Dundee To Glens Of Angus By Meigle, Glamis And Kirriemuir
ROUTE LENGTH: 28 MILES
One of the best ways to drive out of Dundee is to take the A923, Logie Street, then Liff Road, NW out of the city centre. Turn onto the bypass, A90, left, then exit for Liff by exiting at the West Gourdie Industrial Estate. Follow to Liff, by Church Road, and pass through. Turn right onto Fowlis Road to drive to Fowlis. B954 to Meigle. Take the B952 to ALyth, and from there the A926 to Airlie, taking Kirkton Road into the village (on the left). After Airlie, return to A926, and then turn right onto unmarked road. You will reach the A94, turn left, and you will reach Glamis. Follow A928 from Glamis, which will take you to Kirriemuir.
St Mary’s is at the Nethergate, but we recommend leaving Dundee by the cycle routes along the river side, if leaving from St Mary’s,ride out along the Nethergate. When this becomes Perth Road, turn left onto Rosengale, and ride through the park to the foot bridge, crossing and joining the path westwards along Riverside Drive and Avenue. At the roundabout continue onwards, and follow this road to Liff. The Church of Scotland is on the corner of Church Street. At the junction where you turn between Fowlis Road and Woodward Road, turn left to Fowlis. In Fowlis, the church of St Marnock’s is left off of Kirk Road.
Return to Woodward Road, and follow this, following the left turn to Liff Road. You will cycle through Muirhead, taking a left turn onto Coupar Angus and taking the right direction onto Newtyle Road. Follow this, the B954, through Aucterhouse, Newtyle and Newbigging. You will eventually come to Meigle, where the Museum will be on your right. From 1April to 30 September, the Museum is open 9.30am – 5.30pm.
From Meigle, take the B954 (including Alyth and Forfar Roads) north. At the A956 junction, take second exit onto Meigle Road to Alyth. At Alyth follow Bamff Road in the town, which will take you to the church on the corner of this road and Kirk Brae.
Leave Alyth by riding along Chapel Street, then left turn at B952, then right turn onto Meethill Road (part of B952) out of town. Follow onto B954, turning right before Shanzie, then left at the end of this road onto the A926, which leads to Airlie. Take a left turn before the village, which leads to the Kirkton of Airlie and the old parish church, which will be visible at the end of the road.
After this, travel south along Kirkton Road through Airlie itself, turning right, then left. Cross the burn, turn left, then right, and ultimately left onto the A94, which will take you to Glamis. From Glamis, ride the A928 north – Glamis Castle will be on the right – and you will reach Kirriemuir.
By Public Transport
The 51 from Dundee’s Union Street goes direct to Fowlis. Take the bus again to Muirhead, oppositeSchool Wynd, then take the 57 to Meigle. The 57 carries onto Alyth. From there take the 128 at Market Square to Kirriemuir, getting off at Airlie at the primary school. Then continue to Kirriemuir.
To check times go to Traveline Scotland and click on Plan your Journey on left side of page.
Dundee is the capital of Tayside, beautifully sited above the widening firth. A flourishing medieval and modern city, Dundee is enjoying a contemporary renaissance. The historic centre has lost much of its older fabric but the medieval Steeple still defines the townscape. Beneath it are a modern evangelical church, cleared of pews, and a more traditional High Church of St Mary physically joined beneath. To the west St Paul’s and St Peter’s Protestant churches along with the modest Gothic Revival Roman Catholic Cathedral add to the steeples. To the east by the Overgate you reach St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral whose interior has been beautifully restored with its colourful liturgical artwork, and made welcoming to visitors. The art galleries are also excellent in Dundee making it a visual city which glitters in bright weather beside the ‘silvery Tay’.
Our journey goes inland by backroads to Camperdown, Liff and Fowlis. Kirkton of Liff is a very old church site, while the medieval kirk of Fowlis Easter shelters the most important pre-reformation church paintings in Scotland, with the strong late medieval emphasis on the human suffering of Christ. Finding the main road to the north we cross the Sidlaw Hills to Coupar Angus, where one of Scotland’s major medieval abbeys once held sway- now a modest ruin. Next we head east to Meigle where the museum houses an unrivalled collection of early carved stones. The most striking thing about these sculptures, apart from their technical artistry, is their combination of Pictish and Christian symbols, whether applied in succession or simultaneously. These stones are unique and unmissable.
Next across Strathmore- the great strath- we reach the attractive village of Alyth where the early church was dedicated to St Moluag- fragments are still to be seen by the present parish church. But interest here also attaches to the Airlie Castle and Kirkton of Airlie a little to the east, north of the main road, where one of Scotland’s oldest noble families made its mark in war, ballad and devotion. The church here preserves a notable depiction of the five wounds of Christ. North of all this lies scenic Glen Isla, reaching into the Grampians.
We continue however south winding back across Strathmore to Glamis. In Den of Glamis, St Fergus had a retreat, now marked with a riverside walk, and on the upper bank is Glamis Church and manse with its superb carved cross slab. Glamis Castle, associated with the late Queen Mother and much earkier Macbeth, lies a little to the west. Shakespeare’s villain is remembered in Celtic tradition as ‘the good Kng Macbeth’ and had no part in the death of Duncan. Our route turns back to the edge of the Grampians and the handsome village of Kirriemuir, birthplace of J.M. Barrie, whose early home can be visited. The parish kirk is on a very old central site, and has attendant chapels in the lovely Glens Clova and Prosen to the north. Those with time should explore at least one glen to experience how this characteristically lowland Scots settlement with its weavers, schools and kirks was actually on the edge of Gaelic speaking highlands. This is the origin of Barrie’s imaginative sense of living between two worlds- the practical and the uncanny- which animates all his work.
Thanks to you always, O gentle Christ
That you have raised me freely from the black
And from the darkness of last night
To the kindly light of this day.
Thanks be to you, O God, that I have risen today
To the rising of this life itself;
May it be to your glory, O God of every gift,
And to the glory of my own soul.
Thanks in all ages and spheres to you, Holy Spirit
That you have breathed a new day into being;
O Blessed one that seeks my heart, my heart,
Cover me with the shadow of your wing.