For such a small village Fortingall, 13 miles from Aberfeldy and just 2.5 miles from Loch Tay in beautiful Highland Perthshire, punches well above its size in terms of charm, glorious surroundings and unusual claims to fame. With its thatched cottages, it is one of the prettiest of Scottish villages, and is also reputed to be the birthplace of Pontius Pilate, he being the result of a liaison between his Roman soldier father and a local girl!
That is only legend, but very real is the spectacular Fortingall Yew in the churchyard here. Dated as being between 4 and 5,000 years old, it is the oldest living thing in Europe. (When you consider that it would already be middle-aged when the Pilates were around, that rather puts it in perspective!)
Within walking distance of this delightful, peaceful hamlet, on the way to Loch Tay, and reached by a private drive is a tiny enclave of houses, behind which is Grandpa's Cottage, a traditional stone-built, cottage now offered for holiday letting. Grandpa would probably be hard put to recognise it now, so well and stylishly has it been modernised and refurbished.
With the hill right behind, and extensive views southwards across the valley to the front, inside the accommodation is bright and spacious. Both the large and superbly equipped dining kitchen and the welcoming sitting room have beamed ceilings, while the latter also has a wood burning stove to supplement the gas central heating and ensure year-round cosiness. A useful boot room and WC complete the downstairs accommodation. Upstairs are good-size double and twin bedrooms and family bathroom.
The cottage is furnished and finished to a very high standard and there is ample parking right by the door. Behind, there is an elevated patio area (furniture), ideal for enjoying an evening drink and admiring the view across to nearby Drummond Hill.
Once established in this idyllic spot, you may be hard put to decide between the many local attractions. Loch Tay offers a variety of water sports, while there are golf courses at either end in the pretty villages of Killin and Kenmore. Ben Lawers, overlooking the loch, will be of interest to walkers, while just to the north is Schiehallion, the 'Fairy Mountain'. The famous and breathtakingly beautiful Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch are within 15 miles of the cottage, while to the north west is rugged Glen Lyon, Scotland's longest glen.
Aberfeldy (all facilities) has a leisure centre and newly reopened cinema, while Fortingall itself has an excellent hotel. There really is very little left to wish for at Grandpa's Cottage!
Heating is by gas CH (first £25 included) and wood burning stove. Bed linen, towels and the first £15 of electricity are all included in the rental. One pet welcome by arrangement. Sorry, no smoking in the cottage. Wi-fi included, subject to provider (available from June 2013).
Accommodation (sleeps 4):
- Sitting room with wood burning stove and TV/DVD.
- Kitchen/dining room with electric hob and oven, microwave, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble-drier, etc.
- Boot room with WC and wash basin.
- Double bedroom.
- Twin bedroom.
- Bathroom with bath, shower over, WC and wash basin.