THIS little nook of Perthshire on the banks of the River Braan is a spellbinding spot with waterfall, folly and hermit's cave.

The Hermitage, near Dunkeld, known for its woodland trails and riverside walks has garnered some high-profile aficionados over the years. The paths here have been traversed by everyone from Queen Victoria to the poet William Wordsworth, artist J M W Turner and composer Felix Mendelssohn.

A must-visit is Ossian's Hall, a folly with sliding panels, a secret handle and mirrored artwork, that offers magnificent views over the Black Linn Falls where the Braan – a tributary of the River Tay – thunders down into deep, effervescent pools below.

The viewing house is named after Ossian, the supposed 3rd-century Scottish bard who wrote heroic verse (actually an 18th-century literary hoax). It was redecorated in 1783 as a shrine with mirrors positioned to make it appear as if there was water approaching from all directions.

In 1869, Ossian's Hall was partly blown up by gunpowder, believed to be in protest of tolls levied by the Duke of Atholl on the bridge at Dunkeld.

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A short distance away lies Ossian's Cave, built around 1760 for the third Earl of Breadalbane, who curiously (and unsuccessfully) is said to have advertised for a hermit to take up residency.

Perthshire is known as "Big Tree Country" with the 19th-century botanist David Douglas one of its most famous sons. Douglas, who was born in Scone, travelled the world finding new species, including his namesake, the Douglas fir, which is found in abundance here.

There is a bench where people can lie back and gaze up into the tree canopy, known as the "Cathedral", or sometimes the "Temple", where the towering Douglas firs resemble pillars and a crowning roof.

Sadly, one of Britain's tallest trees, a Douglas fir that formerly stood on the south side of the Braan, was brought down by high winds in 2017. Beside the small, stone bridge spanning the river stands a cedar of Lebanon – a rare survivor from the 18th-century wilderness garden.

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Don't leave without catching a glimpse of the totem pole, carved by members of the Squamish Nation in Canada, standing proud among the woods and keep an eye peeled for red squirrels performing graceful acrobatics among the treetops.

What to read: Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1814 by William Wordsworth makes reference to Ossian's Hall ("In The Pleasure-Ground on the Banks of the Bran, near Dunkeld"), describing it as "a world of wonder" and "a gay saloon, with waters dancing".