Often when we discover a hidden gem, we like to keep it our little secret. Well many of you will know that’s not how it works over here. We are big on sharing. I shared Maspie Den with you and I have had messages since and one that really stuck with me:
‘I was worried that my expectations would be too high. It did not disappoint and we had the most magical day’.
That message alone was worth sharing the discovery. Contributing to someone’s magical day, now that’s what I call feeling satisfied.
I have already had a lot of messages about another little hidden gem we discovered last weekend called Taymouth Marina, which I was reviewing. It was a magical weekend and yes we lucked out on the weather too. What a find! Located in the shallows of Loch Tay, the marina is a stroll from Kenmore village, a few miles from Aberfeldy or Killin and within two hours of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
Taymouth Marina is still a hidden gem and as a result the rates are really decent at the moment for the quality you get (and a private hot tub which is a big thing for us and I shall explain why). I suspect in a couple of years’ time this will no longer be the case as more people find out about it. Although for those who have asked – if you quote ‘Mummy Jojo’ when you book you will receive some complimentary bubbly to enjoy in your hot tub.
What I love most about Taymouth Marina is the focus on water. I am huge on water and wellness and Hubs and the kids are too. We are serious water babies – water is our happy place.
Being around water helps me to feel grounded, by the sea, a loch, in a lovely pool or hot tub. There is something special about water. For one, it gives us the opportunity to take a quick detox from our technology fuelled, fast paced lives. Personally, I feel at home when I am in the water or around it. I also feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calm.
Studies suggest that simply being around water can increase levels of ‘feel-good’ brain chemicals (like dopamine) and sink levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Many of us will have fond memories of being around water: family trips to the beach, the feeling of floating in the sea with the sun beaming down. Swimming in lakes, walking by a waterfall. Enjoying a cold drink in an infinity pool or hot tub. These memories bring about a sense of feeling calm.
I was asked recently what my ultimate dream would be and where I feel at peace. Funnily enough, a house with a beautiful sea or loch view and a hot tub and pool in the garden was high up there. Don’t get me wrong, I love the buzz of living in the city but I am very aware of how fast paced things can be and how this impacts our mental health. Sometimes it takes discipline to pull ourselves away from routines and goals and structure. This buzz word we like to call mindfulness is only going to get buzzier. Taking time out to chill near the water helps me to get my balance back. It’s the easiest spot for me to practise my own form of gushy mindfulness. It feels less rushed too when water is involved. Water slows us down.
Our own bodies are made up of 60 percent water. We need water to survive. But I think there is much more to it. Water not only nourishes us but it heals the soul. As does taking some time out. The weekend was just what we all needed.
Thanks to the team at Taymouth Marina. We had an absolute blast. Top highlights, tips and special memories:
The views. Wow. Come to the view indeed. This is a place that is very easy to be mindful and thankful.
Chilling in the tub – either under the sun or the moon and stars.
Facing the fear and going down the slide into the loch and then running for the rock sauna. Video footage to follow.
Watching the excitement on the kids’ faces when we arrived.
Taking two boats out onto the loch. A kiddie Nessie pedalo and a motor boat and enjoying the loch view.
Sitting on the balcony with a cold glass of bubbly, singing to tunes and proofing my book. What a spot to add to the memories of finishing it off. Note – if you have to ‘work from home’ you may as well have a cracking view.
Keeping on the book theme, visiting one of the world’s most famous book shops. The Water Mill in Aberfeldy is a fantastic place to visit and a short 10 minute drive. Yes, they do amazing coffee. I have no idea how I resisted the carrot cake, it looked to die for. The dream is for my book to be here one day as Taymouth is a hidden gem we want to return to.
The Scottish Crannog Centre. If you love history you don’t need to go far. The distinctive roundhouse sitting over stunning Loch Tay is on site and it provides a snapshot into Bronze/Iron age living. The crannog itself is built on the site of an original building using no modern tools but rather authentic materials and methods. The team are passionate about exploring the lifestyle of people who lived here two and a half thousand years ago and developing the site to explore life in an ancient community.
Let me know if you go and please send me a selfie. Tip – we ran out of time but this is also a magical place to go canoeing and kayaking and you can hire them from the marina and all the gear.