Category Archives: Travel

Mhor 84 Motel, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Perthshire, Scotland

DSC06331 If you want to sample the best that Scotland has to offer, you’ll find it just off a busy main road – the A84. Hence the name behind this cool establishment that is fast becoming a must-visit Scottish central belt hot spot. Think Route 66 but with glorious glens, mountains, mists and magical forests. And the location is perfect, it also services Cycle Route 7 and Rob Roy Way.

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Stay overnight at the hotel or in one of the nearby cottages. Or simply take a drive out and visit. Driving from Glasgow will take you just over an hour and the nearest town is Callander.

What I loved about Mhor 84 is the relaxed vibe. All are welcome – take your dog, take the kids, even if you’ve been out cycling or hiking the hills, and looking a bit tatty – the doors are open. And there’s plenty walks and trails around this area, which is called Rob Roy Country (the grave of the famous Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor is only around two miles away located beside Balquhidder Kirk). See my other blog post Balquhidder, Rob Roy Country

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Meanwhile at Mhor 84, there’s lots to enjoy – from the all day breakfast, to hearty soup, full blown lunches and dinners to hot chocolate, coffee and yummy cakes, then swill it all down with some fine wine, spirits, drams and beers. There’s no restrictions or stuffiness – choose whatever you fancy. You’ll easily sit, while away the day, and enjoy the beautiful views outside. There’s also a games room to keep kids and adults amused, which includes a pool table, TV, wi-fi, toys and board games.

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The Rob Roy Bar

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The relaxed dining room

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Mhor 84 excels in its food. With a full menu offering lots of options and delivering some fine Scottish produce. It’s worth visiting for the food alone.

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A healthy breakfast option

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Hearty Scotch Broth with tomato and ginger topping

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A healthy salad packed with flavours

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Is that a doughnut or a meringue? No joke – these meringues are seriously good!

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Kings of the Empire … biscuit …

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Be sure to check out the fish suppers at Mhor Fish in nearby Callander

Also part of the Mhor brand is Mhor Fish – located in nearby Callander – around a 15-20 minute drive from Mhor 84. This is a top notch fish and chip shop restaurant with tasteful, contemporary decor. Serving up great quality fish encased in batter that is so light and crispy, it melts in your mouth. Delicious. And while you’re here – also check out Mhor Bread – a bakery/coffee shop, full of cakes, shortbread, varieties of bread and award-winning pies.

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It’s also worth hanging around Mhor 84 on a Thursday night for “Thank Folk It’s Thursday”. The hotel becomes host to an array of musicians who pile through the doors with an assemble of instruments. Watching this scene unfold is like being part of a Marx Brothers movie. It becomes a jamming session for folk musicians – and extremely talented ones at that, featuring Ewan MacPherson of Shooglenifty. What adds to the charm is that there appears to be no set list/script or order. It’s wonderfully organic, free flowing, in the moment, and harmonious. And just when you think things can’t get any more surreal – in walks an elderly gentleman with a fascinatingly wizened face, dressed head to toe in swathes of plaid, drums on his back – and looking like he’s wandered off the set of Braveheart. When he’s not joining in on the music, he’s reciting old poetry and verse, retelling magical tales of Scottish folklore to an captivated audience. While all this is taking place, a lady sleeps in a chair, but still taps her feet to the music. A shaggy sheepdog settles for a snooze beside her, it’s not her dog, but he sees a good spot. Meanwhile all the staff, who incidentally are all charming and very friendly, never bat an eyelid. I don’t know if every Thursday night is like this, but the whole Mhor 84 package is bewitching. I can’t wait to go back.

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No bones about it – dogs are welcome at Mhor 84

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The Mhor the merrier … lots of quality from the Mhor brand to enjoy

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For more information see Mhor 84 Motel Website

For more information on the surrounding area see Rob Roy Country Website

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Filed under Food Reviews, Hidden Gems, Hotel Reviews, Photography, Scotland, Travel

Balquhidder, Rob Roy Country, Central Scotland

Balquhidder located Perthshire/Stirlinghire, Scotland is deep in the heart of Rob Roy country. He was a local outlaw, who was often called the Scottish Robin Hood. Baptised on 7th March 1671, he died in his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder on 28th December 1734. You can see his grave beside the ruins of Balquhidder Church.

It’s also said that St Angus visited Balquhidder Glen in the 8th or 9th century and identified it as a “thin place” where the boundary between Earth and Heaven was close.

Around this area you’ll find lots of walks and options to suit the adventurous to the easy ramblers but whatever path you take, you’ll feast your eyes on stunning scenery, lush green glades, towering trees, magical waterfalls and often snow topped mountains. Breathe in the fresh air, relax the mind in the quiet solitude and you can often experience all seasons in one day, as the sunshine gives way to showers and snow.

While you’re here you can also visit and stay at the excellent  Mhor 84 Motel – and see my other blog post. Review of Mhor 84 Motel It’s a Scottish gem with a cool laid back vibe and a perfect pit stop.

For more information see Rob Roy Country Website

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February 23, 2016 · 1:34 pm

The Enchanted Forest, Faskally Wood, Pitlochry, Scotland – October 2015

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Scotland’s award-winning event returned to Faskally Wood in Perthshire this October and again proved why it’s such a success by putting on another stunning show.

The Enchanted Forest choose this year’s theme to be one of “Flux” focussing on the ebbs and flows of change and movement, waves and energy. I’m a regular visitor to this event and this year was their best so far. It smashed all previous records by attracting over 62,000 visitors to the Perthshire area, increased tourism and boosted local charities. PKAVS (Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Services), Scottish Autism and CHAS all benefitted from this year’s show through ticket sales for the opening night. They each received a cheque for £2500.

Bringing together the creative talents of Kate Bonney, Simon Hayes (lighting designers), RJ McConnell and Jon Beales (sound designers), this year’s show was a stunning fusion of lights, music and some amazing aerial acrobatics.

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Beltane Fire Festival, Calton Hill, Edinburgh, 30th April 2015

It was a perfect night to herald in the May Queen as a quiet calm descended over Edinburgh’s Calton Hill and an almost full moon lit up the way for the crowds that gathered.

Beltane Fire Festival, Calton Hill Edinburgh, 2015

 

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Beltane Fire Festival, Calton Hill Edinburgh, 2015

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Any martians visiting Earth that night dropping in on the grassy hillocks would have beat a hasty retreat back to the safety of their planet. They would have been met with nearly naked people painted red and dancing like demons, figures dressed as birds and animals, blowing on hooters, while others were covered in black paint and banging drums in a procession which announced the arrival of the May Queen.

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The night ended with the May Queen marrying the Green Man as a representation of spring and fertility.

Beltane Fire Festival, Calton Hill, Edinburgh, 2015

 

 

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May 31, 2015 · 10:45 pm

Ben Ledi, Scotland – 8th February 2015

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February 9, 2015 · 12:27 am

Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland – October 2014

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland, 2014

This year’s Enchanted Forest show attracted over 46,000 people to Faskally Wood near Pitlochry, Perthshire to see the spectacular light and music display. Here’s a few highlights.

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland 2014

The Enchanted Forest, Perthshire, Scotland 2014

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Filed under Photography, Scotland, Travel, Videos

The Kelpies, Helix Park, Near Falkirk, Scotland – May 2014

 

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In Scottish folklore a kelpie is a water spirit who can appear in the shape of a horse. The mythical creatures are said to live in Scottish lochs and rivers.

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These Kelpies can be found at the Helix Park, between Falkirk and Grangemouth in Scotland. The 30m high horses heads which are made of steel, are one of the the UK’s tallest pieces of public art.

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These giant structures are the result of an eight year project by Glaswegian sculptor Andy Scott. Each horse’s head consists of 300 tonnes of steel and each head took 75 days to complete.

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Sculptor Scott says the inspiration for his kelpies comes from the heavy horses that once powered Scotland’s canals.

The £5million project which officially opened in April 2014, is fast becoming one of Scotland’s most photographed sites.

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To read more about the project BBC News Website and also official Kelpies website

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Filed under Art, Photography, Scotland, Travel