A Long Weekend in Brigadoon

dunalastair estate home farm

dew rose cottage

cosy tea

Scotland is notorious for its rainy temperament, but even at its most cranky it is one of the best places in the world.

Most of our five days in Perthsire have been cold, windy and rainy, but when the sun shines I swear this place looks like something from the pages of Brothers Grim. This from a girl who was never that interested in fairy tales and who used to think nature was best left alone to the bugs and people who enjoy the sound of water-proof clothes rubbing together.

So be warned: I’m going to bombard you with pictures in this post. I want you guys to get a taste of the magical place that is the Highlands of Scotland. And then come for a visit.

Here’s a few pics of the wee cottage Matt and I stayed in:

dunalastair rose cottage


scotland oatmeal

One of Scotland’s famous peaks, Schiehallion mountain, covered in snow — this was our view from the front door of our cottage:


This has got to be the Brigadoon  bridge. Is that Gene Kelly behind that peat bog?

brigadoon bridge

We drove through Dull, Scotland: sister city (village?) to Boring, Oregon. Cath and I have been fans of the Dull & Boring Facebook page for a few years. Boring, don’t feel left out. Next time I’m in Oregon, you and me have a date!

Dull Scotland

Matt and I foolishly decided we are now, after two years of living in Scotland, as hardy as Scots. Foolish! Foolish, I tell you! Hiking in the driving sleet and freezing rain is not for us. Don’t let Matt’s triumphant stance with walking sticks fool you:

hiking dunalastair estate

p.s. Just because something is labeled water-proof (North Face, I’m looking at you) does not mean it’s water-proof in this damp country. We were soaked to the bone in water-proof trousers, jackets and hiking boots after 20 minutes of schlepping up this hill.

Enough griping! Look what happens when the sun does comes out. It’s autumn and the Highlands turn into gold:

golden light autumn

One of the highlights of the trip was going to the wee village of Fortingall and ogling the oldest living organism in Europe: a 5,000 year old Yew tree! It was 56 feet in circumference before the Victorians got souvenir-happy and chopped the base to bits. It’s still growing though and mightily impressive:

fortingall yew oldest tree

Fortingall yew

Another fun “fact” about Fortingall? Many questionable sources claim that Pontius Pilate was born here. Yes, here, this teeny village of Fortingall in the heart Scotland. And, yes, that Pontius Pilate from the Bible. Apparently, Pontius’ dear ole dad was stationed up here with his Roman legion. So maaaaybe? Anywhoodles, I find the Oldest Living Organism Yew Tree way more awe-inspiring than Ponti P.

Speaking of myths v facts, Loch Ness is no where near Perthsire, but we figured these tees would be appreciated near any loch. So we had a mini photo shoot by Loch Tay:

loch ness monster


See anything, Matt? Nope, just a questionable shadow and ripple across the loch:


Egads! The Loch Tay Monster is sighted. Lar flees, Matt runs to the rescue:

loch tay monster

And one last picture of Brigadoon (aka Dunalastair Estate) because it just looks so unreal:

view rose cottage

Hope you guys didn’t get carpal tunnel in your scrolly finger. I promise my next post won’t be so long. But aren’t you Scotophiles now? Come rain or shine, this fairy land won’t disappoint.


Dear Cath,

I can’t wait to see pics from your mountain weekend!!! In some ways, bits of Perthshire look EXACTLY like northern Georgia. There’s more trees than on the west coast of Scotland and the mountains look kind of similar from afar. I’m guessing you guys didn’t need three layers of clothing made out of wool and Gortex to go tramping around the Blue Ridge mountains.

And as nice as long mountain weekends are, I don’t like that we couldn’t skype! Miss you oooodles! We must skype midweek then, okay?

Love you like water loves Scotland,


15 thoughts on “A Long Weekend in Brigadoon”

  1. Oh my goodness, Lar! I’ve read and re-read this post like 5 times because I love the photos and I love imagining you and Matt all cozy in your cute Scottish cottage.

    I can’t believe how beautiful that place is. I know I’ve been in that area of the country before and loved it, but your photos really capture the magic of the place.

    Blue Ridge, GA is gorgeous this time of year, but it still doesn’t compare to Perthshire!

    Love your outfits too – that giant scarf/shawl has really come in handy, hasn’t it? And I’m totally going to copy your braids look when I go to Helen this weekend.

    love you so! xoxo, Cath

    1. I can’t wait to see your pics from this weekend, Cath. I can’t believe you got to go apple picking and drive a fancy new car ;D.
      And yes, that scarf/blanket is with me wherever I go in the winter. You can use it when you are in town in LESS THAN THREE WEEKS!!!
      THREE WEEKS!!!
      xoxoxoxox, Lar

  2. Wow, this place is unbelievable! And actually, I wouldn’t believe this beauty exists had you not posted such consistently gorgeous pictures Lar! Especially that 5,000 year old tree. wow.

  3. That looks amaaaazing! I want to come there, stat! I’m preparing myself for my first non-Georgia (i.e. cold) winter here in New York. Since you had a problem with the waterproofness of North Face, I’m a little worried about my water resistant Land’s End coat that is good until -15 degrees!

    1. Don’t worry, WG! I think that unless New York gets constant driving rain with winds over 40 miles per hour, your Land’s End coat should hold up. The few times I’ve been in New York in the winter I remember it being bitterly cold, but not to rainy or windy. I’ll have my fingers crossed for you!
      xoxox, Lar

  4. Bloody Beautiful!!!!! Seriously Stunning!!! Gloomy but Gorgeous!!! Ok, enough alliteration. Honestly, it’s amazing. Makes you understand why the Scots are such a proud people. 🙂

    (On a very random and slightly related note – I’m watching Reign on the CW. It’s “history” wrapped in Express clothes and fancy hairpieces (which I covet) – anyway, Mary, Queen of Scots, speaks in a British accent. Of all the things that drive me nuts about that show, THAT is my biggest annoyance. 😉 )

    1. Haha! CL, love your alliteration! And it’s so true about Scottish pride.
      I don’t think Reign has made it over here, but I bet there would be a hullabaloo if Mary sounded English. I still want to watch it though ;D.
      xoxoxo, Lar

  5. uhm YES, I’d love to visit!! BRIGADOON! It has such a majestic ring to it 🙂 I am slightly (no, very) jealous that you got to visit Loch Ness. For a while, I had an obsession with everything Nessie, and I convinced myself that dinosaurs did exist somewhere, alongside unicorns. And I mean, I seriously believed this. Scotland looks like the perfect place for the fantastical being real!

  6. Wow gorgeous pics. As someone who’s grown up in Edinburgh I really have no excuses for not making it up there, but these photos really make me want to go and spend some time in a cottage in front of a lovely fire.

  7. Enjoyed every last pic & didn’t get carpel tunnel either–ROTFL! This looks like a dream trip. Next time take me with y’all. ‘kay? Kay! 🙂

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