#Scotland 2015 – Sept 19, 2015
Over breakfast we decided to visit a few more Pictish Stones and Stone Circles on our way south to Broughty Ferry, stopping first at The Maiden Stone.
After we said our goodbyes and got on the road, I remembered when we were over in 2013 David asking if we had driven all the way up to Wardhouse Mansion. We hadn’t but when I drove by the road this morning, I made the turn. It was posted as 15 mph. You would have to be nuts to even think of going that fast! Two gravel tire tracks and grass growing up in the middle – not to mention ruts and potholes. Still the drive was worth every jostled body part.
We wandered around the mansion and I took pictures from every angle but from inside its walls. The chapel is nestled into the back of the mansion (extreme left in the top photo).
I am so SO glad I drove up here. I’ve been in love with this place since I first set eyes on it in 1993. After spending about an hour at Wardhouse – getting our feet wet in the process from the heavy overnight dew – we got back on the road to what was going to be our initial stop, the Maiden Stone.
Folklore says that the notch in the stone is from where the devil grabbed the maiden’s arm. You can read the full story here.
The other side of the stone has carvings on it as well. Unfortunately, the sun was in the wrong place so they didn’t show up well.
From here, we went to another place we’d been before – the Easter Aquorthies Stone Circle. When we arrived there was a woman a young boy (presumably her son) there and she was letting him climb on the stones and were oblivious to the fact that others were about. I hoped they would soon clear off so I could get some good photos but, alas, they were still there when we left. Grrr…
Our next stop was the Cullerlie Stone Circle near Garlogie. Another couple came at almost the same time and the dog from the farm next door but they held back and let us have our time around the stones to take photos and watch the sheep in the field behind the circle.
After we left here, we tried to find the Clune Hill Stone Circle to no avail so decided with the time we might as well make tracks for the Hotel Broughty Ferry where we would spend three nights.
We stopped at the Aberlemno stones which we had seen before but this time we also drove down the single track road to the church to see the cross slab in the churchyard.
One more diversion before we reached our final destination. We were driving straight by the sign posting for Restenneth Priory near Forfar so I had to go there.
Wow! We were speechless when we walked into our room. It was huge! And the fixtures in the bathroom were gold plated! Talk about luxury!
I’d ordered the champagne in our room on arrival and although it wasn’t there when we walked in, it was there straight away. We enjoyed our bottle of Moet and Chandon then walked over to the railway station to get an idea how long it would take us to get there since we would be taking the 10:34 from Broughty Ferry to Dundee the next morning. It was about a 10 minute walk at the most so now we could set out to explore.
From the railway station we walked to the Firth of Tay to Broughty Castle. It was too late to visit the museum located there but we had time before we moved on to our next destination so could work it in.
After a short pitstop at the hotel to use the toilet, we walked up Claypotts Road to take our time and see the castle there without cars running us over.
I knew the hotel was in between these two castles and within walking distance but I’m really glad we took advantage of a nice evening to visit both.
We had supper in the hotel’s bar (the restaurant upstairs was full) and sat at a table next to a couple from Montrose. When we mentioned that we were meeting up with my crime-writer friend, Chris Longmuir, the next day for a tour of Dundee focusing on locations she used in her books, they knew her – well, at least knew of her.