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A Description of the Scenery of Dunkeld
Grounds of Dunkeld - Upper Walks


Those. who have followed the order already described, will here find a path which ascends the hill in an intricate and pleasing manner, and which will conduct them back by the upper grounds. Others, who may not ha\e time to follow the river as far as it has been described, will be directed by various routes into the same paths, or they may proceed at once in this direction, from the shrubbery whence this tour commenced.

Continuing from the shrubbery walk, a path proceeds through woods of beech and oak along the skirts of the lawn, ramifying in different directions; each of which is well worth following by those who have time. The beauty of these walks, apart from the views which they afford, is much enhanced by the profusion of hyacinths and primroses which cover the ground in spring, by the beautiful saxifrage, or London pride, which succeeds to these in summer, and by the raspberry bushes which render them, in succession, a fruit, as they were before a flower, garden. The larch, the spruce, the silver fir, and other pines, intermixed with the oak, ash, elm, beech. chesnut. and other forest trees, serve to produce an endless variety; to which the laurustinus, the laurel, the lilac, laburnum, roses, spiraeas, and other flowering shrubs, scattered in careless profusion, add all that ornament which is rendered the more striking from not appearing to have been the result of art. Exotic plants are never so acceptable as when they seem to be no longer strangers in our woods and fields.

It is impossible to follow out the whole of these walks in description, and I shall therefore, in selecting a few spots, first point out the seat called the Hut in the wood. The view which it affords is as unexpected as it is striking in effect, from the depth at which the river seems to flow beneath the feet, seen over the summits of an oak forest, which almost seems to meet the opposing, though still distant, woods, that rise in long succession up to the rocky brow of Craig Vinean.

The green retired walk which lies above this, is ot an entirely different character from any other in these grounds. Excluding all the river scenery, it either forms a mere forest walk, spacious, tranquil, and magnificent from its breadth and long unbroken sweep, or else, opening or. one side, it affords a view over a beautiful range of undulating fields, terminated by the bold features of Craig-v-barns, and including a knoll of oak wood, which, in itself, offer- a walk singularly sequestered and pleasing. in pursuing it, we may diverge across the high road, and to the outer grounds, or deferring that, as I shall now do, follow the upper walks by the King's seat. For inconsiderable space, this presents a narrow forest path, but of a different character from any of the preceding: high and abrupt rocks, ornamented with ferns and wild shrubs, overhanging it in many places, as it ranges along the edge of the hill; while, below, the wood sweeps down the deep descent to the lower grounds and to the river.

A narrow romantic path,, branching from it, leads up through the King's pass. and thus into the high road; from which, a wider one will be found conducting to the summit of the romantic wooded knoll called the King's seat. Here it is reported that one of our early kings, William the Lion, or some other of the worthies who figure at. Holyrood house, used to take his station for shooting the deer; whence these names, as well as that of the King's ford, applied to a shallow part of the Tay, near to the angle which it makes under Craig Vinean. The station on the King's seat is well selected for a view, as extensive as it is rich, without being strictly picturesque; but unless the intruding branches of the trees shall be lopped before this book falls into the traveller's hands, he will scarcely succeed in forming an adequate conception of it.

Redesending from this station, the walk at length emerges from confinement, and, performing various traverses, each of which offers some novelty, it descends to the water, where this description formerly conducted the tourist, by two distinct routes. At many points, the river, now running distant and deep below the long sweep of woods, affords striking points of view; the dark green mass of C'raig Vinean rising in proportion to the spectator's elevation, and the endless successions of trees, varying in character as in dimensions while they retire from the eye, taking off that solidity and sameness of effect which continuous wood is so apt to produce. The upper walks introduce the spectator again to the distant hills and the view of the Tay, seen under a different character. This view, however, being more perfect where the high road first quits the King's pass, it will be better noticed hereafter. I need only add, that different scats, placed at the proper points of view, will guide the spectator to such spots as could not easily be indicated in description, and for which, indeed, it is not possible to afford space.


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