10 Things to do in Aberfeldy

10 Things to do in Aberfeldy

The clocks have changed, the weather is (mostly) trending warmer, and things are beginning to open back up after winter, which means it’s the perfect time to start planning your holidays. If you’re looking for a destination that combines outdoor activities, beautiful scenery, and a warm local welcome, then what better place to visit than our little highland town on the banks of the river Tay.

Over the past few years, Aberfeldy has become a popular destination for those seeking something different in their holidays—of course there are plenty of hill walks and hikes to be had, but what about afterwards? What should you do on your visit to Aberfeldy? At Glen Lyon, we’ve been roasting coffee here for ten years, so let us give you the inside scoop from our decade-long experience in one of Scotland’s most beautiful towns. 

  • Grab a coffee at Glen Lyon

Our cafe is open Monday to Saturday to get your trip started with a flat white—made with our best-selling Red Stag espresso blend—or step things up with a pourover brew of your favourite coffee. Enjoy our sunny deck while you plan the rest of your visit, and don’t forget to pick up a bag of beans to take home with you.

Across the business park from us, The Shop by Ballintaggart can supply you with picnic essentials—freshly baked bread, pastries, snacks, drinks and sundries to take with you on your adventures.

  • Play on the Tay

Whether you prefer canoeing or paddleboarding on the loch, tackling some slightly more strenuous whitewater on the river—watch out for the Grandtully rapids—or perhaps you’d like to take the infamous plunge on the Loch Tay Slide at the Taymouth Marina, there’s plenty of water-based activities to fill a morning (or a week). Check out Perthshire Adventure for a good collection of some of our brilliant local adventure companies. 

Aberfeldy is surrounded by a gorgeous landscape of Munros, forests, and heather-covered hills. While beautiful, it’s not always the most small child-friendly countryside. Luckily, across the bridge and down the road sits an activity centre that’s very much ready to entertain the young-uns. Explore the highlands with a full tour, or entertain the kids at the red deer centre, featuring: panning for gold; bike rental and bike trails; a discovery trail; and of course a cafe and shop. 

  • Hit the Trails

Something Aberfeldy has become known for recently, the aforementioned forests and heather-covered hills are the perfect place to put your mountain biking skills to the test. A local group has created the Glassie Bike Park on Weem hill, featuring an assortment of trails of varying difficulty.

Looking for a souvenir to celebrate your visit to our lovely corner of the world? Aberfeldy’s got you covered. Need a book on local history or geography, or simply want the latest bestseller to while away the long summer evenings? We’ve got that too. Vintage clothes and vinyl records? Yep. Crafts, prints, handmade gifts? Clothes, shoes, and outdoor gear? You’re spoiled for choice.

  • Explore local art and artists

After all that exercise and shopping, perhaps it’s time to indulge in some culture. Luckily, Aberfeldy has plenty to offer. Upstairs at the Watermill is an art gallery curated by local artist Zanna Wilson, featuring several new exhibitions of renowned and emerging Scottish artists each year. As if that wasn’t enough, visit the Aberfeldy Gallery or Artisan& for more art and crafts, to view and to buy.

  • Walk the Birks

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 much-cherished poet Rabbie Burns wrote The Birks of Aberfeldy to celebrate the beautiful Falls of Moness and the birch (birks in Scots) trees that line the ravine cut into the hillside above the town. A steep climb (thankfully fitted with steps and footpaths) but a worthwhile one—the scenery is spectacular in any weather.

  • Catch a movie at the other Birks

It’s amazing to think that, in a town as small as Aberfeldy, there’s a state-of-the-art cinema right on the square. From the latest Hollywood releases to smaller independent films and lots of child-friendly programming, it’s a must-visit—and the perfect way to spend a summer’s evening. And for those who enjoy a drink or snack with their movie, the Birks has a cafe and fully-stocked bar featuring local beers.

  • Eat (and drink) your fill

If you’re looking for something to eat after the movie, Aberfeldy has you covered there as well, whether you fancy Indian food, fish and chips, pizza, or a pint in one of the many beer gardens sprinkled around. A touch further afield there are restaurants on and around Loch Tay, or visit one of the acclaimed restaurants and pubs that dot the Perthshire countryside. There are also a growing number of craft breweries and distilleries just a short drive away—many of which also offer food (and Glen Lyon coffee).

  • Take a tour of the distillery

Speaking of distilleries… Aberfeldy also happens to boast its very own whisky experience—Dewar’s Aberfeldy is a working distillery that offers tours and tastings, a heritage museum, and a whisky bar and cafe, all just a short walk from our roastery. After a long day of coffee-drinking and exploring Aberfeldy, it’s the perfect place to end your trip.

Words: Fionn Pooler

Photo: Johnny Cook