As we get older we tend to opt for the creature comforts, or the straightforward way of following trails through the woodland and maybe losing that edgey-ness we had twenty-something years ago that would whisper go on, do it. It can’t just be me that’s lost that, can it? Don’t get me wrong I’m certainly not old or boring by any stretch of the imagination but it’s still good to have a go at new things. Well, this week I think Dude and I found the cure for grown up’s with a taste for wee adventures right here in Perthshire.
Based in Aberfeldy, the Wee Adventures team, Biscuit and Sarah, aim to provide a family friendly experience with opportunities of canoeing, abseiling, slacklining and mountain biking, to name just a few, using Big Tree Country as a classroom and playground. This chance to try something new as a family is precious and with the right guidance, experience and enthusiasm you could find yourselves loving it so much you find yourselves Googling “canoes for sale.”
With plenty of bike trails, forests, lochs, munros and the river Tay in the area it really is an adventurers paradise. A great place to nurture a next generation of nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, wildlife photographers along with a passion for Scotland
Winter Series of Adult Adventure Tasters
The temperature in the car showed minus 3° as we pulled into the car park at Weem forest but Dude and I were all ready prepared with plenty of layers, hats and gloves.
We were welcomed by Biscuit and Sarah and instantly it felt like we were old friends meeting up again. After introductions to other members of our group and a briefing of how the morning was going to pan out we set off on the first of the 2019 winter series of adult adventure taster sessions.
I had already made an admission to Sarah via email that scrambling really isn’t one of my strong points and before we left the car park Biscuit was quick to put my mind at rest and that it wasn’t too technical, high or risky. The morning was all about fun but also trying something different and pushing that boundary even if it’s by just an inch.
Having started with a bit of a pull up the path the time had come to leave that comfort blanket and pick our route up through the trees and leaf litter. Consciously making sure I was toward the back of the group I watched as the others took their preferred route upwards. I was by no means left to my own devices but I weighed up my options and slowly but surely (sorry to everyone who had to wait for me) with a little help, made my way through the forest like Lara Croft! Graceful and elegant it was not but I made it.
The reward for completing this section was a lovely view of Castle Menzies and along the strath (river valley). In the summer time you wouldn’t be afforded this view because of the tree canopy so this was kinda special. The castle was almost camouflaged and blended in perfectly with Scotland in her winter coat. With the promise of a hot drink and a treat we picked a spot slightly higher up in a clearing with another view.
The group shared stories of their outdoor explorations, nature finds and got to know one another a bit more. It was nice to be in the company of people who also enjoyed being outdoors even in the depths of winter.
What goes up must come down and I couldn’t quite decide if this was going to be equally terrifying, worse or better than going up but as I write about it now I think it must be better. I did slide onto my bum after losing my footing but I’m not averse to a bid of mud so I just cracked on.
The trail that runs through Weem forest is about a mile long and is steep and winding in places. There are plenty of opportunities to see something new, spot red squirrels or look for the sculptures and you can take as long as you want to wander.
We spied several of the creatively carved sculptures that tell of the legends and tales of the caves and their inhabitants.
At this time of year, the snowdrops welcome visitors with their white heads dancing on the breeze and you may be mistaken for thinking there is nothing else to see in the woods in winter. You would be wrong. Between us during our morning together we had seen a red squirrel, hair ice and had a close encounter with a tawny owl in flight. Way too much excitement for a Tuesday morning.
Until next time
To say that I enjoyed the morning with the Wee Adventures team would be an understatement. Their local knowledge, friendliness and a love for the outdoors was very apparent and I like that. No airs and graces and no Top Trump cards of “when I did this” or “we’ve got this qualification.” Yet a sense of being in safe hands and them wanting you to enjoy the experience. Biscuit also has this boundless enthusiasm not just for his job but for wanting to listen to other people and apply that to the moment.
Dude has much more understanding than I do of technical scrambling routes on mountain ridges and yet he also thoroughly enjoyed the company and the chance to scramble under and along the crags of Weem forest.
We would highly recommend that for grown up’s with a taste for wee adventures checking out what else Biscuit and Sarah have to offer. Throughout February and March there are other opportunities to have a go at something new:
– Tues 5 Feb: Firelighting and Campfire Cooking, Weem
– Tues 19 Feb: Tree Climbing, The Birks
– Thus 7 Mar: Bush Craft Skills, Weem
– Tues 19 Mar: Abseiling Introduction, Weem
Go on, do it. I dare you.
Dude and I would like to thank Wee Adventures for their kind hospitality and patience. We were invited on a complimentary basis to take part in the winter series adult taster session in exchange for this blog post and it’s images. All heady ideas of becoming the next Lara Croft or female version Bear Grylls are entirely my own.