Gemma Mackenzie spends some quality time at a rural retreat on the banks of the River Tay
A mere stone’s throw from the picturesque village of Dunkeld, and nestled among some of the finest farmland in Scotland, lies the perfect getaway for gatherings with family and friends.
And if fishing is your thing, then you are in for a real treat.
Glendelvine Estate hugs the banks of the River Tay and it was there, in 1922, that Miss Georgina Ballantine landed the largest ever rod-caught salmon in the UK.
Weighing in at 64lb, the fish can be seen in one of two holiday properties on offer at the estate.
The smaller of the two is the former house of this fishing heroine.
Miss Ballantine’s Cottage sits right on the banks of the Tay by Caputh bridge, with views over the pool where this world-famous salmon was landed nearly 100 years ago.
To see the fish itself requires a stay at the larger of Glendelvine’s holiday cottages, and it was there that I spent a pleasant weekend with my other half.
Wester Gourdie offers the perfect rural retreat; its impressive white exterior stands out against the backdrop of modern-day agriculture in action.
Located at the end of a two-mile-long private road, the first glimpse of this four-bedroom house takes your breath away.
Jutting out in the middle of fields of wheat, barley and oats, Wester Gourdie has fantastic views of the surrounding Perthshire countryside.
The former dower house for the estate, it has been renovated recently to a high standard.
The dining-kitchen is the type of rural kitchen most women dream of – surrounded by windows overlooking the countryside, you have the option of sitting in either the kitchen itself or beside a large fire with the famous salmon mounted on the wall beside you.
There are two living rooms, a less-formal snug room with a bookcase filled with holiday reads and a larger, more formal, lounge.
The master bedroom, located on the first floor, has a massive en suite with a roll-top bath with views of the countryside.
A further three bedrooms – one more double and two twin rooms on the second floor – complete the mix.
If fishing is your thing, the estate can arrange rods on the Tay and lessons for beginners.
For others, like me, who simply fancy a break away from it all, there’s plenty more on offer.
Dunkeld is a beautiful town to explore, with lovely cafes, restaurants and shops.
The deli – Menzies of Dunkeld – is the perfect place to stock up on supplies to make the most of Wester Gourdie’s kitchen.
The wine selection is topnotch, as is the range of cheeses and hams on offer.
We chose to tour around the surrounding area during our two-day stay and were lucky enough to visit the Loch of the Lowes and see ospreys there.
The staff at the visitor centre on the loch were friendly and helpful.
Aside from birdwatching, we toured around various lochs in the area – Tummel, Rannoch and Tay – before returning to Glendelvine to make the most of our rural retreat. Other activities on offer in the vicinity include golfing at Blairgowrie, a visit to the newly refurbished Queen’s View visitor centre, and off-road driving near Dunkeld.
We were only sorry we couldn’t stay longer.
Next time, I’ll be taking a group of friends or family: it would be a shame to let that kitchen and impressive dining room go to waste.
To book a stay at either property on the Glendelvine Estate, visit www.cottages-and-castles.co.uk or call
01738 451 610.