Scottish Stages and Reports

A list of the Scottish stages are detailed in the table below, and beneath this, read the accounts of the stages completed.

Morton - Scottish Map

Stage

From

To

Via

Approx miles

S1

Carter Bar

Galashiels

Jedburgh, Kelso, Dryburgh, Melrose

38

S2

Galashiels

Edinburgh

Roslin

30

S3

Edinburgh

Stirling

Linlithgow, Rosyth, Dunfermline

35

S4

Stirling

St Andrews

Dollar

50

S5

St Andrews

Perth

Leuchars, Newport-on-Tay, Dundee

37

S6

Perth

Braemar

Blairgowrie

50

S7

Braemar

Aberdeen

Ballater

60

S8

Aberdeen

Huntly

Inverurie

39

S9

Huntly

Elgin

Keith

28

S10

Elgin

Inverness

Forres, Nairn

37

S11

Inverness

Fort Augustus

34

S12

Fort Augustus

Fort William

30

S13

Fort William

Mallaig

35

S14

Mallaig

(see note 1 below)

Mallaig

Ardvasar, Dunvegan, Portree, Kyle of Lochalsh

120

S15

Mallaig

Fort William

35

S16

Fort William

Crianlarich

47

S17

Crianlarich

Callander

Balquidder

40

S18

Callander

Glasgow

Drymen

35

S19

Glasgow

(see note 2 below)

Ayr

35

S20

Ayr

Dumfries

62

Notes   

1.       When Morton toured Skye, there were only ferry connections to the island.  He travelled to the island from Mallaig but left from Portree.  It is no longer possible to take a ferry from Portree to the mainland: the Skye Bridge is, perhaps the obvious route, though the map rather suggests that Morton travelled south from Mallaig.  My suggestion is that you explore Skye, as Morton did, without worrying, too much, about how you travel to and from the island!

2.       Morton seems to have travelled by boat from Greenock into Glasgow (and doesn’t say how he retrieved his car).  He visited Port Glasgow, Motherwell and Hamilton though the routes are not clear.  I have omitted these essentially urban routes, leaving you to explore what you will in and around Glasgow, before heading south for Ayr.

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REPORTS

Just click on the photos to enlarge them!

 

Section S1

Clive and Debbie Button
July 2014

Stuart's and Clive's Wolseleys at Carter Bar

Stuart’s and Clive’s Wolseleys at Carter Bar

Views from Carter Bar

Views from Carter Bar

We were due to join the Scottish/NE/NW weekend at Pitlochry, travelling from Helmsley in North Yorkshire. That made the A68 through Northumberland a sensible route. I always find this route exhilarating: arrow straight for mile after mile but with the result that there is a lot of movement in the vertical plane and some amazing views. We stopped briefly at Carter Bar, accompanied by Stuart Nell’s 6/110. The views north from here are breathtaking.

Jedburgh Abbey

Jedburgh Abbey

Jedburgh War Memorial

Jedburgh War Memorial

Now safely in Scotland, we were headed for Edinburgh and our route took us through Jedburgh, a pleasant and somewhat old-fashioned town, preserved by its by-pass. I think Morton would instantly have recognised the High Street. A detour via Kelso, then back to the A68 for Dryburgh and Melrose before heading on to Edinburgh.

 

Clive Button

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Section S2 (part)

According to the book, Morton retraced his route from Edinburgh to Roslin and so I felt it was OK to leave the A701 and travel via the B7006, in my Series III 12HP, to the centre of Roslin. Following the tremendous success of the ‘Da Vinci Code’ book and film, many visitors now flock to Roslin Chapel.

Roslin Castle

Roslin Castle

However, my route led downhill at the side of the Chapel and picked up a path, wide enough for a vehicle and with a surface probably the same as Morton encountered on his visit.  The path eventually arrives at a right-angled drawbridge (modernised but fairly narrow) and gives onto a parking area immediately in front of the old Castle.

The Castle is still available for rent and is administered by the Landmark Trust, who manage a portfolio of prestigious buildings nationwide.  The sum of £102 for the year’s rent mentioned by Morton can now be multiplied by at least ten – for a week!’

Jim Smith

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Sections S3, S4 & S5

Driver & Passenger: John & Seana McCombie

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace

From Edinburgh, now no longer “Auld Reekie” since the Clean Air Act came into force, we head to Stirling, passing Linlithgow Palace, with the recent addition to the tower of the adjacent St. Michael’s Church, plain to see.

 

 

 

 

Wallace Monument

Wallace Monument

Continuing, we reach Falkirk, where we cross the line of the Antonine Wall, finally arriving in sight of Stirling Castle and the location of the Battle of Bannockburn- recent residential streets have been given related names; Bohun Court, Mace Court, Caltrop Place etc. Further to the North the Wallace Monument which with the Castle, overlooks the town, can be seen. (Photo 2 )

 

 

 

Leaving Stirling, we cross the River Forth , travelling parallel to the recently re-opened railway from Stirling to Dunfermline, following the estuary of the river and passing Culross, a charming 17th/18th Century village, much in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

Culross

Culross

Andrew Carnegie's birth place

Andrew Carnegie’s birth place

Arriving in Dunfermline, the favoured seat of Scottish Kings for three centuries, we see the remains of the Royal Palace and the Norman Abbey, dating from 1128 where the remains of Robert the Bruce are said to lie, and inspect the little cottage where Andrew Carnegie was born.

 

 

 

Loch Leven Castle

Loch Leven Castle

Proceeding North, we see the Cleish Hills to the West over which Mary, the Queen fled after escaping from the Castle in Loch Leven,on her way to nineteen years of confinement by Queen Bess. The Castle is now visible on the East side of the road, and can be reached by boat provided by Historic Scotland from Kinross. (Photo 5 )

 

 

 

RAF Leuchars

RAF Leuchars

Church of St. Athernase

Church of St. Athernase

St. Andrews, which can be shrouded in the North Sea “haar” is today bright and clear; greatly daring, we turn on to Granny Clark’s Wynd and thence drive across the eighteenth and first fairways of the internationally famed old course, the players waiting patiently (we hope) while we pass. After a short stop on the West Sands where one of the scenes in “Chariots of Fire” was filmed, and admiring the remains of St. Andrews Cathedral from a distance, we head past RAF Leuchars, soon to be an army base, and then admire the Church of St. Athernase dating from 1183.

Desperate Dan

Desperate Dan

We now come to the car park on the South side of the Tay Road and enjoy a coffee provided by the little refreshment building there, before crossing the 2 kilometre long bridge, opened in 1966 and arriving in Dundee, the city of the three J’s – Jute, Jam, and Journalism ; the last of these now surviving in the shape of D C Thomson & Co., Ltd. Who, in addition to daily and weekly newspapers, are also known for the Dandy, Beano, etc. A statue Of Desperate Dan now enhances the city centre.

Tay Bridge

Tay Bridge

Carse of Gowrie

Carse of Gowrie

Seeing the railway bridge on our right, together with the piers of the earlier bridge which collapsed in a violent storm in 1879, we turn West along the Carse of Gowrie. Since we now have only 22 miles left to cover to Perth, our trip on the dual carriageway only takes 30 minutes, and, after seeing the folly tower on our right, we then arrive in Perth, going first to Corsie Hill to admire the view over the City and the Grampians to the North, and then crossing the old bridge and heading to the South Inch – a large area of open space which narrowly escaped being engulfed by the construction of a General Railway Station where a number of companies would share facilities. Fortunately for succeeding generations, the then Lord Provost, Charles Sidey took the view of the townspeople rather than that of his councillors (many of whom were railway shareholders) and he won the day.

Folly Tower

Folly Tower

South Inch

South Inch

John McCombie

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Section S6

Tay Street

Tay Street

North Inch

North Inch

Leaving Perth by the handsome nine arched bridge built by Smeaton in 1769/1771 with a final glance at the North Inch where the Battle of the Clans took place in 1396 as recounted by Scott in his “Fair Maid of Perth”, our bonnet is now pointing due North and heading past Scone Palace where Scottish (and British) kings were crowned, a practise which continued long after Edward 1 removed the stone and had it installed under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey. The last coronation seen by Scone was that of Charles 11 in 1651.

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

The way to Blairgowrie takes us past the Beech Hedge at Meiklour – the largest hedge in the world at 33 metres high and 530 metres long- which is cut every 10 years whether it needs it or not! Arriving in Blairgowrie we are struck by the number of Eastern European cars and then remembered the annual berry crop, which attracts berry-pickers from far and wide. While in town we felt we could not continue without briefly visiting Isobel and Alastair Duncan, he being the doyen of the Scottish Group, and were given a great welcome and a tour of his garage. Leaving town, we noticed the bilingual road signs, erected to celebrate the visit of the Gaelic Mod, an annual cultural festival.

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Replete with Coffee and Cake, thanks to our hosts, we continued towards the hills along the valley of the river Ericht and turning right at Bridge of Cally, we entered Glen Shee, the lands of my distant ancestor, McComie Mor where is situated the Clach na Coileach or Cockstone where each year the clan gathering takes place. The stone is important to the clan for the following reason: In the feudal fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, proprietors held their lands from the lords superior on conditions, and as the Earls of Atholl were superiors in Glenshee, they extracted kain* from the inhabitants. On one occasion, when the tax-gatherers were on their rounds, they took all the poultry of a poor widow, a tenant of McComie Mor. She complained to him that more than the entitlement had been taken, and he at once started in pursuit of them, and coming up with them, requested the return of the poultry, and when this was refused, he attacked the Atholl men, routed them and released the fowls. The cock then flew up on the stone and crowed loudly and the name has continued ever since.

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

We were now in much more mountainous country with the hills on either side of the glen all exceeding 2,500 feet and (in July) still showing the remnants of the winter snow as we come to Spittal of Glenshee, a hamlet, where we turn into Glen Beag (little glen) and start a steady climb of 1000 feet over the next six miles, passing on our way the once feared “Devil’s Elbow” which was known to oblige cars to reverse up, but which is now bypassed by the modern road. We now came to the county boundary at the Cairnwell summit, and shortly thereafter to the Glenshee Ski Centre where we stopped to admire the view before the downhill run to the banks of the River Dee and Braemar.

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

*Kain is an old term describing a superior’s right to take a specified number of livestock annually. The word derives from the Gaelic “Ceann” meaning head.

Glenshee ski runs

Glenshee ski runs

Seana and John McCombie July 26th 2014.

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Sections 6 & 7

Driver: Barry Miller, Passenger: Siobhan Miller
Car: Wolseley 11/22, 1927, Reg: KA 6866

Aberdeen

Aberdeen

After traveling down the coast from Aberdeen to Glamis and spending a great weekend at the Scottish Transport Extravaganza, we decided to take a few days to travel back to Aberdeen completing part of the H V Morton Tour.

Checking over at Hotel (OK, just the dust cover rubbing)

Checking over at Hotel (OK, just the dust cover rubbing)

Dalmunzie Castle

Dalmunzie Castle

Long climb ahead

Long climb ahead

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a stopover in Alyth, we joined stage 6 in Blairgowrie and continued on to the Spittal of Glenshee where we spent the night before taking on the long climb over Glenshee and down to Braemar. On the climb up to Glenshee, she did start to boil exactly at the lay-by half way up the hill, perhaps a strategically placed lay-by from past experience? With plenty of water and the refreshing wind we were soon on our way again. With time on our hands in Braemar, we went on to visit Mar lodge and the waterfalls at Linn of Dee before traveling on to Ballater for our final night stop.

Cooling down at the top

Cooling down at the top

Spittal of Glenshee

Spittal of Glenshee

Glenshee

Glenshee

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Final part of our journey took us back home to Aberdeen and thereby completing stage 7. All in all we traveled 194 miles with lots of stops and coffee breaks this included 108 miles of the HV Morton tour. We had a brilliant time and made it with no issues other than the usual fettling.

Mar lodge - Braemar

Mar lodge – Braemar

Barry Miller

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Section S14

Driver: Mike Stanley, Passenger: Gwyneth Stanley
Car: 18/85, reg. BHU 998J.

After leaving Pitlochry on the Monday morning we headed North on the A9 , but not as far as Inverness; instead we headed for Spean Bridge and the road to the Kyle of Lochalsh – a bit of a grotty day not really given to any photography.

Morton - S14 - Isle of SkyeThe following day we ‘did’ the circuit of the Isle of Skye, crossing via the new new bridge, and were well impressed with the island. We then travelled via the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig, intending to stop over in the Fort William area, but were’nt impressed, (memories of a previous visit being much more favourable!) so motored on through Glen Coe before ‘over-nighting’ in Crianlarich.

Finally, we travelled via Glasgow, crossing the Clyde via the Erskine bridge to Paisley, then the A 77 to Kilmarnoch. We didn’t carry on to Ayr, but headed for Dumfries instead then to Gretna. All in all we’d covered close to 1100 miles by the time we got home !

Mike Stanley

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 Section 18

Driver: Mike Schilling, Passenger: Gavin
Car: 1500, reg. YRL 510.

The 'Ancient Pub'

The ‘Ancient Pub’

Old Hotel at Drymen

Old Hotel at Drymen

Old Hotel at Drymen

Old Hotel at Drymen

Gavin, who is always my ‘Navigator’ on Drive It Day and I, arrived at Drymen. There is an ancient pub  and a hotel set back from the main road. The village was busy, so we drove on to Balmaha.

 

Conic Hill

Conic Hill

We don’t know whether HVM went there: but it is a ‘waterhole’ for folk who are walking the West Highland Way, and who have just ‘conquered’ Conic Hill. It also provides wonderful views across the south end of Loch Lomond. The chauffeur was then photographed in Balmaha Car Park……

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Balmaha car park!

Balmaha car park!

 

After lunch in the popular, family-run Oak Tree Inn [where Gavin chose Lasagne al Porno (sic)!], we drove home via Alexandria. Again, we don’t know whether HVM might have driven to Glasgow that way. Argyll Motors had their factory there. What remains now is only the frontage.

Argyll Motors factory frontage

Argyll Motors factory frontage

Mike Schilling

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