This morning, the weather omens were favourable and we left lodgings (Letter Farm, Dunkeld)

Letter Farm

in bright sunshine and drove  a short distance to our first stop of the day in nearby Birnam. Here we visited the Birnam Oak which features in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Whether the oak on the banks of the  River Tay is the actual tree identified by the Bard is a very moot point, but it is a nice story and the tree is certainly very ancient.

Birnam Oak

Next we drove to Forteviot, now small village but once the first capital of a unified Scotland under Kenneth McAlpine in AD 865 or thereabouts.  Then on to nearby Dunning to see the famous Dupplin Cross located in the now redundant church. The curator on hand was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and spent time patiently explaining the history and interpretation of this important 8th century monument.

Dunning Cross

After Dunning, we drove towards the country town of Crieff stopping at the Ardoch Roman Fort at Braco. This a stunning site , one of Scotland’s most important from the Roma era, but is largely overlooked by visitors. It was the subject of three different occupations by the Romans around the first, second and third centuries.As far as I am aware the site has never been properly excavated.

Ardoch Roman Fort

At Crieff we stopped for a spot of lunch at the famous Crieff Hydro Hotel. Good lunch and excellent views.

After lunch we doubled back through Crieff to visit the absolutely stunning Drummond Castle Gardens which were resplendent in the brilliant sunshine. Clearly an enormous amount of work goes into keeping the gardens in tip top condition.

Drummond Castle Gardens

Next we drove along a slightly scary, single track, mountain road through Glen Quaich to Kenmore on the norther tip of Loch Tay. Here we visited the Crannog Centre, an excellent interpretation of life in the Iron Age about 2500 years ago.

Crannog Centre

Our final destination was the prehistoric stone circle at Croft Moraig near Aberfeldy which has its origins in the Late Neolithic period, about 3000BC. This is one of the best preserved and complete stone circles on mainland Scotland.

Croft Moraig

With our day’s tour just about completed, we headed back to Dunkeld and Letter Farm.

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