Tayside, Scotland

map-tayside scotland

Historically the capital of Scotland as it controlled movement between the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland. The battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn, two of the most decisive battles in Scottish history were fought here.
The royal charter for Stirling Castle dates from the 12th century, and the Stuart kings lived here from the 13th century. James VI was living here when he acceded to the English throne.
Interesting buildings in Stirling are
         Argyll's Lodging, a 17th century Renaissance Mansion in Castle Wynd
                   Mar's Wark, the ornate palace of the Earl of Mar
         The Church of the Holy Rude, where the last coronation in Scotland took place
                   The National Wallace Monument to the north east of the city has commanding views and Wallace's broadsword
          Bannockburn Heritage Centre with information and exhibitions of the battle in 1314 which led to independence
A series of towns on this site have been destroyed in wars. Then during the Reformation, Knox and his followers destroyed the monasteries. Today you can see the Stone of Destiny on the Scone Palace, Kinnoull Hill overlooks the city, the Black Watch Museum and the Old Perth Trail through the town

St Andrews R&A golf course                               StA2.jpg (6773 bytes)

St Andrews
Founded by St Rule in the 4th century when his ship, carrying the bones of St Andrew ran ashore here.The cathedral, now in ruins following the Reformation, was built in 1318 and was the largest in Scotland. The ruined castle was the Bishops Palace, and the bishops were tyrants in the 15th and 16th centuries, burning a number of martyrs at the stake. Eventually Knox, with the help of the French navy broke the power of the church, capturing the castle and taking the bishop prisoner.
The university founded in 1414 is one of the oldest in Britain.
The town is perhaps best known as the home of golf, with the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse, founded in 1745, overlooking the famous Old Course on the links to the north of the town
Also worth visiting in the area is the old market town of Cupar and the port of Dundee
Pitlochry is set on the River Tummel (the upper Tay). It grew as a Victorian resort town , and now has the added attraction of an underwater viewing chamber to see the salmon migrating up river, as well as two whisky distilleries.
In the area you can find
     Aberfeldy - Wades bridge over the Tay dates from 1733, and a memorial to the Black Watch fist raised by Wade in 1733
     Blair Atholl - a small village, a large castle, Blair Castle home of the Duke of Atholl and the Atholl Highlanders, Britain's only private army
     Dunkeld - an attractive small town with an old cathedral beautifully situated on the banks of the River Tay. The cathedral was in ruins since 1560, but the choir have been roofed over, and is now the parish church
     Killiecrankie - site of a famous victory by the Jacobite Highlanders, with details of the battle in the visitors centre.
     Kenmore - a pretty village on Loch Tay, the Tay salmon fishing season starts annually at the 16th century Kenmore Hotel (said to be Scotland's oldest Inn) on 15th January
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