Sunday Drivers // Dunkeld Loop

Michael Scott - March 6, 2021

I love an adventure, heading out discovering new places with no real destination. The latest lockdowns have had us yearning to get back out and see more than the four walls surrounding us. Last year, before the restrictions were tightened once more, we were at least able to travel outside out council areas for a brief while. On a sunny November weekend, Greg and I decided we were going to hit the road for a good old fashioned Sunday Drive. We couldn’t travel too far, it was a day trip after all, and in November the days here are pretty short. So we planned a short route that would let us get home in time for dinner.

We left just after 9am and headed out past Stirling and up towards Comrie. Turning off the main road and onto the B827, a short, twisting road across stunning farmland. The weather was sunny but cold, we hadn’t anticipated just how cold it would be on the higher ground, or that the back road wouldn’t have been gritted. As we ascended we noticed the road had a little sparkle to it - a little break test (and a traction control off, foot down test) confirmed just how icy the road was.

As we got to lower ground the ice disappeared and a frozen fog covered the area.

Not quite getting to enjoy the road in the way we had envisioned but taking our time and enjoying the sense of adventure that comes with a little risk. A few drivers coming the other direction warned us not to proceed, as the downhill section was even more treacherous, again our sense of adventure kept us going. The downhill section was bad but we managed, though we were reminded just how important it is to drive to the conditions when we watched an HGV lose control on a tight bend and nearly go over the edge.

We passed Comrie and on through Crieff continuing along the A85 until once again turning off onto a more enjoyable back road, the A822. A great road I had only come across myself a few months earlier when I decided to see where it went while on a drive myself. This time we were heading the opposite direction from the way I’d driven it prior, so it felt completely new again.

The road passes through a glen that makes you feel like you’re in a different part of the country, miles away from civilisation and in the real Scottish wilderness. It felt great not to have to travel for hours to get that sense of escapism - and that’s the beauty of Scotland. The Z4 and M2 are great cars for this country, small and agile enough for the tight roads while comfortable enough that you’re not breaking your back on the rough patches.

As much as it might seem like these shots have been desaturated - it was really like that in person.

The A822 ends directly opposite Dunkeld - which would be our lunch stop before heading back down the somewhat boring, average speed camera ridden road to home. Dunkeld is a beautiful small historic town sat on the banks of the River Tay with some great little cafes and bars - when they’re allowed to be open anyway.

We parked up by the Atholl Memorial Fountain and took a walk up to the main street to get some lunch. Most of the usual cafes and shops were closed due to the virus, but luckily for us a small bakery by name of Livvi’s Little Lunchbox was open and serving food and coffee to go. A latte, sausage roll and cake for each of us - there’s nothing better than some good food while you’re on the road. We even went back in for a second sausage roll to take home with us.

The journey home was uneventful and uninteresting, following the A9 and onto the M90 chasing the last of the daylight. Looking back at the short trip now I can’t wait for the Scottish Government to announce eased travel restrictions so we can take spontaneous day trips again. Set off on new adventures and take our next Sunday drive.

Photos: Michael Scott & Greg Robins
Words: Michael Scott
Location: Perth & Kinross, Scotland