The Strathspey Railway Thunder in the Glens Special – 27 August

Just Over 1 Week to go until the ‘Beer & Burger’ Steamin’ Special Kicks Off Aviemore’s Biggest Annual Weekend of the Year!

They still have a few tickets available for purchase via the website (


A Great Weekend in Perth !!!

Saturday and Sunday (8th & 9th August 2015) saw a great weekend in Perth at the North Inch that everyone from young and old could enjoy. Even the sun put it’s hat on for both days and came out smiling (first time for 40 days and 40 nights).

Saturday saw the The Touch of Tartan event, an annual event beginning with the kilt run.


Where kilted athletes had a choice of walking or racing around marathon, half marathon and 5k circuits.

Then live music came from local act the Mad Ferrett Band and ’70s icons Eric Faulkner’s Bay City Rollers, and was brought to a close with local legend Dougie MacLean who led a mass sing-a-long of his hit Caledonia. There were also stirring performances by the City of Perth and Strathearn pipe bands and, from further afield, the carnival drumming group Beats of Brazil.

On Sunday Chieftain Brigadier Melville Jameson, Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, presided over a packed programme of traditional competitions; Heavyweight Events, Tug O’ War, Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Pipe Bands and the Track Events.

Nearly 50 pipe bands from 10 nations signed up to play more than 70 performances in six grades of competition. Bands are coming from Scotland, Austria, Australia, Canada, Jersey, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, South Africa, Switzerland and America.

With the bright blue skies and sun came large crowds.

There was also a special guest appearance from the School Brass and Percussion Band from Stabekk, just outside Oslo, which is touring Scotland to celebrate its centenary year.

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Calamity Jane blows into Perth


The calamity Jane production is coming to Perth for one week only and the staff and friends of Almond Villa Guest House cannot wait to see it. We were lucky enough to be fully booked with guests staying all week thanks to the British Open at St Andrews, so we could afford ourselves a night off for a trip to the theatre.

Following numerous highly acclaimed productions that include Sweeney Todd and Sunset Boulevard, The Watermill Theatre returns with an intimate new production of the classic musical Calamity Jane starring Jodie Prenger (Oliver!, Spamalot and One Man, Two Guvnors). Featuring a cast of multi-talented actor/musicians to create an unforgettable experience, this brand new production gets to the heart and soul of the musical.

calamity janeCalamity Jane can outrun and outshoot any man in Deadwood. Hard, boastful and desperate to impress, she travels to Chicago on the Deadwood Stage to recruit a star, Adelaid Adams. But things don’t go too smoothly for Calamity, as everyone in town favours the new girl and she struggles to keep her jealousy and pride in check. It takes her long standing enemy Wild Bill Hickok to make her see sense, and realise her Secret Love…

With an Oscar nominated score that includes The Black Hills of Dakota, The Deadwood Stage (Whip-Crack-Away), Just Blew in from the Windy City and the Award winning song Secret Love, don’t miss this new production that blows into your city for one week only.

British Open Golf 2015

Old Course, St. Andrews

This week the 2015 British Open Championships will take place at the Home of Golf, The Old Course St. Andrews between the 16 – 19th July 2015. The Open at St. Andrews is always a special event and demand for tickets, hotels and hospitality packages is certain to be high.

The Open Championship returns to St Andrews “The Home of Golf” which will be the 144th Open Championship. Once again the world’s greatest golfers will gather to do battle for the famous Claret Jug over the Old Course; where Tiger Woods was victorious in both 2000 and 2005. Louis Oosthuizen was the most recent winner at the “Home of Golf” in andrews

It is unfortunate that British favourite Rory McIlroy is out after injuring his ankle during a “kickabout” with his friends. This may have deprived the British Open of having the world number one defend his title, but the potential storylines next week at St Andrews are still strong, starting with golf’s new golden boy Jordan Spieth.

The 21-year-old Texan has dominated the sport during the first half of this year, becoming the second-youngest winner of the Masters after Tiger Woods in April and last month becoming the youngest winner of the US Open since Bobby Jones in 1923.

Watching The Open at St Andrews is always a magical experience, with an unbeatable atmosphere. Don’t settle for watching the Championship on TV, try and come to be part of it. We are happy to say we are fully booked for the the championship. Perth is only an hours drive from St Andrews and most guest houses here (including ourselves) do not inflate the prices for the occasion.

The Black Watch Regimental Reunion 2015

The Regimental Reunion will be held in Perth on Saturday 20 June 2015. Those wishing to march should parade at 13.30 on the North Inch opposite Rose Terrace. The march will follow a short route to Balhousie Castle where the Reunion will be held.

Our favourite soldiers have returned to Almond Villa for another Regimental Reunion (left to right – Alf Wade, Joe Hubble and Ian Howard). They are joining in the march and will be standing as tall as ever.

black watch soldiers Joe is joining us straight from the memorial service for 200th anniversary of Battle of Waterloo. Where he was rubbing shoulders with the royal family, the prime minister, British soldiers and descendants of Nelson and also descendants of those who toppled Napoleon for the service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Hundreds Black Watch veterans will marched through Perth on Saturday as part of the regiment’s annual reunion.

The march is led by the Perth and District Pipe Band, the group departed from the North Inch and walked along Barossa Place, Balhousie Street and Balhousie Avenue, finishing at Balhousie Castle. Fingers crossed the day will stay warm and dry.

Scone PalacePotfest Scotland

June 12th-14th, Scone Palace.

Over 70 potters and ceramic sculptors working from small studios all over the UK and across Europe will be selling their work at Scone Palace. Held in six large marquees on the lawns in front of the Big House this is a cultural experience lik no otherr – the biggest totally ceramics event of its kind in Scotland with a range of work on display guarenteed to surprise and delight.

With demonstrations and hands-on activities, and entry to the gardens, grounds and woodland this is a whole day destination. Refreshments are available on site – or bring a picnic. Free parking.

Scone Palace [PH2 6BD] is located just over 1 mile from Perth town centre, across the Tay. Take the A93 Perth to Blairgowrie road – follow the AA signs.

Open to the public from 10am until 4.30pm each day. Adults £5.00 Seniors £4.50 Accompanied Children FREE includes entry to the gardens and grounds – entry to the Palace extra.

To preview examples of the potters work visit

Horsecross Arts – Perth Concert Hall

Stuck for something to do in (what looks likely to be) a wet June evening? Horsecross have a very exciting June programme of concerts and shows to suit all tastes. Please see attached for the latest What’s On from Horsecross Arts. Hope this is of interest. Please remember us if you require to stay the evening in Perth, we look forward to seeing you here very soon.

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Perth Festival of the Arts 2015

One of the highlights in Scotland’s cultural calendar, the 44th Festival will feature classical music, opera, rock, jazz, folk & visual art staged in Perth Concert Hall and St John’s Kirk. Ticket Office opens 10am each day. Book tickets online, tel 01738 621031 or visit Perth Concert Hall.

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Scotland – What happens if the is heavy rain on the west?

For the last few days we have had lovely weather in Perth and Perthshire, we’ve had all the signs to show us that spring was on the way. Snowdrops completely out and a gradual covering of crocus, with the long shoots of daffodils poking out of the ground.

Why is it then the river Tay is at the highest it has been for a couple of years with flood water ominously rising? A couple of years ago river experts were able to explain to us why this should be. They claim they have finally found the source of the longest river in Scotland.


River Tay 2015


The slopes of Ben Lui, near Tyndrum, have been accepted as the head of the River Tay since 1780, but no-one has determined a precise location.

Surveyors at the Tay Western Catchments Partnership said they believed the source was a small lochan on the Allt Coire Laoigh, south of the summit.

The burn flows into the Cononish and Dochart before joining Loch Tay.

Victor Clements, from Scottish Native Woods, which set up the partnership, said it had followed the “longest and most dominant” tributary on the slopes of the 1,130m (3,707ft) Ben Lui.

The group undertook a 1,000-mile survey of the rivers and watercourses in Glen Lyon, Glen Lochay and Glen Dochart.

As part of the project, Mr Clements said he and his colleagues wanted to determine the exact source of the River Tay.

“We wanted to finish the survey at the source,” he said. “We spent about three months asking people and no-one was able to tell us where it was.

Slopes of Ben Lui The slopes of Ben Lui have been considered the source of the Tay since 1780 “There are three water courses that come down from Ben Lui. If you follow the most dominant courses the Allt Coire Laoigh is where you end up.”

The Ben Lui surveyors said they had buried a time capsule at the source, including some money and documents relating to this project.

The team has invited anyone who finds the capsules to “help yourself to the price of a fish supper in Tyndrum”.

The partnership acknowledged in its report that there were numerous ways of determining the source of a river, including the furthest point from the sea or the head of the most dominant watercourse.

Some experts also prefer the highest point – which in this case would make the source the Allt Coire Ghaorhaich, which arises from close to the summit of Ben Lui.

But the report concludes: “For the record, we think that, as it is the most dominant tributary and also the longest, the answer is the Allt Coire Laoigh and, as no-one else seems too concerned, we are going to claim credit for redefining the true source of the River Tay.”

The Scottish Open Volleyball 2015

The weekend of the 6th & 7th June 2015 in Perth North Inch Park sees the largest annual Volleyball event in the UK return for its 30th year.   The Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament is the largest annual volleyball tournament in Great Britain and attracts over 1000 players from around the world.

It is for all standards of player from recreational, district league and national league level who play on our 36 outside courts on the North Inch, a large parkland setting in the centre of Perth.

The tournament not only attracts teams from around the United Kingdom but we have also had teams from Russia, America, Czech Republic, Poland, Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Eire, Venezuela and the Faroes.

Entertainment will be arranged for the Saturday night at The Loft in Perth’s City Centre.

A large campsite will be available for the majority of the players but there are many hotels and bed and breakfast establishments which are only 5 minutes walk away. Full washing and toilet facilities are available within the sports centre and so there are no shortages of home comforts for those camping.


The tournament has been organised to ensure that teams will get meaningful games on both days of the event with trophies for the winners of each of the 9 categories.