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From Dundee to Beauly

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 26 September 2015

Saturday 26 September, from Dundee to Beauly

Kinpurnie castle at Auchtertyre Gatelodge of Kinpurnie castleToday we are going back to Beauly where Teije wants to drive as many for us unknown roads as possible. And soon we arrive at a castle that we have never seen before, Kinpurnie at Auchtertyre. Built in 1907 in the Scottish baronial style, with corner turrets that have a pointed roof. Until this year the whole estate was for sale for 29 million pounds, but when no buyer could be found, it was split up into parts and the castle itself, with a little land, goes for only 2.1 million.
Glamis castle Glamis castleThe next castle we encounter is Glamis castle which also has a large estate. Even before the 17th century castle that now stands here, there was an older castle and a hunting lodge. It is a gigantic building and has been owned by the Lyon family (now Bowes-Lyon) since the 14th century. There are many beautiful stories connected to the castle like those of the Glamis monster, a hideous child who was born maimed and was kept his whole life inside the castle and was walled in his room after his death.
Gardens of Glamis castle Gardens of Glamis castleIt could also be a vampire child who would be born more often within the family and of course there are a number of ghosts: a young girl, a white and a gray lady and a boy who had to wait on a stone until he was called for but was forgotten and now as a spirit is still waiting.
We do not see any of the ghosts and we also do not enter the castle but walk through the extensive gardens where we do see some red squirrels.
Gate outside Glamis castleThere is a 150 year old pinetum, an Italian garden and a walled garden. It is an extensive estate and you can make beautiful walks.
In this castle Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was born in 1900, who later married Prince Albert, who later became King George VI. After his death in 1952 Elizabeth became the Queen-Mother, the last empress of India and Queen of the United Kingdom until she died in 2002.
Pictish stone at Aberlemno Detail on a Pictish stone from the 8th century, AberlemnoThe next stop we make at the Aberlemno cemetery where a Pictish stone from the 8th century can be seen and closeby another 3. The one at the cemetery is 2.3 meters high and has on one side a celtic cross with animal figures around it, on the other side a battle is depicted and the drawings are still clearly visible. Historians still do not know exactly why these large stones, often decorated with drawings, were built by the Picts (between the 6th and 9th centuries). But perhaps they were used for anything and everything, for example as gravestones, boundary stones or memorials.
Pictish stone on the Aberlemno cemetery Pictish stone at AberlemnoAlong the road there are another three of these tall stones with different images and symbols. On the left photo you see one with a hunting scene. On the other side is a decorated celtic cross with two angels next to it. On the Serpent Stone, which has retained its natural shape, wells have been cut out with circles indicating that the stone was decorated earlier in the Bronze Age. The Picts have placed their images of a snake and other symbols later on. The stones are all 4 very different and historians have no idea why they are so close to each other here, probably there was some settlement.
Little is known about the Picts, so called by the Romans because they had blue tattoos (Picti means: painted), but they lived in the time that there were many changes such as the Christianization of Scotland. Perhaps that is why the use of their monuments also changed.
Aberlemno cemetery A gate lodge, perhaps at Melgund or Brechin castleNot far from the cemetery in Aberlemno we come across a nice gatelodge which usually means that there is a castle or country house nearby. But we do not find anything. If we later search the Internet, we see that there are 2 castles in the neighborhood that we both missed: Melgund and Brechin castle. But we have not driven all the roads there yet, so we'll probably see them one day in the future.
Church door in Montrose The center of MontroseWe then drive along, going left and right, until we arrive at the coast at Montrose. The town lies on a natural bay and primarily functioned as a trading port. Today, a pharmaceutical company is the largest employer, but the port is still important for the growing oil and gas industry. There are large stocks of these fuels off the coast of Scotland. In the town there are many monumental buildings and we take a short walk through the center. In the 17th century there was a lot of trade with the Hanseatic cities on the mainland and a century later it was a notorious smugglers' town and slaves were also traded for a short time. And a lot of profit was made, so that is how all those buildings were paid for.
We seacrh for a pub and take a break for a cup of coffee.
The ruin of Corse castle Memorial plaque near the river DeveronAfter this stop we drive a long way to the north and see the next castle at the river Corse. Well, to be honest, it is a ruin. It replaced an earlier house that was destroyed by bandits in the 16th century. The new castle had to become firmer (one where thieves had to knock on the door according to Sir William Forbes who had the castle built) but that did not help much to survive the ages.
An hour later we see a monument that tells us how fond the Scottish are of monuments: a bazaar was held one day to collect money for 6 bridges between Dufftown and Cabrach. After construction, some money was left over and this monument was built from that money.
Ruins of Auchindoun castle itinerary September 26, 2015We see our last castle for today at Laggan along the A941, Auchindoun castle. We see it from afar and I also have no need to see it up close, it is enough for today. We have driven over 400 kilometers while it is at most 250 directly but it was a nice route. Now we go quickly to Beauly where we are again enthusiastically welcomed by Iain and Cathy, as if they have not seen us in years.


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