The Birks of Aberfeldy

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

One day last week we decided to drive up north of Perth to Aberfeldy, it’s definitely the Highlands. Well it was a lovely day, if a bit cold, but it was just so wonderful to see some blue sky and – no rain.

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

The Birks  of AberfeldyThe Birks  of Aberfeldy

I had been to Aberfeldy before but hadn’t been to The Birks of Aberfeldy, it’s a woodland walk, or maybe I should say climb as it is much steeper than I thought it would be. We walked up the right hand path, which turned out to be the correct decision as the walk is a big loop and on the way back down the other side it was a bit harder on the legs as there are a lot of steps which are really quite steep, I’m always happier going up than going down, you are much more in control on the way up anywhere I think. I had to hang on to handrails quite often as there was also quite a lot of snow and ice around. It was tougher going than I expected, but we’ll be going back in the spring or summer to see what it looks like then, with the deciduous trees doing their stuff, and it should be an easier walk then.
The Birks  of Aberfeldy
It’s a lovely area but to be honest there are lots of places in Scotland like this, trees, a steep hillside and rushing water and waterfalls, the difference with this one is that Robert Burns wrote a poem about it in 1787 and set it to a previous tune. He was a great collector of old Scottish tunes.

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

The Birks  of Aberfeldy and Robert Burns
Above is a grim photo of me, sitting beside a statue of Robert Burns, it was apparently his favourite spot.

Below is the view from that bench.

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

Below is the poem he wrote.

Now simmer blinks on flow’ry braes,
And o’er the crystal streamlet plays,
Come, let us spend the lightsome days
In the birks of Aberfeldie!
Bonnie lassie, will ye go,
Will ye go, will ye go,
Bonnie lassie, will ye go
To the birks of Aberfeldie?

The little birdies blithely sing,
While o’er their heads the hazels hing;
Or lightly flit on wanton wing
In the birks of Aberfeldie!
Bonnie lassie, will ye go…

The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,
The foaming stream, deep-roaring, fa’s,
O’er-hung wi’ fragrant spreading shaws,
The birks of Aberfeldie.
Bonnie lassie, will ye go…

The hoary cliffs are crown’d wi’ flowers,
White o’er the linns the burnie pours,
And, rising, weets wi’ misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldie.
Bonnie lassie, will ye go…

Let Fortune’s gifts at random flee,
They ne’er shall draw a wish frae me,
Supremely blest wi’ love and thee
In the birks of Aberfeldie.
Bonnie lassie, will ye go…

In case you don’t know and haven’t guessed birks are birch trees.

If you want more info on the Aberfeldy area have a look at My Voyage Scotland here. and here.

4 thoughts on “The Birks of Aberfeldy

  1. I envy you your gorgeous nature walks. In Philadelphia, they’ve completed part of the Schuylkill Banks Trail along the river (on the opposite side of the city from where I live). Most of it is along urban areas, former industrial sites, so anything is an improvement. But in today’s newspaper there was a photo of one area to be landscaped and the artist’s rendition of the completed area. I vote strongly to keep the wilder landscape rather than the cleared, polished up one proposed.

    • Joan,
      I bet I would agree. I’ve watched so many things being ‘improved’ in real life and on TV and to me it is never an improvement. I prefer not to see any evidence of man-made stuff such as plant boxes in what should be wild areas. You can’t improve on nature.

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