I’m on the way back from Scotland now, (Spoiler) defeated in my quest to reach the fabled Orkneys but buoyed by the accumulation of a wealth of scenic discoveries. And 30 ticks.

So the chances of this blog being up-to-date by the end-of-month review are Less Than Zero.

But I’ll press on, back at Dunkeld and Birnam Station.


Never heard of it

Inexplicably, it was getting dark by 6.45pm. I thought it stayed light for hours longer in the North.

3 GBG tickers bodies found under the flyover since 1992

It was Wednesday, not Sunday, but I instinctively felt a need to phone my two Dunkeld ticks to make sure they’d serve me if I turned up after dark.

We may close early if there’s no-one in” said one of them, helpfully. See Mudgie here.

I’d already booked into my Guest House next to the station, the marvellous Merryburn in Birnam,

Upgraded free to a double with better WiFi

and been shown the bar with honesty box. Could this be a pre-emptive tick ?

No, I didn’t

Ten minutes walk in pitch darkness across the Tay, guided by the flickering light of a hundred televisions showing Strictly Bakeoff repeats.

Pic taken earlier
Posh hotel


took me to the Perth Arms, whose landlady had sounded incredibly friendly on the phone.

Aren’t pubs great at night
Proper seating alert

Dunkeld is quite an upmarket resort on the edge of the Cairngorms, so upmarket that Paul Mudge stayed here recently.

The Perth Arms looked like the sole boozer, a few Old Boys and local couples settling down for Tennents and TV.


The Landlady seemed pleased when I went for the local Strathbraan, “Ooh have you tried it” though happily I was spared tasters and CAMRA discounts.

Soup and toastie

Nice creamy head, full of flavour, touch cooler would be nice, easy NBSS 3.

Scottish pubs, as opposed to hotel bars, are often tiny, and I found myself sitting at the bar to avoid the gentlefolk munching on haggis and chips. Haggis sure looked tempting, and as you know is indigenous to the Perth area.

The Landlady, by now in my Top 5 of 2019, brought the WiFi code over to me.

It didn’t work, of course, so instead I watched as Chelsea nicked a win in Amsterdam.



  1. I was quite impressed with Strathbraan beers during my two trips in the last twelve months north of t’border.

    “so upmarket that Paul Mudge stayed here recently.” – well not quite. I well remember though near mid-winter as the snow was really piling up outside after dark and me making my way along a busy unlit A9 towards that
    railway station only to find that the 8.47pm train to Perth was cancelled. However Scotrail provided a replacement taxi to Perth – just as they did a few months later to Broughty Ferry – and then I met up with Mrs TSM and Miss TSM in Dundee where we were staying for two nights.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very sorry to hear you didn’t make it to the Orkneys; must have been very disappointing, so close and yet so far! But 30 out-of-the-way ticks is nothing to be sniffed at.

    We’re fairly far north here in Michigan, but I imagine Scotland is even more so. Is it the sort of place where in the summer there’s still a bit of sunlight at some absurdly late hour like 10 o’clock?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You remind me that alighting at Dunkeld and Birnam railway station my wonky knees struggled with the very low platform that is clearly shown in your photos as are yellow steps since installed for passengers as decrepit as myself. .

    Liked by 3 people

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