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The Countess of Strathmore,








THE vast valley of Strathmore proper, extends from the centre of Dumbartonshire to the sea-board of the German Ocean, from Redhead to Stonehaven. It comprehends part of Stirlingshire, all Strathallan, the greater part of Strathearn, and all the Howe of Mearns. in Kincardineshire.

What is popularly known as Strathmore, however, consists only of what is flanked by the Sidlaw Hills on the south, and the braes of Angus on the north, and extends from Methven in Perthshire, to Brechin in Forfarshire. The Sidlaws are continuous of the Ochils, except for the intervention of the valley of the Tay, and form a long chain of heights rising in some parts to upwards of 1500 feet above the level of the sea, and extending from Kinnoul Hill, on the north bank of the Tay in Perthshire, to Redhead, a promontory on the east coast of Forfarsbire, and to Stonehaven in Kincardineshire. At the Hill of Turin, a short distance east of Forfar, the Sidlaws fork into two lines, one of which branches off through the vale of Guthrie to the sea at Redhead, while the other proceeds north-eastward to Brechin, along the side of the Howe of Kincardine to the sea at Stonehaven.

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The Howe of Strathmore is still more circumscribed in extent, stretching from the lower part of the North Esk on the east, to the western boundary of the parish of Kettins on the west. From its northern point it lies along the foot of the Forfarshire Grampians, till it forms the parish of Airlie, and the Braes of Angus, and terminates at Cargill, forming the continuation of Strathmore with Perthshire. This district is called the Howe or Hollow of Angus, and is thirty-three miles long, and four to six miles broad.

The "Scenes and Legends" embrace principally that part of Strathmore which stretches from the sea-board at Montrose and Redhead on the east, to the parishes of Kettins and Cargill on the west, and from Blairgowrie and Craighall to Fearn and Careston on the north. With few exceptions, I have preferred to weave the Legends and Traditions, together with the Superstitions of the district, naturally into my Tales and Sketches, rather than to give an isolated relation of them as distinct from any human interest with which they may have become associated.

In all the real or mythical scenes we may visit, I desire to take the reader with me as my confidant and friend, so that when our journey is ended, we may bid each other farewell, with the mutually cherished wish, that we may-meet again.

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