Scotland Traveloholic
heart of scotland

Where is the Heart of Scotland?

For those who are busy with their own life’s, I would like to remind you of the Valentines days which will be celebrated on the 14th of February. I know that some of you may think “Oh what’s a cliche!”, “Everyone talks about it!”, “What a boredom!”,  “I don’t celebrate this stupid holiday!” and many more unsatisfied opinions of people who consider Valentine’s Day to be something dull and lame.

However, my approach to this well-worn day is also unfavourable, but it is an ideal opportunity to talk about a heart-related matter. This is not a post of “Oh how I love my bf/boy/man/mate/fiancé/husband” etc. It is about love to the place, the areas which delight us that much that we would like to spend our whole lives there.

Photo by richie rocket

Moreover, love is not the most important aspect here! The main protagonist of this post is the Heart, the Heart of Scotland which is there where people believe it is. I want to present a completely different view on the subject related to the heart. It still will be the one that pumps blood, adds blush and makes us happy and, most importantly, keeps us alive.

I want to mention the geographic, historical, geological and few more views on the aspect of the Heart of Scotland.

It is not an easy task because everyone left their own heart in some places which are usually hidden from the nosy people. However, I want to try to find all the hearts which are beating vigorously to this beautiful country which is Scotland.

To start with, I need to explain one common dilemma, which lay in the fact that indeed, there are millions of heart and millions of people who think that this or that particular place is the heart of Scotland.

It is important to highlight that the below-presented list in the collection of ideas I’ve encountered and that doesn’t mean that you have to consider these places as the Hearts of Scotland. Everyone has the right to find their own Heart and my list can help or just give you some idea of what to consider.

Geographical Heart of Scotland

As the first place where everyone should look for the heart in a geographical sense is the centre of a continent, country or city. Because I am considering Scotland, I have tried to find the centre of this beautiful country. By driving through Scotland, everyone can easily spot that few cities which consider and advertise themselves to be central cities of Scotland and thus a geographical heart.

Photo by Haydn Blackey

So, Stirling, Perth and Harthill have boards informing that they are the hearts of Scotland. This information is quite misleading because, as far as I know, cuttlefish is probably the only living organism that has three hearts, so I set off on a journey to discover which of those three places are really the heart of Scotland. And it wasn’t an easy task.

The whole region of Perth and Kinross is shaped into a heart in the biological sense, so if I add the information that it is also the home of Scone Abbey, where the Stone of Destiny was used to crown Scottish rulers. This place can be considered as a kind of the heart of Scotland, and there would probably be many people who would agree with this statement.

However, the problem with finding the geographic heart of Scotland is associated due to the various methods of calculating the important centre of the Scottish land.

Some people argue that is a need to be counted with the islands some only consider the land areas. Therefore, by using the mathematical methods, the centre point of Scotland including islands is located on the hillside somewhere near Loch Garry which means that it is close to the A9 road between Dalwhinnie and Blair Atholl.

Blair Atholl. Photo by Chris Combe

Nevertheless, this is not so simple because other studies have shown that Scotland’s central location and therefore also its heart is located somewhere in the middle of Mainland Scotland.

Loch Tulla and Schiehallion. Photo by Rudi Verspoor

Other believe that Aberfeldy area near Schiehallion is the heart spot, I even heard that somewhere around Ullapool is the heart of Scotland when counting islands.

The versions of the geographical heart of Scotland is many. It’s all so complicated because Scotland’s borders are very diverse and the country itself connects both terrestrial areas and many islets scattered on the water.

Though I believe that this is what makes the Scottish landscape so remarkable, its diversity is amazing and inspiring, so Scotland’s geographical heart is probably somewhere in the middle, but it’s just geography, history is an entirely different story.

Historical Heart of Scotland

When talking about the historical heart of Scotland I don’t know about you, but I think of Stirling first. Perhaps because of the breathtaking castle and the high walls around the castle which have experienced many important historical events and maybe because it is one of the most historically significant places in Scotland.

Stirling is also the place where the Battle of Bannockburn took place. This Battle dated on 23 and 24 of June 1314 was and still is without any doubts one of the most significant battles where Scottish victory against the army of King Edward II of England has helped to awaken faith in Scotland’s independence.

At this point, it is essential to point out that people create a history so as many people that much historical heart of Scotland.

Some may assume that Edinburgh with its spectacular Castle is the most historically important place other may postulate for Glasgow Cathedral or Skara Brae.

There are as many possibilities as there are many different points of view on this matter. However, I will still stand by the Stirling Castle, and you may consider another city to be a place of great historical importance for Scotland.

Geological Heart of Scotland

The geological Heart of Scotland can be considered in one particular place on the east coast of Scotland;

It is Siccar Point.

Why this area? Hmmm maybe because this is the world’s most important geological site and place which is the birthplace of the modern geology.

All that due to one man – James Hutton – a man who came up with the world-changing ideas on the origins and age of the Earth. Hutton created a uniformitarian theory of geological development which change everything. Years ago people believed that our beautiful Earth is not very old, Hutton proved it wrong, and the place where all of it started was a rocky promontory located in the country of Berwickshire, called Siccar Point.

Hutton has used the rocky Siccar Point to demonstrate a cycle of deposition, folding, erosion and re-deposition that is incompatible. He realised the implications of inconsistencies in the evidence that, unlike the biblical teaching about the creation of the Earth, they predicted the enormity of geological time and the antiquity of the planet Earth.

Therefore, I can suggest the Siccar Point as the geological heart of all Earth not only Scotland.

However, as Scotland is endowed with such a beautiful example of modern geology, this place can be announced to be the geological heart of Scotland. And I am convinced that it beats astonishingly strongly stimulating the curiosity of other contemporary researchers in this field of science.

Megalithic Heart of Scotland

Have you ever heard of Faskally Cottages Stone Circle? It is a plot on the ground of the private house where you can discover the circle of eight stones which by some are considered as the area initially marked as the centre of Scotland and by means of that the heart of Scotland.

This megalithic heart of Scotland look old, and I believe that it is an ancient way of indicating the particular region. However, we may never be entirely sure what precisely those stones mean and why they were put in this specific place.

The Faskally Cottage was in 1908 suggested as the heart of Scotland by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland but no one never knowns how is for sure. The interesting fact is that Scotland has a lot of standing stones and stone circles scattered all over the country. Their significance is not fully known; some believe that stones have a religious meaning or have been used for rituals and ceremonies.

Others spin conspiracy theories, and this is what fascinates people the most in these huge clusters of stones – that nobody really understands why they are where they are and why they are arranged in this way and not otherwise.

However, the megalithic Heart of Scotland is hidden either in Faskally Cottages or somewhere among other stone groups in Scotland. I believe that it is not stony like the surrounding stones, but it beats as hard as people who are fascinated by these structures.

Travellers Heart of Scotland

The travelling community in Scotland is as quite great unity of people who find a place which they call The Tinker’s Heart.

This place is located near Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute on the pasture field close to the A815 junction at Cairndow. The Gypsy’s Heart is a monument which is made of 25 visible white quartz pebbles in the shape of the heart with 26th pebbles in the centre of it.

The origin of this construction is not entirely known, but its meaning to the Tinker’s community is significant.

Some stories suggest that this monument was created by the Gypsy’s women who in this way wanted to commemorate the death of the Traveller’s men during the 1745 Jacobite uprising.

Nowadays this place is a spot where many of the Tinkers are getting married, celebrate the christening of their children and honour their deceased’s relatives. It is a magnetic place which can be easy to consider as the proper Travellers Heart of Scotland.

Romantic Heart of Scotland

For those who like a bit of romance Scotland also can offer a place where the Scottish Romantic Heart can be found. In the poem written by Sir Walter Scott in 1810 called The Lady of the Lake, the Loch Katrine plays a crucial role.

It is beautiful scenery for the memorable story full of passion and love. It is a delightful experience to read this magnificent poem on the shore of this picturesque loch and to sense the characters living in it.

Another scenery which contributes to romantic exaltation is the village of Gretna Green and placed in its heart, the famous building called the Blacksmiths.

This place is considered as The Original Home of Romance because it is a historic home of the anvil wedding. The charm of this place is added by the fact that wedding ceremonies have been held here for over 260 years. Moreover, you can also rent one of the three ceremony rooms in which you can hold your own, magical wedding ceremony

Gretna Green. Photo by shirokazan

It is a place full of romantic sceneries, so I believe that many people can consider this place as the Romantic Heart of Scotland. However, I guess that if your man proposes to you in any other place in Scotland, you might have your own and unique romantic spot.

Nevertheless, I know that since Scotland is such a beautiful, remarkable and amazing land, many breathtaking places would be perfect for a romantic getaway.

Where is Your Heart?

Some say that no matter where you have been, you left there your heart. I proposed the list of places which are considered as the hearts of Scotland in various perspective however, I know that everyone has their piece of land or building which they consider as their own Heart of Scotland.

I would love to see your hearts so please share your ideas with me. My heart is of course in Scotland. Nevertheless, it beats the strongest when I have my loved ones around me.