The Picts in the Heartland of Perthshire & Angus
Investigating the heritage of the ‘painted people’
Picts were long considered to be a mysterious lost people from a very dark age, to the extent that entirely erroneous origin myths were created for them in recent centuries. This tour will explore how, even though they left behind no surviving documents, the Picts helped lay the foundation of modern Scotland. We can now have rewarding explorations of Pictland, with new historical and archaeological breakthroughs, revolutionising our understanding of the Picts and their kingdoms, from the time of the Romans until the disappearance of their distinctive culture by 900AD within the unified Gaelic kingdom of Alba. This tour will focus on the rich southern heartland of Perthshire and Angus. The Picts occupied much of Scotland; native peoples described by Roman authors as the ‘painted (tattooed) ones’. The primary source of evidence they have left behind is found in their remarkable stone sculpture, some of the finest artistic creations of the early medieval period in Europe.
Your Departure date
£1,170 (including offers)
Benefit from this limited time offer:
- Save £75 with our Special Offer Discount.
- Save an extra £50 if you pay your full balance today, just £1,170
The price above includes any applicable early booking discount and a pay in full discount, and applies only if you pay the full balance at time of booking.
Deposit: £500 Single supplement: £245
Add-on tours are available for this booking.
Before this tour:
13-17 September 2023
Booking by phone only.
Call us on 01722 713800
Enhance your experience
Whether you want to add extra nights on either side of your tour, you want to upgrade your flight or hotel room, or you are hoping to enjoy a door-to-door airport transfer, we can help.
Day 1 - Edinburgh
We meet in our hotel in Edinburgh in time for an early evening lecture before dinner at the hotel.
Day 2 - Edinburgh & Dundee
Our tour starts with a visit to the National Museum of Scotland, where we will get a close look at the Picts love of spectacular silver jewellery. This will show how the Picts were skilled metalworkers, often working under royal patronage. Here we’ll also see the Hilton of Cadboll cross slab, standing almost 8ft tall and weighing 2 tonnes, which originally stood in the sacred land of the northern Picts near their Columban monastery at Portmahomack. After lunch we leave Edinburgh and drive north to Dundee stopping to view Dupplin Cross, one of the finest 9th century crosses in Scotland and the Forteviot Stone, the first newly-designed Pictish stone to be carved in the landscape in 1,000 years in celebration of the region’s heritage.
Day 3 - St. Vigeans & Eassie
This morning we see the large collection of Pictish stones in the charming village of St. Vigeans. Now housed in the small local museum, these 38 carved stones were originally dotted in and around the village church, which sits on a natural mound where a Pictish church or monastery may have once stood. Some stones were even incorporated into the walls of the late medieval church – and a few remain in place. Afterwards we view the Camus stone, a rare freestanding cross featuring unique Christological imagery before continuing to Monikie for lunch. This afternoon, we learn about the art of stone carving with a specially arranged visit to David McGovern’s workshop. David is a stone carver with a growing reputation for interpreting and teaching Pictish stone carving styles and techniques.
We continue to the village of Aberlemno to see four stones which show a range of carvings, from pagan incised Pictish symbols to sophisticated Christian iconography. The stone in the churchyard is an upright cross slab made of red sandstone and is over 2 metres tall and is one of few Pictish stones which depict a battle scene which some have interpreted as representing the Battle of Dunnichen in 685AD. Next, we see the Glamis Manse Stone, decorated with carvings of mythical animals, figures with axes and triple disc symbols, a fish and coiling snake. We end the day at Eassie to view one of the earliest Pictish cross-slabs, dating from around 700.
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 4 - East Lomond - Edinburgh
We return south to Edinburgh today, stopping to admire the 7th century Skeith Stone with its chi-rho at Kilrenny, before our final visit to East Lomond hillfort. Here we meet Joe Fitzpatrick from the Falkland Stewardship Trust to hear about the current excavations. We expect to arrive in Edinburgh around lunchtime ready for our independent onward journeys home.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- Field notes
- All taxes & gratuities
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|17 May 2023||APPA230517||17 May 2023 (Wednesday)||20 May 2023 (Saturday)||Peter Yeoman||£1,295
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|18 September 2023||APPA230918||18 September 2023 (Monday)||21 September 2023 (Thursday)||Peter Yeoman||£1,295
|Book your trip|