A 1000- Mile Tour Of The Scottish Highlands

By Bill Mowat, Photography by Bill Mowat

From the July 1930 Issue of Motorcyclist Magazine.

Before starting on our way north from Edinburgh, the capital, I would like to make a few remarks regarding this old city. It has many places of ancient history that would fill a book.

For a tourist visiting this part of Scotland it would be time well spent to take a walk along Princess Street, which is one mile long. On one side of this beautiful street we see stores of all kinds that takes the eye and makes one tempted to buy. On the other side is the sunken gardens, with its well laid out flower beds, and the floral clock, which takes one’s attention for a short while, then towering high above the gardens is the old Edinburgh Castle, which dates back something B.C. We took a run down from the Castle, the royal mile of which leads to Holyrood Palace, which is the home of royalty when they visit this city. We happened to be in this city when the Duke and Duchess of York made a call, and we spared the time to see them.

One could spend days in and around this old city. The open road was calling us, so we made our way out of town. Our first stop was Stirling, 35 miles over very good roads-some stretches like we have in U.S.A. This told town, like many more, also has its old Castle and lots of history to it. We now pass on through Stirling over the River Perth on to the crossroads which say 45 miles to Perth, which leads us on to the great north road. This town of Perth is a name well known to Scotchmen and many others of (Jenny Dewar). Out of town we turn right over the River Tay, which abounds with salmon. To fish in the rivers in Scotland one has to get a permit from the owner of the land the river passes through. This permit is good only for a limited time, weekends or holidays.

Touring north we make for Blairgowrie. This countryside is famed for its fruit growing, which is used in the making of jams and jellies. We ran into a very unusual stretch of road for about a mile, beach hedges which reach a height of over 80 feet.

The Spittle of Glenshee was our next stop to get some petrol (gas). Then we were on our way for a long steep climb up the side of the Grampian mountains. Some parts were a bit rough going and one that was driving had to keep his eye on the road, but when I could I would take a chance and have a look, and it was lovely to look over those wild moors. At one place we had a very nasty turn, which had a very suitable name. It is called Devil’s Elbow. It was sure a bad one. Now we are over the top of the hump and down we go. Oh, boy! how I had to use my brakes. We soon got to the valley and a short run alongside a small river we were into Bramarwe, soon found the hotel, and in a very short time we were in solid comfort with our feet close to a big open fire. We rang the bell and in popped a waiter. “Did you ring, sir?” “Sure, bring in a drink, and we don’t want water.” Ain’t it a grand and glorious feeling?

By Bill Mowat
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