the Children's Hospice Association Scotland
The northern half of Scotland offers more scenery, some might even say
the best in the country and they are probably right, but it’s not just the scenery.
There is more culture, a totally different culture in fact that means, for some,
the northern half of the country is the real
Scotland. This may be a romantic view, but it is the romance of Scotland that
brings so many people here each and every year and leaves many more with a
longing – and a sense that they belong. Of course, the history is another aspect
that cannot be forgotten. A history that was at times brutal, with clan wars
being a common occurrence and the later clearances still the subject of much
discussion even today.
While a tour of southern Scotland started in the capital
city, where would a tour of the northern half start other than the
Heart of Scotland? The Fair
City of Perth sits on the River Tay and, like Stirling, is seen as a
Gateway to the Highlands. The town also sits on a
major road junction with major routes heading north from Edinburgh and the
Lothians, through Fife and Kinross, as well as north-west from Stirling. Heading
east from Perth, following the northern side of the River Tay, leads through
Dundee and Angus, on the northern side of the Firth of Tay, and then north-east
along the coast to Aberdeen.
Heading roughly north-west from Perth, crossing the
Grampian Mountains, leads into the
Highlands. An alternative would be to head
west from Perth, staying to the south of the Grampians before turning north to
cross the western edge of Rannoch Moor into Glen Coe. Either route offers some
stunning scenery. The Highlands could also be approached from Aberdeen, having
passed to the east of the Grampians, with Inverness being the
Gateway from this direction. Ultimately both routes
from Perth lead to Inverness, with the former passing through the Great Glen and
the latter to the between the Monadhliath Mountains and the Cairngorms.
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