Thursday 5thJune 2008
Dunblane to Perth
Leaving Dunblane we followed the valley of Allan Water until we reached the village of Braco. We werenít expecting to find refreshment here, but as we passed the church we noticed a sign outside saying that teas were served on Thursday mornings commencing at 10am Ė just a few minutes away. It was too good an opportunity to miss. We sat on a bench in the church yard to wait and soon a lady appeared to welcome us in, apologising at the same time that the Scotch Pancakes hadnít arrived. They soon appeared together with scones and other goodies but we resisted the urge to try them all, settling for just the pancakes (even though she wanted us to take food with us when we left!) A small donation to the local hospice was all the payment required.
From here we moved on to Auchterarder to buy provisions for lunch, passing the golf course at Gleneagles on the way. By the middle of the day we had reached the small village of Dunning with its church to St Serf which houses the ancient Dupplin Cross. This cross, dating from the 9th century, used to stand in a field near Dupplin Castle and the village of Forteviot. After 2002 it was moved to protect it from the elements. The inscription on the back has now been deciphered to show that it was raised by Constantine son of Fergus, a Pictish King who reigned from ~789 to 820 AD. It contains lots of intricate carvings. The guide at the church gave us a very detailed description of the stone and its history. The church of St Serf is in itself quite unusual. When originally built around 1200 it consisted of a Chancel, Nave and Tower facing east west as normal. In the early 1800ís a north aisle was added and galleries added. The pews now face towards the communion table and pulpit which is positioned on the south side in the centre of the church.
After the visit we had lunch on the village green and then we made our way into Perth arriving by 2pm. As our underwear supply was beginning to dwindle, we followed the signs to the information bureau where we ascertained that there was a laundrette not far away. We left our dirties to wash while visiting the St Ninianís Cathedral which was just around the corner and is Scottish Episcopal. The cathedral was the first to be built in Britain since the reformation and was consecrated in 1850.
Mileage 33.0 miles Total 157.0 miles