If the snowdrops are anything to go by, it looks like Spring has well and truly sprung in the Strath.

From the Latin name meaning ‘milk flower’, thousands of tiny green and white flowers are poking their heads out from under the trees and shrubs and beginning to carpet the gardens and countryside in a glorious swathe of white.

In the mid-19th Century, soldiers in the Crimean War brought them back from the battlefields to plant in their gardens. Today they thrive throughout Crieff and Strathearn, in gardens, damp woods and on river banks.

For walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, these seasonal displays are an ideal opportunity to pull on the boots and waterproofs and marvel at these floral gems in the clear winter light.

Here’s FIVE great locations to enjoy the snowdrops:

  1. Innerpeffray Library and St Mary’s Chapel

One of the best places to see the snowdrops locally is at Innerpeffray Library and St Mary’s Chapel. Scotland’s oldest lending library is a real hidden gem and a stroll round its tranquil woodland garden with striking views of the River Earn makes it an ideal springtime destination. As an added bonus, you can also explore the chapel churchyard and the 18th Century library, which includes a special exhibition of gardening books. A view of ruined Innerpeffray Castle is a short walk nearby, and the Roman road from Braco to Perth along the Gask Ridge passes through Innerpeffray. Only 90 minutes from Glasgow or Edinburgh, Innerpeffray is on the B8062, four miles from Crieff and six miles from Auchterarder and Gleneagles.

Visit their website www.innerpeffraylibrary.co.uk

  1. Currochs Path

If you are looking for a nice wee stretch of the legs to walk off your Sunday lunch then the Currochs Path should be on your radar. This highly enjoyable circular walk passes through Macrosty Park, past Glenturret Distillery before joining Lovers’ Walk. It is also a firm favourite with families who can take a short detour to enjoy the kid-friendly facilities in the popular park. Enjoy Crieff’s stunning woodland scenery and listen to the burn as you walk along the meandering riverside path with its displays of snowdrops. Suitable for walkers of all ages, the path is about five miles and takes 1½ to 2½ hours to explore.

For more information check out www.pkct.org/crieff-walks

  1. Macrosty Park

A firm favourite with families all year round, Macrosty Park is definitely worth a visit for its springtime snowdrop display beside the banks of the Turret Burn. One of Perthshire’s most beautiful parks, Macrosty is also home to an impressive collection of mature trees, including Douglas fir and Noble fir. Other significant species including Lawson cypress, Norway spruce, Coriscan pine and cedar. Boasting an excellent path network which leads to a Victorian bandstand, Macrosty Park is a two minute drive from Crieff Town Centre and there’s excellent car parking facilities on site.

For more information check out www.pkct.org/crieff-walks

  1. The Knock

Snowdrops on the lower slopes make Crieff’s iconic Knock Hill the ideal destination for those who love a walk or cycle jaunt with a view. Take a wander up to the breathtaking viewpoint at the summit, with panoramas to the Highlands to the north; Upper Strathearn, Ben Vorlich and Comrie to the west; and Muthill, the broad fertile valley floor and the Ochil Hills to the south. On the way up visit Kate McNiven’s Crag, where a 17th Century witch is said to have been executed by being rolled down the rocky slope in a barrel. The walk is about four miles and takes two hours to explore.

For more information check out www.pkct.org/crieff-walks

  1. River Earn Path

A lovely linear walk along the banks of the River Earn and through beautiful snowdrop-studded woodland. The majority of this path follows the beautiful river, through Sallyardoch Wood and on to Muthill. A mile detour about half way along turns away from the river and will put you onto the wheelchair accessible Bennybeg Nature Trail which meanders over to Bennybeg Pond, with a lovely viewing platform. Garden enthusiasts should also check out the wide selection of spring blooms at Bennybeg Plant Centre. The path is about 5 ½ miles, taking about three hours each way.

For more information check out www.pkct.org/crieff-walks and www.bennybeg.co.uk

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