Autumn Tints of Perthshire
Perthshire is home to some remarkable trees and woodlands – Europe’s oldest tree, the world’s highest hedge, Britain’s tallest tree and widest conifer – the list of superlatives goes on and on. Thousands of years ago this part of Scotland was cloaked in pine, birch and juniper, which was gradually cleared through the centuries to provide farmland and timber, to the extent that there was barely a tree left in some parts by the 18th century. Fortunately there were those, such as the ‘Planting’ Dukes of Atholl, who had the foresight to plant trees for the benefit of future generations. The county also benefitted from the exploits of plant collectors such as David Douglas, who introduced more than 200 new plants to Britain, including some of the most important trees, such as the tall and stately fir that bears his name today. Come autumn, and the leaves turn from fresh green to a palette of red, gold, yellow and bronze and are a wonderful sight to behold as the morning mists clear.
Our tour starts at Scone Palace and after seeing some of the towering specimens here, including the first Douglas Fir to be introduced to the UK, we view equally impressive beech hedge at Meikleour and two historic trees – the Parent Larch in the grounds of Dunkeld Cathedral and the Birnam Oak, believed to be the last surviving remnant of Birnam Wood, the great oak forest made famous in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'.
Another venerable tree features on our middle day. In fact the Fortingall Yew has been estimated at anything between 3000 and 9000 years old, making it the oldest living thing in Europe. We also visit The Hermitage, the wild 'tree garden' created by the Dukes of Atholl in the 18th century, and the wonderful woodland garden at Cluny House.
We conclude at Faskally Forest, which offers a glorious profusion of deciduous and coniferous trees; Diana’s Grove at Blair Castle, which presents probably the best 'big tree' experience in the country, and the Falls of Bruar, whose surrounding woodland is a living memorial to the poet Robert Burns.
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- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary