Secrets and Mysteries of the Heart 200 Route (2021)
Published November 2021
The Heart 200 road trip around Stirlingshire and Perthshire boasts some of the best-known sights in all of Scotland, with the towns and villages around the route containing centuries of culture and history. But what about the lesser-known enigmas and hidden treasures of the Heart 200—the places that the tour guides never take you?
In Secrets and Mysteries of the Heart 200 Route, prepare to discover some unexpected revelations about locations all around this epic road trip, both ancient and modern. There are historical surprises and supernatural mysteries, quirky sights and more than a few unexpected facts along the way.
With full-page colour illustrations throughout, get ready to encounter the first haggis in space, Mary Queen of Scots’ secret private chapel and the world’s most Scottish sheep, by way of speciality clootie dumplings, natural wonders, a golden telephone box, amazing literary connections and some of the most remarkable hidden corners in all of Scotland. If you thought you knew everything about Heart 200... it’s time to think again!
This book features illustrated stories from all sections of the Heart 200 route throughout areas of Stirlingshire to Perthshire, and including many towns and villages which are included in the Heart 200 road trip. Locations range from Stirling and Perth to Pitlochry, Callander, Killin, Aberfeldy, Kinross, Crieff, Dunkeld, Comrie, Blairgowrie, Braco, Dunblane, and many others.
The Inside Story:
Following the publication of The Heart 200 Book, my sister and co-author Julie and I decided that there was potential for a second volume on the subject of the Heart 200 route - one which focused upon the more unusual and unexpected tales of the region. Being an area of Scotland with such a rich cultural history, there were so many fascinating stories to be found in Perthshire and Stirlingshire that the most difficult task turned out to be selecting which to include first!
One of the greatest strengths of the Heart 200 route has been its combination of the modern and the ancient. For every historical tale, there is a more recent development which his worth celebrating - innovative new companies being established in the area, or new traditions which are attracting new people into the area. So the ethos of this book was very much to explore the ways in which the distant past and the current day regularly collide in this unique region of the country.
As had been the case with its predecessor, writing Secrets and Mysteries of the Heart 200 Route also came with the benefit of exploring the area again as we took photos of attractions, delved into the past and present of locations around the route, and generally immersed ourselves in the rich culture of Central Scotland. The amazing thing about Heart 200 is that you could travel it over and over again and still find new things to discover along the way. Julie and I certainly found a whole plethora of unexpected surprises on our various road trips, and it has been our great pleasure to share them with readers in this full-colour illustrated guide.