Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Friday, August 03, 2007

Deeside and the Mearns

Deeside and the Mearns, Scotland. The Highland Fault splits Deeside and the Mearns into two visually and economically distinct areas. The mellow sandstone of the Mearns creates lush plough land and small clusters of old farming villages, with snug fishing hamlets squeezed between unforgiving cliffs. Stonehaven, with its ancient and accessible harbour, is the key town in the area. The stubborn granite of Deeside provides a dramatic landscape from the heights of the Cairngorms down to the awesome reaches of the river. Life was harder here, with small settlements growing up at the crossing points of the river, dependent on trade from the drove roads. A few powerful lairds built some of the finest castles in Scotland up the river in the 17th century, and other houses appeared after the land was tamed by railway, and power tools could work the granite. Then Royal Deeside took on its gracious aspect as playground of the rich, with fishing lodges, fine villas along the railway and Balmoral providing a stunning summer home for the royal court.

Today the area is proseprous hinterland to Aberdeen, with new oil wealth frequently coming in to restore the most vulnerable and interesting buildings. Although tourism is encouraged and housing pressures increase, the magnificent empty landscape with its moorland, waterfalls and ferocious sea cliffs dominate and keep man's efforts in perspective. Deeside and the Mearns: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (RIAS Series of Illustrated Architectural Guides to Scotland).

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