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Blairgowrie >  Google™ Map May 2018  Perth and Kinross Coat of Arms

blàr plain (of) + ghobharaidh Scottish Gaelic (personal name). Population - 7,965.

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May 2018

Perth and Kinross Coat of Arms

Shooting out of the bottom of the Cairngorms National Park on the rollercoaster ride that is the A93, it's not too far from the skiers at Glenshee and back into the semi-familiar territory of Perth & Kinross.

After a first foray into Moray and the royally themed scene of Aberdeen, -shire that is, things are rather more, erm, functional and Blairgowrie has more of a whiff of the workaday.

Blairgowrie - Perth Street
  The Fair O'Blair (Allan Street) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Fair O'Blair, an annual event that was held well into the 20th century.

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale but the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming receives a reasonable (3/5) for the local link and for not resorting to 'The Old Woolworth™s'.

Workaday might be slightly unfair since the small, public area with the war memorial provides a seated distraction when there's not a Fair O'Blair on and it's not everywhere you can pick up a bespoke bagpipe.

Blairgowrie - Memorial Park
Blairgowrie - Piob Mhor of Scotland

It is, however, just about everywhere north of Perth, actually, that you'll find a Nickel n' Dime.

Blairgowrie - Nickel n' Dime

Handy for your home goods, this provider of the low-priced and pliable has already been noticed in Nairn, Elgin and Inverness[1] but the name is, quite frankly, unfathomable.

How about something a little more 'on brand'... MacPlastic™s? Macca's Placcas?

[1] Not that they've become something of an obsession, honestly.

  Cateran Cafe (High Street)

Named from the fearsome Highland warriors who had a sideline in stealing cattle, apparently, they're a much friendlier bunch in here, these days.

Blairgowrie - Cateran Cafe

With an unusual line in Pastéis de nata and pictures of the Algarve on the walls, the tourist Tourette's kicked in and it was asked if the owner was Portuguese?

Nah, seems she just likes going there on holiday.

There's a short loop by the River Ericht that starts by a well-tended garden and a kiddie's play park, not shown.

Blairgowrie - River Ericht
Blairgowrie - River Ericht

It's less than half-a-mile to the viewing platform at Cargill's Leap and no, SlyBob's never heard of it, neither.

The Presbyterian minister Donald Cargill had a problem. His particular brand of preaching was banned during the reign of Charles II so he had to sermonise in secret.

Following a religious raid one evening, it's said he escaped by leaping the gorge here although he'd later be strung up for treason in 1681, in Edinburgh.

Near Blairgowrie - Cargill's Leap

If you look carefully, there's a small sign down there to tell you there's no fishing allowed.

If you can read that close up then your name is probably Donald Cargill and you didn't take nearly as big a run up as was needed.

As well as being a bit of a base for your hillwalker, the river's a clue as to the other type of people who tend to stay here.

Blairgowrie - James Crockart & Sons

Fisherfolk, of course, although the toffs who are inclined to hunker in bunkers come mid-August are unlikely to find the luxury to which they're accustomed in town.

  Sampan Indian Restaurant (Tannage Street)

There's not a lot of choice and you'll be wondering if Wetherspoon™s really is the worst dining option in town. Head down to the bridge, however, and hidden slightly behind the Angus Hotel, this tandoori is right on the river. There's an unexpected and eye-wateringly good view, not shown, that doesn't just come from the vindaloo.

If highlighting the fact that the bus station has stances instead of stands sounds like floundering then yes, things are a bit but what's this? It's only a vending machine, a vending machine for... raspberries[1]!

Blairgowrie - Bus Station
Blairgowrie - Reform Street

Insert coin, push button, here's one fruit machine where you can literally hold your plums. It's one where you won't be putting your winnings straight back in as well. Squish!

[1] And, if you look closely, Irn-Bru™, of course.

  The Old Cross Inn (Alyth Road, Rattray)

Technically speaking, it's Blairgowrie and Rattray although the latter tends to get dropped and locals even lose the 'Gowrie'. Just the four rooms here and excellent value but there's a little bit of guilt being felt.

Guilty at not trying their rated restaurant and guilty at leaving one's phone behind on the bed even if Kelly was happy to pop it in the post. Idiot!

What's What
 Cairngorms National Park
 The Old Cross Inn