Dundee, Perth and Coast Line

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Apr 29th, 2007, 06:32 AM
  #1
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Dundee, Perth and Coast Line

Our family will be traveling to Dundee/Perth area of Scotland. We will be staying in Brechin. Will spend two days in Edinburgh and know what sights to see there. But we are most interested in seeing the country side, the coast and the historical sights and gardens.

We have rented a car but we do not want to spend all of our time driving. So short trips (2-3 hours) any suggestion on what to sights to see and what sights we should just take a picture and keep driving.
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Apr 29th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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We did a home exchange in Broughty Ferry, about 10 minutes from Dundee for a month. We found the Michelin Green Guide to be indispensible for giving us ideas for short day trips, seldom more and many less than an hour. We never ran out of ideas, just time. It's an incredibly beautiful area.
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Apr 29th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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I will have to look for this at the bookstore. My husband and son-in-law are looking forward to the whiskey tours. My daughters and I are looking forward to the scenery, family history locations and the coastline.
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Apr 29th, 2007, 09:19 PM
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An absolute unbeatable resource for things to see/do in Scotland, places to eat, pubs, distilleries, walks/hikes, viewpoints, scenic drives, picnic sites, etc, etc - is "Scotland the Best" by Peter Irvine. And amazing range of info. Most large books stores will have it - or any can order it for you.
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May 2nd, 2007, 06:36 AM
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I missed this over the weekend. You're in a much neglected part of the country, about which, for my sins, I know a great deal.

I'll give you a fuller response tonight. You are, however a good hour from Perth, at Brechin. Just so you know.
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May 2nd, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Since a lot of our family history is from this region we really just wanted to meet the people and the country side. We knew that Brechin was a bit off of the "beaten path" but this is what everyone wanted.

I did look for the book that was recommended but the local bookstore did not have one, I did order one though.
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May 2nd, 2007, 12:45 PM
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You'll be glad to have the book. I'm on my third "Scotland the Best" - I always try to have the most recent updated edition. It has never steered me wrong, and we have found all of our favorite Scotland sites through it.
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May 15th, 2007, 12:15 AM
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Julia

By now you will have given up on me, and I apologise. You are doing something unusual. I¡¦ve been posting on here since 1999, and it¡¦s very rare that I have to start from scratch.
So, Dundee/Perth/Brechin countryside, the coast, historical sights, gardens, short trips (2-3 hours) whisky tours (nb spelling)?
OK. Brechin itself is an odd place to pitch up. It would have been a busy market town 100 years ago, but the main road now goes round the outside and the world passes it by. However, it¡¦s less than an hour to Dundee (ah, yes, Dundeeƒ¼) and Aberdeen, there¡¦s very pretty coastline all the way from Broughty Ferry to Nairn, and there are some cracking gardens. It¡¦s not, OTOH famous for whisky.
Dundee is NOT a fancy place. (the expression ¡§armpit of the Universe¡¨ has been known to cross my lips). It¡¦s a bit of a shame because it¡¦s in a stunning location at the mouth of the Tay. When we were kids, we were taught that the three things Dundee was famous for were jute, jam and journalism.
The Jute mills are all closed, they still make jam there and the journalism is yellow- think National Enquirer.
It grew hugely in the 19th century, with whaling and mill based industry, and a large number of Irish immigrants arrived, fleeing the famine. It¡¦s very poor city and it shows. However it does have a few high spots.(very few). There is the Discovery Centre beside the river. It does great interpretation of the last voyage of Scott of the Antartic, who sailed in a converted whaler from Dundee- the Discovery. The ship itself sits alongside and you get to go round. It¡¦s well worth the trip. On the other side of the bridge(under it, not over) is the Unicorn, a wooden naval frigate, also worth visiting.
I don¡¦t know from personal experience but they say the Verdant Works are worth a visit. And¡K that¡¦s it, really.
On the east side of the town you morph into Broughty Ferry which is where the posh people live. You can see all the captains¡¦ houses with their crows¡¦ nests sticking up above the roof tops. It has a nice castle, and you¡¦re getting to decent beach.
Perth is a pretty, douce town, by comparison. Kinnoull Hill sits over it, and should you car, you can walk up. The story goes that an 18th century Earl of Peth, new home from the Grand Tour was struck by how much the Carse was like the valley of the Rhine. All that was missing were the castles on the hills, so he built the follies at the top of Kinnoull Hill and Binn Hill to fake it up a bit.
You can visit the Black Watch regimental museum, bits of the old town¡¦s wall, Hal O¡¦ the Wynd¡¦s house and the Fair Maid¡¦s House, Huntingtower Castle. The North Inch is the site of the famous ¡§Battle of the Clans¡¨. All of this stuff is in Walter Scott.
Most of Perth's interest lies in its history- ancient capital of Scotland- and in its place in Scottish literature. Just north of Perth, 2 miles or so, is Scone Palace, worth a visit itself, which was the site where the kings and queens of Scotland were crowned, seated on the Stone of Destiny, (a good fake of) which you will no doubt have seen when you visited Edinburgh Castle.

The town's 12th century Church, St John's is worth a visit. It contains the remains of another Earl of Perth who is supposed to have told the town's baillies "If you give me six feet, I'll give you twa inches"- a reference to the two parks on either side of the old town, the North and South Inches (from the Gaelic Innis, meaning meadow). In addition, it is where John Knox preached the destruction of the monasteries at the start of the Scottish reformation.
Next to Hal o' the Wynd's house is the City Mills which has a restored oatmeal mill and some nice craft shops. The City Mills Hotel, which I think is now called the Stakis, is another converted Mill, done so the lade can be seen flowing underneath.

If you walk along the Tay, you can see where the houses in the Watergate had their gardens, which led down to the river, where Kate Barlass held off the soldiers come to capture and kill the king.

The town has really good shopping centred around the High Street and Old High Street.
Now, a wee bit about Aberdeen, where I live. It¡¦s a very rich town, and, contrary to rumour, always has been. It was two old mediaeval towns a couple of miles apart, and in the 18th century they grew together. We¡¦re very proud of the fact that we had two Universities here at a time when there were only 2 in the whole of England. There was huge growth in the 19th century, and the town is full of beautiful granite buildings. There¡¦s a really busy harbour- a lot less fish and a lot more oil, nowadays- and a huge sweep of a sandy beach. Lots of people windsurf, - usually wearing wet suits. It can be VERRRRRY cold.
Old Aberdeen, built round King¡¦s College, is a gem and rewards a good walk round. There¡¦s really good shopping, with the streets off the west end of Union Street being where the interesting independents live.
I can¡¦t really say anything about Brechin- it has a castle, a cathedral and a garden centre. That¡¦s it. Its county, Angus, is not really on the beaten track either. They don¡¦t call the main road to Inverness (the A96) the north east by pass for nothing. It does, however, have some very interesting quirky things.
Starting on the coast, and going all the way up to Aberdeen (I KNOW that¡¦s not all Angus), you can¡¦t really miss Carnoustie. A pleasant wee town which comes alive when the Open is played there, as it will be this summer. This is a municipal course, so, if anyone fancies a game, just book.
Next is Arbroath, scene of the Declaration ¡§for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.¡¨ The other thing it¡¦s famous for is ¡§smokies¡¨; smoked haddock. Try some.
North is Montrose with its huge tidal basin behind it. It¡¦s a fantastic seabird site. The Scottish Wildlife Trust have a public centre there which is worth a stop. Just north is Lunan Bay- another great bow on North Sea sand, ideal for walking along on a windy day.
North again you come to the cliffs at Catterline and Crawton, just south of Stonehaven. This is a fantastic time to do birds on sea cliffs.
Then there is Dunottar Castle, a vast and imposing ruin set on a promontory, famous for its role in hiding the Honours of Scotland from the invaders. Stonehaven is worth a mooch round too. Lovely harbour,a nd nice shopping.
Inland, and coming up from Perth, you have the (just inside Perhshire) village of Meigle, with its sculpted Pictish stones. There¡¦s Fettercairn with its triumphal arch, and just past it the ¡§house¡¨ of Fasque, the childhood home of Gladstone, a famous Victorian Liberal Prime Minister. It¡¦s very quaint and well worth a visit.
The Angus glens snake away north west into the base of the Cairngorm plateau. If you fancy achieving a ¡§Munro¡¨- a Scottish mountain over 300 feet high- these are the easiest, and the glens are beautiful in spring.
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May 15th, 2007, 01:46 AM
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Gardens. There are a plethora of gardens open at this time of the yea. This is the Angus listbr /> HOUSE OF PITMUIES, Angus 1 April - 31 October 10am - 5pm
MELGAM HOUSE, LINTRATHEN 1 April - 30 September 9am – dusk
CORTACHY CASTLE, Angus Sun 3/6 - Sun 3/6 02:00:00 PM - 06:00:00 PM
DALFRUIN, Kirriemuir Sun 20/5 - Sun 20/5 02:00:00PM - 05:00:00PM
DUNNINALD DUNNINALD, Sun 20/5 - Sun 20/5 02:00:00PM - 05:00:00PM
EDZELL VILLAGE, Edzell, Brechin, Angus Sun 20/5 - Sun 20/5
These are the Aberdeenshire ones
DUNECHT HOUSE GARDENS, Aberdeenshire Sun 3/6 - Sun 3/6 01:00:00PM - 05:00:00PM
KILDRUMMY CASTLE GARDENS, Aberdeenshire Daily April to Oct Tel. 01975 571277/571203
And these are the Perthshire ones
DRUMMOND CASTLE GARDENS, Crieff May - October Daily 2 - 6pm (last entrance 5pm)
GLENDOICK, Perth Monday to Friday 2 - 5pm
ROSSIE HOUSE, Bridge Of Earn 1 Mar - 31 Oct Tel: 01738 812265
SCONE PALACE, Postcode Stormont only PH2 6BD 1 April - 31 Oct. 9.30am - 5.30pm (last entry 5pm)
THE BANK HOUSE, Perthshire Mid May - 31 August tel. 01577
FINGASK CASTLE, Perthshire Sun 27/5 - Sun 27/5 02:00:00 PM - 05:30:00 PM

Of the ones I know, I would heartily recommend Kildrummy Gardens- there’s also a very nice ruined castle immediately next door, and they do fantastic teas at the hotel- Drummond Castle, Glendoick, and Scone Palace.
Other short trips worth looking at would be St Andrews and the East Neuk villages- take in Falkland Palace.
The north coast between Fraserburgh and Buckie- lots of wee fishing villages and spectacular coast line.
North of Perth- Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy. If you do that run, you can also do a distillery visit at Edradour.
Royal Deeside- wonderful forests and mountains and wildlife, and some cracking castles- Braemar, Balmoral, and Craigievar. If you do that run, you can also do a distillery visit at Royal Lochnagar
You mention a distillery tour. First thing you need to know is, that when you’ve seen one distillery, you’ve seen them all. (well, not quite, but nearly). Second this, is that you are in the Lowlands. There’s less whisky, and, frankly, it’s less good. I forgot to say, up there, there’s a distillery at Fettercairn too. The ones I’m mentioning are the ones closes to you.
Now, I’ve done the Lochnagar visit, and it’s OK. I haven’t done Edradour at Pitlochry, but it gets a good name. A good bit further west of Perth, between Crieff and Comrie, is the “new” Malt Whisky Experience” at Glen Turret. Supposed to be a bit touristy, but otherwise, quite good.
If you can be bothered with the effort, you should go up to Speyside. There are dozens of distilleries, and the Cooperage visitor centre. Whilst you have to book, it’s worth trying to see round Balvenie, because they have a malting floor.
I hope that all helps too.
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May 15th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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Julia,

My boys and I also stayed in an off the beaten path sort of place, when we stayed in Westerlix outside of Killin last June. While it was further from anyplace with "sites than we would have preferred, it was long on scenery and quiet.

Whilst returning from Aberdeen, a wrong turn took us through Perth and Past Scone Palace. We immediately turned back and are glad we did. My two teenage sons became wee boys again, fascinated by the plethora of peacocks and highland cattle about on the grounds, as well as the garden maze with the fountain at its heart. THe village of Killin was also a place of fond memories, Dochart Falls at full swell after a particularly long deluge of rain, The pipe band sounding through the mist & drizzle at it walked from one end of town and back again. vaguely recall signs for disyillery somewhere between Perth and Killin on the back road but I couldn't for the life of me recall who it was, as I was traveling with the boys and not in a whisky frame of mind.

Have a most excellent adventure!

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine
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