Central and Northeast Scotland

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t In the palace grounds, 2,000 trees and 800 m (2620 ft) of paths make up the famous Murray Star Maze, a labyrinth leading to a central statue of the water nymph Arethusa.

Experience Central and Northeast Scotland

Central and Northeast Scotland is a contrast of picturesque countryside and major urban centres, where a modern industrialized country meets an older and wilder landscape. Historically, it was here that the English-speaking Lowlands bordered the Gaelic Highlands, and there is still a strong sense of transition for anyone travelling north.

The Highland Boundary Fault runs through Central Scotland from Arran in the southwest to Stonehaven on the northeast coast. For hundreds of years this line was a border between two very different cultures. To the north and west was a Gaelic-speaking people, who felt loyalty to their local clan chiefs. This way of life was marginalized in the late 18th century, as the more Anglicized Lowlands established their dominance.

In the Lowlands, Scotland’s industry developed, drawing on coal reserves in districts such as Lanarkshire and the Lothians, while the Highlands were depopulated and eventually set aside for sporting estates and sheep farming.The country’s first coal-run ironworks was built at Carron in 1759, very close to Falkirk, where Bonnie Prince Charlie had enjoyed one of his last military successes as claimant to the British throne 13 years earlier, while Perth and Dundee were important centres of commerce just a short distance from the relative wildness of the southern Highlands.

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