Visit Scotland Expo 2014
Glasgow, Perthshire Highlands, Stirling, the Trossachs & Edinburgh
April 2, 2014 – April 6th, 2014


April 5

We left for Killin and on the way stopped at a stone circle called Croft Moraig. Most unusual in that it is a double stone circle dating from about 5,000 years ago. Then on to the Falls of Dochart for a walk and photo opportunity. This was beautiful, what a lovely little village that had a shop that made the best coffee and scones…I loved walking around here taking photographs of moss – it was everywhere…

We then left for Callander and the Trossachs Woollen Mill, but of course we had to make a stop to see the unique cattle to Scotland, the Scotland Highland breed. Loved the look of them…so gentle too. The shop was right next to these cattle so we all spent a bit of time inside. The countryside was magnificent. As we were on the bus I saw this train bridge across the fields and with the mist coming down over the hills and the colour of the whole experience I just had to take a photo to make it a memory. Had lunch at Poppies Hotel and Restaurant…what a cool place run by a couple just passionate about making sure their hotel guests and restaurant guests are looked after like family. We had a quick run through the rooms too and I was most impressed.

Then it was off to Loch Katrine and our cruise on the “SS Sir Walter Scott Steamship”. Another beautiful area to wander in and take photos. It was cool and misty and perfect really for capturing moss at its best.

Deanston Distillery was next on our agenda. Located on the River Teith. It first opened its doors in 1785, not as a distillery, but as a cotton mill. As the mill flourished, the village began to take shape. Workers’ houses were built, local shops were opened and a community was born. Changing times resulted in the closure of the mill in 1965 but was it possible that the perfect place to make cotton was also the perfect place to make whisky? It most certainly was. I enjoyed watching them and listening to the explanation of how whiskey is made but I was more interested in the fact that this mill used to be for making cotton. No one really knew any history of the cotton days though other than they made cotton sheets and curtain lace. Now the huge weaving shed is where they store the barrels. The elegant 204ft long, 136ft wide vaulted warehouse, previously the weaving shed, is recognized to be one of the greatest surviving Regency industrial buildings in Scotland, and is now used to mature Deanston Single Malt whisky. Construction began in 1834; its remarkable cast-iron cupola roof was insulated with soil to bring it up to the best temperature for weaving cotton (80 degrees F) and also helped to deaden the noise of the hundreds of working looms inside. The soil on the roof was utilized as a community vegetable garden. When we were in the distilling rooms where it was being turned, the smell was so good but were told to be very careful as breathing it in from the tanks could render you unconscious! It is all handmade by ten local craftsmen. I also seem to remember that they make gin here and keep it locked up for export trade. I think it is London Dry Gin. The sign with the 6 names are all the whiskies the group got to try and they were pleased. There is a great video to watch at their site  and a great piece on the history at  on how they built the village as a community. In 1844 there were over 1100 employed at the mill.

We were staying at the Royal George Hotel again tonight but had dinner at The Bothy Restaurant. Lively, noisy and great food. A short walk back to our hotel and bed.

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