Rain fails to dampen spirits at Perth Highland Games

perth highland games

A slate grey sky greeted the opening of Perth Highland Games as organisers looked to the heavens and crossed their fingers.


Early visitors enjoyed a vibrant start to the annual event on the city’s North Inch, from where the skirl of the pipes echoed through the heart of the city.

More than 40 top pipe bands were represented at the games, among them nine Grade 1 Bands who will be competing at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow at the weekend.

As the heavy events got under way and solo pipers performed for judges around the site, the bands made for a fine spectacle in front of good, early crowds.

There were also plenty of fun activities on offer for youngsters, together with a large number of stalls in the trade village.

Having threatened for three hours, the predicted rain finally began to fall at midday — and then continued to fall for much of the day.

Spectators huddled beneath umbrellas and wrapped against the elements, dived for cover in tents each time the downfall began to increase in ferocity.

It finally settled to a steady drizzle that continued throughout much of the annual event. To the dismay of organisers, the weather did seem to have an impact upon the number of people that turned out.

There was also a moment of anguish when it appeared that some of the pipe bands were fleeing the rain as buses moved about the games site.

Fortunately the news came back that most were simply awaiting their chance to perform aboard their vehicles, which were being moved in case they became stuck on the games ground.

Among their number were entrants from the US, Canada, Australia, Oman, South Africa and New Zealand — together with a number of high-calibre Scottish bands.

There were also more than 70 solo pipers and a large number of Highland dancers, who were fortunate to have a covered stage on which to perform.

Elsewhere within the arena, spectators peering through the drizzle were able to enjoy keenly contested track and cycling events and the heavyweight championship.

Organisers, meanwhile, dashed around the site, dodging the heaviest showers and doing their best to ensure that the rain had as little impact upon proceedings as possible.

Once again everyone who took part in this year’s Kilt Run throughly enjoyed their day. Thankfully the weather was very kind to all the runners who joined us on the North Inch.

This year, as a special twist, the stars of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, the Scotties were once again the centre of attention at the Perth Kilt Run. They joined the hundreds of runners at the North Inch taking part in the race.

scotties kilts



Almond Villa Guest House extend our congratulations to St Johnstone on their success in reaching the Final of the Scottish Cup this season. Now that they are in the Cup Final we are confident that you will press on to greater success, and you can be assured we will all be cheering for Saint Johnstone in the Cup Final.

Come saints, our hearts are with you!!

Inspiration Tour

Jamie MacDougall’s : Inspiration Tour is coming to The Famous Grouse Experience in Crieff. The distillery is situated in the picturesque heart of Perthshire and their newly refurbished Bar area is a delightful intimate performance space!

jamie mcDougall

That’s why renowned Scottish tenor, BBC presenter and entertainer Jamie MacDougall is inviting you to join him for an evening of INSPIRATIONS. The show includes songs from every genre of music – opera to Broadway musical to traditional Scottish. All songs have a special story to tell and have inspired Jamie throughout his twenty-five year career in the music industry. Expect to hear everything from Pavarotti – the king of high C’s, to Elvis – the king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Tickets are £15; no concessions (includes booking fee) and is on Friday 16 May, 7.30pm – on the night, expect exclusive discounts for ticketholders in The Famous Grouse Experience shop!

Grand old osprey: Lady returns to Loch of the Lowes nature reserve

The UK’s oldest known osprey returned to her nest at a Scottish wildlife reserve – only to end up in a mid-air showdown with a love rival.

The “veteran matriarch”, affectionately known as Lady and thought to be 28 years old, has nested at the Loch of the Lowes in Perthshire for a record-breaking 24 consecutive years.

Staff at the wildlife reserve identified her through her plumage and eye markings when she landed at 6.49am after completing her 3,000-mile migration from West Africa.

On arrival, the osprey who has also given birth to a record number of chicks, found her mate in a nest with a different female, but dive-bombed the rival out of sight.


Emma Rawling, The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Perthshire Ranger, said: “Lady is a veteran matriarch.

“We never take her return for granted because she is getting old and it’s a long journey from West Africa.

“And we were not even sure whether it was going to work out this year, because there was a rival female in the nest next door.

“But as soon Lady arrived, she dive-bombed and chased the rival away. She reclaimed her nest and her mate.

“She definitely put him in place. The female rival was chased off and has not been seen since. We don’t expect her to come back. Hopefully she will find somewhere else to nest.

“Lady has certainly wasted no time in mating. Courtship is definitely under way and they are looking very comfortable with each other.”

(© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group) via STV via STV At 28, Lady has outlived the average lifespan of a wild osprey three times over.The majestic species normally produce about 20 chicks in their lifetime, but Lady also broke records after she laid 68 eggs and reared 50 chicks.

The osprey couple have already began their courtship and Lady is expected to lay two to four eggs in early April which will hatch in about six weeks time.

Her every move is captured on a special webcam which is monitored round the clock by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and followed by millions online

Emma said: “She has become an ambassador for ospreys. She is the oldest known osprey in the UK and is followed by people around the world.

“There were more than two million hits on our webcam last year, which gives you some idea of how popular she is.

“She’s a glamorous bird with an interesting personality and people feel connected with her story.

“She is a very old bird and for her to undertake another successful migration is testament to just how special she is, however, it does demonstrate the conservation success story of the species as a whole.

“To think that ospreys were extinct just over a century ago, really brings home how accomplished the concerted effort of conservation has been in that time.

“The questions now are whether she will breed, if any eggs will hatch and whether any chicks fledge.

“People should tune in to the Ospreycam and read the blog in order to keep up-to-date with all the news here at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre.”

Secret Egypt; Unravelling truth from myth

Are you forever lookjing into something to do during the school holidays? Well I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Perth Museum. They have a fantastic exhibition on display on Egypt and it’s history.


On display until 25 May 2014 at Perth Museum & Art Gallery Secret Egypt Investigate the truth behind the popular myths about ancient Egypt.

Did aliens build the pyramids? Is the curse of the mummy real? Were the Egyptians obsessed with death? Secret Egypt will bring together over 150 objects from Birmingham Museums’ ancient Egyptian collection, and provide you with archaeological evidence that will answer these questions and more!

Scotland Photography Tour

We often receive photographs from our guests, of their holiday time in Perth and Scotland, which we thoroughly enjoy looking at. It brings back happy memories of their stay because we know how much they enjoyed their visit with us.

However this week we received a video from a guest which we absolutely loved. It was brilliant to see her perspective on Scotland and to see Perth through someone else’s eyes. We loved it so much we just had to ask her permission to share it. We are sure you will enjoy it too and agree she is very talented. Thanks for sharing Karen!


Discover the magic of Scotland through my pictures, Karen Warmbold.

www.theorchidphotography.de www.facebook.com/theorchidphotography


The Dane’s Stone, beaten by the weather!!!

After standing for almost 6,000 years, a proud monolith has finally succumbed to the weather.moulin stone

Days of heavy rain proved to be too much for the Dane’s Stone, which is believed to date back to the neolithic era or Bronze Age. The megalith fell foul to the wet conditions and toppled over.

This large stone stood just to the north-west of the village of Moulin, in the field where the Moulin Market used to be held in days gone by. The stone stands some 2.1m tall by 1.3m wide at it’s widest point. The stone is 0.6m thick at the top, increasing to 0.9m thick at the base.

Coles reported in 1908 that several more stones were said to have stood in the field, all smaller than the existing stone, but were now half buried. However no trace of these other stones has been found.

This prehistoric stone and probably dates back to between 4,000BC and 1,000BC. The name Dane’s Stone was probably given during the Middle Ages, around about the time of the Vikings.


danes stone standing

Almond Villa would like to wish all their friends and family a very Happy New Year and all the Best for 2014!


As we come to the end of the year

And we welcome in a new one,

Let us pray it will be full of happiness

With lots of joy and holiday fun!!!

Christmas Lights switch-on in Perth

A fabulous day of festive fun and entertainment culminating in the Big ‘Switch On’!

Saturday 23 November 2013 Time: 11:00 Venue: Perth City Centre Suitability: All ages Cost: Free

Attractions on Saturday 23 November will include:perth-christmas

From 11 am – 6 pm Santa’s arrival at St John’s Centre at 11.30am. He will meet children until 4.30pm, when he will take part in the Big Parade. Lots of fun with Horne’s Pleasure Rides in Tay Street. Tasty food from a range of quality street vendors. An ice rink in Horsecross Plaza. Ice sculpting in Horsecross Plaza and Tay Street.

From 1.30 pm – 5.30 pm Street entertainment throughout the city centre. A Singing Christmas Tree featuring local singing groups.

On the main stage in Tay Street A stage in Tay Street will feature performances from local singers and musicians throughout the day.

The main stage in Tay Street will feature musical entertainment by DJs, Britain’s Got Talent Stars The Luminites, and Eric Faulkner’s Bay City Rollers. Mark Wright, star of TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex, Take Me Out and Surprise Surprise, will turn on the Christmas Lights alongside the Provost and Santa at 6pm.

There will also be a spectacular fireworks display.