. Just look at this little happy face!
After we’d allowed Eloise to crawl around for a bit, we headed back to Aberfeldy. I’d received a comment on my instagram from Habitat Cafe of Violife sandwich fame, mentioning that they also had vegan ice cream, so of course, we were desperate to go try some of it!
We had a quick coffee and ice cream in Habitat, but Eloise was starting to get fussy, so we decided to make a beeline for the swing park in Aberfeldy. After a shot on the swing, Eloise and her Daddy had fun exploring this traction engine in the park.
When we were done playing, there was a sad feeling in the air, as we knew our holiday was more or less over, but we decided to enjoy the last few hours with a nice dinner in the cottage, before watching one of the DVDs that had been left there for us to use.
Monday involved a quick drive home on extremely wet country roads. We’d considered stopping for a break, but it was too wet to get out of the car, so we did a straight run-through. Both of us were feeling remarkably chilled after a relaxing weekend spending time together. And Eloise was so exhausted, she slept the whole way home!
I thoroughly recommend Aberfeldy and the surrounding area to anyone looking for a short mini-break with kids. There are so many things to do and see, including wildlife trails for adults and older kids, but you can equally just take it easy and enjoy the scenery if you like. I had a perfect holiday weekend with my lovely little family, and wouldn’t change a single detail.