Thirty miles west of Perth lies Loch Earn, surely one of the most beautiful lochs in all of Scotland. Seven miles long, it borders the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park and is set amidst some mighty mountains, one of which is Ben Vorlich. It is, however, very accessible and its central location makes it a good base for touring in every direction, thus ensuring an ideal holiday destination.
This is equally true of Balmeanoch Cottage, a delightful, traditional stone cottage. Inside the thick walls painstaking renovation has created a very comfortable family holiday home kept snug by oil central heating and a wood-burning stove. Access is via the quiet road on the loch’s southern shore then a good track through the Ardvorlich Estate which surrounds the cottage. The setting is one of utter peace and calm looking down from the hillside to the waters of the loch glinting through the trees. As the cottage is south-facing the terrace at the front of the house is the place to enjoy the full share of the sun. Just beyond the terrace there is a sloping grass garden, fully enclosed (furniture, BBQ) and here children can run free, far from traffic. (There is, however, a pretty stream close by).
Water sports dominate the activities at Loch Earn with water-ski-ing, sailing and wind surfing all on offer at Lochearnhead (3m shop/hotel) or at the pretty village of St Fillans (5m, shop, hotels) at the eastern end of the loch. Here, too, there is a very good golf course with the added bonus of excellent snacks and meals at the club house. The estate can organise fishing.
The main road runs along the north shore of the loch but Balmeanoch is situated not far from the scenic, tree-lined quieter road on the southern shore. Many families will doubtless wish to picnic on this shore not far from the foot of the track leading up to the house. Climbers will want to tackle Ben Vorlich or the other hills in the vicinity and walkers can enjoy many different levels of hill-walking right from the door.
Should you be tempted to travel further afield it will be a difficult choice as you have some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery within easy striking distance. Half an hour to the south, via the Braes of Balquhidder (Rob Roy country for film buffs and historians) and calm Loch Lubnaig and you arrive in Callander, well on the way to the Trossachs. A little further on and you can treat the children to a day out at the Blair Drummond Safari Park then continue on to Stirling with its famous castle and Wallace Monument.
Going east, via Comrie and Crieff, you will reach Perth (first class shops, theatre, leisure centre etc.) in less than an hour. On the way, turn left at Comrie to discover a beautiful, unspoilt and peaceful picnic site by the dam at the head of Loch Lednock.
Going north you will pass Lochs Tay, Tummel and Rannoch, all serenely beautiful, while the western route brings you to Loch Lomond within the hour. Another half hour and you are in Oban on the west coast of the country.
Heating, logs for the wood-burner and bed linen are all included and towels may be hired. Water is from a private spring and UV-filtered. The owners can organize shopping for your arrival on request. A camp bed can be made available. Dogs are welcome by arrangement but we regret NO CATS. No smoking.
Accommodation (sleeps 5):
- Sitting room with wood-burning stove, TV/DVD
- Kitchen diner with electric cooker, wahsing machine and microwave etc.
- Double bedroom
- Bathroom with bath/shower, WC and basin
- WC and wash basin
- Twin bedroom
- Single bedroom