Each time I drive by one of these signs, I wonder, where is the true heart of Scotland? It can’t have three (even Doctor Who only manages two), so is Perth, Stirling, or Harthill really at the heart of Scotland? As I tried to answer this question the mystery became quite complicated!
Perth is a Scottish city on the banks of the Tay, however the full Perth & Kinross region is enormous! If you look at this map, the red area does look kinda heart shaped…
Why might it be the heart? Well, it’s home to Scone Abbey, where the Stone of Destiny was used to crown Scottish rulers, and Perth was often where the Royal court resided, so it became a de facto capital.
Some strong historical reasons to crown Perth the heart, but history is a big factor for this place as well….
Another Scottish city, not too far from Perth. Stirling can also make claim to being a former capital. It has a famous castle, home to everything from legendary battles to legendary bands. It is seen as ‘the Gateway to the Highlands’, and straddles the highlands, and lowlands. Easy to see how it can make claim to being the heart of Scotland, but our final contender has it in their very name…
Harthill / Heart of Scotland
Anyone who has ever driven the M8 between Glasgow, and Edinburgh, will have seen, perhaps even visited, Heart of Scotland services. Two separate buildings on either side are connected by a modern bridge. Technically they win, because they made the claim their name, however any connection ends there. You could maybe argue, that as the two largest cities in Scotland, the spot between Glasgow & Edinburgh is the heart.
Yet this does a bit of a disservice to the rest of our fabulous country, and biologically a heart must connect throughout the body, not just in one bit.
Where Is It Then?
The issue that arose as I read into this was, what do you mean by the heart? Is it a historical thing? Or geographical? Some people take it to mean, centre, and in fact, none of the above are in the ‘centre’ of Scotland. This honour goes to a hillside near Loch Garry, between Dalwhinnie and Blair Atholl beside the A9 road and the railway line.
Even this is debatable, as it calculated the centre to be the point where a cardboard cutout of Scotland would balance on a pin – and doesn’t take islands into account, of which there are many and more, each an important piece of the Scottish jigsaw!
Sadly, you aren’t going to get a definitive answer! You’ll have to pick your own. I’d love to know where it is for you? Please get in touch to share your thoughts, or what other mysteries you’ve spied on your travels that I might look into? After all, I’m all over this fine land on a regular basis!
Thanks for reading, and join me soon for a sneak peek at October’s funkiest deliveries!
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