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Roads from Perth to Blairgowrie-Strathmore--Sidla and
Grampian. ranges -- Carse of Gowrie — Dundee-Cupar Angus-View from Sidla hills-Blairgowrie-CraighallManse-Cally Bridge - Glenshee - Strathardle - Kirkmichael.
IT is familiar to those acquainted with the geography of Scotland, that the Grampian mountains form a frontier range, extending in a line north-east and south-west almost from sea to sea, from Loch Lomond on the south-west to Stonehaven in the Mearns in the north-east,
dividing the whole of the country into two portions, the lowlands on the south and highlands on the north ; although there is a tract on the north of the line, from Stonehaven to the vicinity of Fort George, on the Murray Firth, which is, strictly speaking, lowland. A little to the south of the Grampian range, there is another more broken and less elevated chain of hills extending in the same direction, the Campsie hills on the west, the Ochills in the middle, and the Sidla hills on the east, forming a gradual transition from the plains of the south to the stupendous and towering masses of the Grampians. Between these two ranges of hills is the Strathmore,* the greatest valley in Scotland, extending from Stirling on the south-west, or more accurately perhaps, from about ten or twelve miles west of Perth to Stonehaven on the north-east, a tract of at least eighty miles in length, and from sixteen miles to one mile broad, with hardly a hill or eminence to obstruct the view. This valley, which is partly in three or four counties, includes the Stormont, Perth Proper, and part of the Gowrie divisions of Perthshire, which is described in the General Report of Scotland as the most valuable and one of the
* Great valley.
largest counties in Scotland, situated nearly the heart of the kingdom. “ The general fea“ tures also are exhibited on a large scale. In
no other county is there so much conter. " minous land in cultivation. Its mountains,
including Ben Lawers, Ben More, Beinglo, " and Shehallien, are among the highest and
largest in Britain. Its rivers are large and
numerous, with their banks, in general, finely 66 wooded. Its lakes are many, full, and ex“ tensive; and some of them are adorned by
nature in the grandest style of picturesque “ beauty, presenting scenery almost unrivalled “ in the island. Each of its eight great divi“ sions was anciently a separate jurisdiction “ under its own chief, and his vassals or clans, “ viz. Menteith, in the south-west; Strathearn, “ in the south ; Perth Proper, in the centre; “ Gowrie, in the east; Stormont, in the north
east; Athol, on the north ; Rannoch, on the “ north-west, and Braidalbane, on the west. “ The nobility connected with the country, “ most of whom occasionally reside in it, are " the Dukes of Athol and Montrose, the Earls “ of Murray, Kinnoul, Weymiss, Braidalbane, “ Dunmore, and Mansfield, Viscount Melville, « and the Lords Grey, Rollo, Ruthven, Kinnaird, 66 and Keith. Among the lesser barons, the
" most general names are, Drummond, M‘Nab, « M‘Gregor, Menzies, Oliphant, and Rattray, « which are almost peculiar to the county ; “ and Campbell, Graham, Keir, Murray, “ Robertson, Stewart, and Sterling. In the “ Carse of Gowrie, the lower parts of Strath« earn, and in the flat country around Perth, « abundant crops of wheat, barley, and beans
are raised; in the higher Straths little except “ beans, oats, and potatoes, although in many
of these Straths the turnip husbandry is cares ried on with great success. Horses and 6 black cattle are reared in the country, “ especially in the higher Straths, and vast “ flocks of sheep. The best draught horses
are still brought from Clydesdale or Ayr66 shire.”
The town of Perth is situate in the division of Perth Proper on the banks of the Tay, at the highest flow of the tide, and at the southwestern extremity of the Sidla branch of the lower range of the before-mentioned hills on the south of the Strathmore valley. The roads from Perth to the Grampian range stretch in different directions across the Strathmore, one in a north-westerly direction along the plain of Perth Proper to the entrance into the Grampians, at the hills of Newtyle and Birnam,
below Dunfield; and two in a northerly direction through the Gowrie and Stormont divisions to the entrance at Blairgowrie, about eleven miles north-east from the Dunkeld gate. A third, but rather circuitous road, which may
however be preferred by many, stretching north-east, on the south of the Sidla hills, along the shore of the Firth of Tay, through the Carse of Gowrie, will conduct the traveller by Dundee and Cupar of Angus to the Blairgowrie pass. The Dunkeld gate is usually chosen by tourists, both for their ingress and egress, and that much frequented route has been often described. The entry by the Blairgowrie defile was preferred on the present occasion.
The direct road from Perth through the Gowrie and Stormont divisions to Blairgowrie, a stage of seventeen miles, stretches along the left bank of the Tay, in a line not altogether parallel to the Dunkeld road, on the opposite side of the river, which diverges through the plain of Perth Proper towards the west. About two miles from Perth the road passes through Old Scone, now an inconsiderable village, distinguished, however, by the fine modern mansion, garden, extensive plantations, and pleasure grounds of the Earl of Mansfield. But the remembrance of the past is the chief distinction of