Episode 29 (Season 3): ‘Uisge’
Let’s dive into the scenic landscapes of Perthshire, chase waterfalls above Loch Tay and explore the therapeutic benefits of cold water swimming.
‘Uisge’ is a story about my journey as an outdoor swimmer. From loving the idea but not the implementation to immersing myself in the ice cold waters of one of Scotland’s largest freshwater lochs, let me take you on a scenic drive, a hike and a swim in Perthshire.
We spend a morning with Scottish broadcaster and experiences outdoor swimmer Calum Maclean, exploring a lush gorge near Kenmore, learn about water safety and take the plunge in some of the coldest water I’ve ever felt. And you get to be right there with us – without getting wet!
After the story, I’ll tell you my top tips for making the most of an adventure trip to Perthshire.
Are you ready? Great – let’s travel to Scotland!
Written and hosted by Kathi Kamleitner.
Produced, edited and sound design by Fran Turauskis.
Transcripts and social media by Michelle Payne.
Cover Art illustrated by Lizzie Vaughan-Knight.
All original music composed by Bruce Wallace.
Additional sound effects from Zapsplat.
All photographs by Kathi Kamleitner.
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Use my Perthshire travel guide to plan your trip.
My Perthshire Travel Tips
Take plenty of time
Like I said in the story, Loch Tay is one of the largest freshwater lochs in Scotland and as such, there is a lot to do and see in the area. Try water activities in Kenmore, visit the Scottish Crannog Centre, hike in the Lawers Range, see the Falls of Dochart in Killin, visit a distillery in Aberfeldy or walk in the footsteps of Robert Burns.
You can easily spend a week in the Loch Tay area.
That said, it’s just a two hour drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh, so it’s also a great place for a weekend getaway.
Visit in Autumn
Perthshire is also known as Scotland’s Big Tree Country and is one of my favourite regions to visit in autumn when all the trees are turning yellow, orange and red. Calum assures me that the Falls of Acharn are even more spectacular at that time of the year – and if you’re going for a swim, at least the water might have warmed up a little over the summer.
Stay safe if you go swimming
Safety should be your number one concern when it comes to outdoor swimming. It’s important to educate yourself about water safety and preventative measures, and know how to avoid cold water shock. If you’re new to swimming or a specific area, try to join a local swimming group or hire a swim coach – many people have started outdoor swimming in the past few years which means there are more experts around who can guide you.
Take care on the Glen Quaich road
The road I describe at the beginning of my story is the Glen Quaich road to Kenmore. Take great care if you decide to drive it. It’s not suitable for large vehicles like campervans or motorhomes, and beginner drivers should think about whether they’re really up for the challenge.
The road has many narrow bends, is super steep at points and there are very few passing places. Luckily the alternative roads are also scenic, so you won’t miss out.
Stop by the Watermill in Aberfeldy
I’ll link to my Perthshire travel guide in the show notes, but I’d love to give a shout-out to the Watermill book shop in Aberfeldy. They have a great cafe downstairs which is just the perfect spot to visit after a swim and warm up with a pot of tea and a piece of cake. And afterwards, you can browse their bookshop which includes a big selection of non-fiction books about adventures and activities like outdoor swimming. It’s a great wee business to visit while you’re in the area.
You’ll find more in my Perthshire guide.