This is a guest blog courtesy of Mrs Elizabeth A. Bell.
For centuries tourists have been visiting places to ‘take in the waters’ and Crieff is no exception. The Crieff Hydro was established over 150 years ago for just that reason … but in Crieff we are exceptionally blessed with ‘ beautiful waters’ virtually everywhere we look.
Not only does Crieff have the Crieff Hydo Hotel with its fantastic Victorian Spa, but Crieff is surrounded by lovely rivers and lochs, which give our town unbelievably wonderful water to drink.
We have the River Earn, which in some places is serenely placid and in others fast flowing and fierce, especially where it meets the Turret River further down stream. It’s perfect for a bit of wild swimming or just to cool your feet on a hot summer’s day. And everyone enjoys the Turret river which flows through the beautiful MacRosty park.
Both of these majestic rivers come from equally magnificent loch sources – Loch Earn and Loch Turret.
Loch Earn is the source of the River Earn. At just twelve picturesque miles away from Crieff it provides opportunities to enjoy water sports such as sailing, waterskiing and swimming, as well as fishing. Loch Earn itself is stunningly beautiful. It is over 88 meters deep in some places, 1 km wide and 10 km long. Loch Earn is also home to a pair of Osprey who frequent the South shore in the summer months when back from their African migration. The best time to see these majestic residents is first thing in the morning or at dusk. There is also an active Angling Club on the loch with salmon fishing which is also very popular.
Loch Turret is just a few miles above Crieff and is the source of the Turret River. It is also the main reservoir for the area. Since Victorian times it has supplied water to our taps and to the lovely Murray Fountain situated in James Square. The fountain was erected to commemorate the sacrifice of the Murray’s of Ochtertyre in order for the town to have drinking water in the 1890’s. An inscription on it commemorates this fact.
The Murray Fountain continues to be a defining focal point for the town in all seasons. From the Farmers Market ,to hosting the Hogmanay celebrations at New Year, the Murray Fountain is a poignant reminder, right at the heart of our town centre, of the beautiful waters that surround us everywhere.