It was gloriously sunny when I set off west from Dundee this morning, first along the A90 past Perth and then on the A9 down to Greenloaning where I turned north for Braco. I parked in the layby opposite the Roman fort of Ardoch, assembled my bike, and set off along the minor road that runs along Strathallan towards Auchterarder. I dropped down to Blackford and cycled back on myself to the junction with the A9.
I seemed to be sitting on the central reservation for ages with no prospect of getting across the last bit when a car of old ladies slowed down to let me get to the other side. I followed this road as it meanders around various farms before rejoining the A9, at which point I walked along the grass verge at the side of the main road until I got to the farm road. Hopping over the fence, I could see the Gleneagles A standing stone at the edge of the field in front of me.
The field had been freshly ploughed, but the farmer had left a section around it so as not to damage it.
A few hundred metres away is a second standing stone, known as Gleneagles B, which was reused by the Picts and features carved symbols. The farmer was sitting in his tractor eating his lunch, so I asked if it was ok to go and take some photos.
He was quite happy for me to, and was interested to know what I thought they were for. He seemed quite proud to have them on his land. He also jokingly asked me if I was “one of those G8 protesters” then told me about the fence that was going to be put up around Gleneagles. The stone stands on a line of sight between the Camp Wood fort on the hill behind and the “V” in the distance created by the meeting of Glen Eagles and Glen Devon.
I’d seen Camp Wood marked on the map but still haven’t seen any references to it anywhere else, so I went up to have a look, not knowing what to expect.
Although it’s not clear from the photographs, on the ground the stepped terracing of the fort is very obvious.
The view towards Glen Eagles and Glen Devon was beautiful, and you can also see the Gleneagles A standing stone, so it seemed like a good place to stop for some lunch.
After lunch I continued up the A823, turning off onto the road that runs past the Gleneagles Hotel. If the papers are anything to go by, this a good celebrity-spotting location, and I wasn’t disappointed – cycling along the edge of the golf course Ringo Starr drove past me!
The road beside the golf course is very straight and undulates quite a bit – brilliant for cycling on when you’re tired, with your momentum carrying you up the peaks. It probably runs on the top of an old Roman road as it ends close to the Roman fort at Ardoch, where I’d parked the car.