Aberfeldy Adventure with the Awesome Peakers – Wild Swim Scotland

Another weekend, another swim adventure, but this time with a community Lynda has been involved with for numerous years, called “The Peakers”.

Now before you ask, Peakers Scotland are a sub group of the ‘My Peak Challenge’ global community. It was founded by none other than Scottish actor Sam Heughan, who’s best known for his role in Outlander. It’s a community that inspires members to come together to live a healthier, happier and more balanced life whilst raising funds to change lives. It’s a community and support system rooted in the belief that we can all effect positive change in our lives while helping others. They’re a group of people who really want to explore and engage with others, so you always know it’s going to be a great weekend.

This past weekend was the Peakers Scotland annual get together, which for this year was situated in Aberfeldy at the wondrous Moness Resort. The group stayed in the lodges managed by the resort, which included delicious meals, an indoor pool, spa and its very own mini golf, although the organised activity list for this weekend was extensive, so there wasn’t much time to lounge beside the pool.

Activities including, but not limited to:

  • Axe Throwing
  • Mini Safaris
  • Walking
  • Visiting the Highland Chocolatier (if you know, you know!)
  • Munros
  • …..and of course, it goes without saying, swims!

Lynda is an admin ambassador for the Peakers Scotland Group, so of course also organised three swims across the weekend to showcase what the water had to offer in the area!

Aberfeldy has a wealth of swim options, so consolidating to just three is a tough ask but if you’re trying to delight in the wonders of water, it’s best to have some variety and the conditions allowed for a river, loch AND waterfall dook.

The first swim was a short walk from the hotel to a nearby bridge for a river swim. The River Tay was fairly fast flowing so Lynda opted to tuck swimmers into a small pool under the shadow of the bridge, which had a lovely wee beach. When dooking in a spot like this it’s always good to take a moment to watch what the water’s doing before getting in. Notice if there’s any debris in the water, considering that the majority of the object could be hidden below the surface too, but notice the speed and direction it’s moving in. This will give you an indication of whether it’s a viable swim option. On this particular day it was, and Lynda had spotted a gentle eddy away from the main flow of the river, which was keeping the swimmers in calmer water too. A private pool to marvel in the picturesque bridge, all coming together for the River Tay to provide a perfect evening dook.

The next day Lynda ventured out with swimmers to the Birks of Aberfeldy, a stone’s throw from the resort, with a superb woodland walk alongside the Monness burn as it cascades through the landscape. There’s something wonderfully mindful about a waterfall dook, something about the sound of the water and the pools that are usually tucked away in forests or surrounded by overlooking trees. They also have a real play like nature to them, and this dip was no different with its deep sided channel that Lynda guided swimmers through before reaching the Monness falls, a beautiful spot for a swim. This particular swim noticeably colder with a slight chill to it from flowing from the top of the nearby hills. Running water always feels colder, it doesn’t have much chance to warm up being a flowing current compared to a lake or the expanse of the sea.

These falls are so captivating that they even inspired Robbie Burns back in 1787, where he wrote a poem titled ‘The Birks of Aberfeldy’, which you can read below:

Bony lassie, will ye go,

Will ye go, will ye go;

Bony lassie, will ye go

To the birks of Aberfeldy.

 

 Now Simmer blinks on flowery braes,

And o’er the chrystal streamlets plays;

Come let us spend the lightsome days

In the birks of Aberfeldy.

 

The little birdies blythely sing

While o’er their heads the hazels hing,

Or lightly flit on wanton wing,

In the birks of Aberfeldy.

 

The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,

The foamy stream deep-roaring fa’s,

O’erhung wi’ fragrant spreading shaws,

The birks of Aberfeldy.

 

Ye they did go, and you can’t help but see the reason Robbie Burns was so inspired, the pictures and the smiles speak for themselves.

The final spot of the weekend was from the beach at the top of Loch Tay. There’s plenty of parking options nearby so you can drive, it’s also a great option when the weather isn’t quite on your side, so you can hot foot it back to the protected shelter of a car. This dook was definitely one of those, getting changed in the cars before transcending the sand in their swimmers to the beach. Even though there’s a beach there’s some small stones so definitely recommend some swim shoes on this sort of entry, but wasn’t long till swimmers found the sandy bed before submerging into the peaty waters of the loch. It’s a gentle sloped entry at this one, which is also great for swimmers who are a bit apprehensive of water depth or just prefer a slower entry to the water. Gradually letting the water welcome you in rather than having a stumble off a steep ledge.

Of course, once everyone was in the wind dropped and Lynda had even made a special request for sunshine, which was approved, so for the final swim of the weekend even the sun made an appearance. Then before they knew it they were all wrapped up back at the cars and saying goodbyes to leave for their respective homes across Scotland and England.

Same time again next year Peakers?

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