Perthshire Adventures with Katrina Stewart

Katrina Stewart
01 Mar 2022

Wild Scotland invited travel blogger Katrina Stewart to enjoy a few days in Scotland, to nurture her need for adventure and freedom.
Scottish Hostels hosted Katrina on her trip, so she could have restful nights after her days out exploring and enjoying amazing activities.

Read all about Katrina's adventures!


Last month I partnered up with Scottish Hostels and Wild Scotland to show you just how wonderful and rejuvenating a winter break in Scotland can be.

We stayed at Comrie Croft - a lovely old Scottish farmstead set amongst the rugged hills and glens of the Southern Highlands - in a cosy, private ensuite family room complete with double bed for us and cute cabin beds for the kids. 

As you’ll know if you’ve followed me for a while (especially over on Instagram), we’re no strangers to travelling all over Scotland. I love exploring this beautiful country and sharing it with my family and hostelling gives us an affordable yet homely way to do this. Comrie Croft is one of the most family friendly we’ve stayed in. The facilities were beautiful and our hosts gave us lots of recommendations for things to do locally that we otherwise would not have known about. They also welcomed us with a gorgeous hamper of local and organic food including eggs, fruit, milk and pastries from the local sourdough bakery. 

We started our first day enjoying our breakfast hamper before heading out on a tour of the croft itself with owner Andrew. The croft has evolved over the years starting as farm before developing into the eco-sustainable enterprise it is now. The 261 acre estate comprises camping and glamping, the hostel and other self catering options, a cafe, farm shop and bike shop. It’s a mix of complementary businesses and infrastructure that not only serves guests well but is also a fantastic model of rural regeneration and enterprise. Andrew is clearly very passionate about the croft being a force for good in the community.

After a picnic lunch of local produce we headed towards Comrie and for a walk up to Deil’s Cauldron. Part of the lower walk is still closed following Storm Arwen (please check locally or on Walk Highlands for updates) but we headed to the upper section and followed the trail through an adventurous forest path before reaching the the ‘cauldron’ where the River Lednock cascades into a deep rocky gorge. From here it’s also very easy to add on a walk up to the Melville monument - a tall obelisk at which there are wide sweeping views across Strath Earn. Our kids sniffed out a tree swing and we spent a happy hour swinging and enjoying the views.

Upon return, the family returned to our cosy room to relax and change for dinner whilst l headed out with Comrie Croft’s resident nature expert Colin Harper. Colin is a fountain of knowledge on all things nature and also creates hand carved bowls and spoons which you can buy at the farm shop. We visited the proposed new bird hide and I learned about all the wildlife resident at the croft from beavers to red squirrels and various birds of prey.
A quick pit stop back at the room and we all headed out to Crieff for dinner at The Tower. The macaroni with haggis and sticky toffee pudding were particular highlights.

Sunday started with a walk up behind the croft to watch beautiful sunrise (hardly a chore at this time of year when the sun doesn’t come up before 8.30am). I can’t think of a better way to start my day than sitting with my family and taking in a beautiful sunrise. Every-time l do it, l wonder why we don’t do it more often. The sky started off a soft dusky pink before the sun peeked over the mountains to gently illuminate the scene in front of us.

Comrie Croft Bikes

We then headed to Comrie Croft Bikes (based on site) to hire bikes for the whole family (e-bikes for the adults/ normal pedal power for the kids) and cycled up into the hills on a trail to Comrie itself. It was the perfect winter’s day for cycling. Speed wasn’t the aim here (although the adults definitely had a bit of fun testing out the different speed settings on the e-bike). We stopped lots to have a little explore, look out for red squirrels and other wildlife (we watched a buzzard gliding through the air at one point) and generally just enjoy the gorgeous winter’s day. Once we reached Comrie, we headed to the Royal Hotel who very graciously made no mention of our mud spattered clothes and instead ensured we were well fed and watered before our return trip the same way.

There are lots of bike trails with something for everyone on site including a bike skills and fun park (popular with the kids). When we got back, the kids opted for a quick play at the skills park (evidently, the hills had not diminished their energy in any way).

Aquila Ecology

Wild Scotland arranged a wildlife adventure with Aquila Ecology in the afternoon. The founders, Andrea and Terry have a wealth of experience between them and aim to show the wonders of nature through a bespoke range of tours from red squirrel safaris to a red kite roost spectacle.

We opted for pond dipping at Comrie Croft. I knew this would be a true test for Andrea and Terry. We’d had a busy weekend of adventures, the kids had just finished their first full week at school after the christmas break and we were a bit weary after our bike adventure. l wondered if the nature activity was going to hold their attention.

These worries very quickly vanished as my 2, initially shy and reserved children, jumped out of their shells and waded into the pond to collect pond water and explore the myriad wildlife available. We all had a fantastic time on this adventure - thoroughly absorbed for the time we were there and learning so much about the wildlife around us in an interactive and tactile way.

At the end of the experience, Andrea presented the kids with a nature themed goodie bag comprising a red kite feather and barn owl feather, wildflower seeds for the garden, owl pellets and lots of little booklets and leaflets with information and activities relating to different wildlife and nature in Scotland. The feathers are shown to everyone who visits our house and we spent a recent rainy afternoon dissecting the owl pellet to discover what it had eaten (a rat in case you are interested). With our new guides we are also now prepped to do a bit of pond dipping on our own.

Aquila Ecology are based in the Perthshire area but you can find other wildlife, adventure and activity tourism operators throughout Scotland on the Wild Scotland website.

Less than 48hrs after we arrived, we were heading back home, refreshed and flushed with adventure. Plans are already in place for a return trip.


Discover a huge range of activities and experiences in Perthshire courtesy of our Wild Scotland members. Go on a bike tours, take a guided mountaineering course, kayak the endless rivers or get closer to wildlife with wildlife watching holidays, plus so much more. What will you do?

Explore Perthshire >


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