Monday, 26 February 2007

Glen Lyon

A dull Sunday afternoon but Glen Lyon never ceases to be breathtaking. Glen Lyon is one of Scotland's most beautiful glens. It starts at Fortingall and runs for some 20 miles to Cashlie. Over the journey it changes dramatically in character. At its base the River Lyon has cut a deep gorge known as MacGregor's leap. It gets its name from an outlaw member of the MacGregor clan, who is said to have escaped justice by leaping the falls. Watch out for the ruined stone bridge, which dates back to the late 18th century, on the opposite bank

The Glen is packed with history. It is infamous for having been the home of John Cambell of Glen Lyon - responsible for the Glen Coe massacre. You will also find close to Fortingall, the remnants of an early camp, said to be of Roman origin. Local fables and the writings of the medieval historian Holnished suggest that this was the birth place of Pontius Pilate. In the grounds of Fortingall Church you will see the remains of what is perhaps Europe's oldest tree. It is not much to look at today, but in the 18th century it was found to have a circumference of 54 feet. In the field opposite the Church is a standing stone which commemorates the medieval plague in which the whole village perished save one old woman. Some of the grave stones in the Churchyard tell their own stories.

Further up the glen is the Bridge of Balgie Post Office and tea room which is a good stop off point before heading up over the pass to Ben Lawers. Glen Lyon is a must for photographers of all levels and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful you will find in Scotland.

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