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Things to do in Brechin, Angus

The old city of Brechin, dating back over 1,000 years, stands proudly on the South Esk and is built on the side of a steep hill.

Today an ancient atmosphere clings to the worn red stones of this part of the town.

This is where the valley of Strathmore, famed for producing the county's finest soft fruits, meets the snow-capped and rugged Grampian mountains, which serve as a backdrop for this historic cathedral city.

The history of this area reaches back much further than when the bishop granted permission for a weekly market in the 12th century - for the Picts, the first inhabitants in this once wild corner of Scotland, got here first.

This Celtic race left their mark on this part of Angus, with Pictish stones strewn across the landscape, engraved with their strange messages in the shapes of knots, whirls, stylised geese and boar.

Standing at the very heart of this small city is the cathedral and although the former monastery has now gone, a classic 11th century round tower remains - one of only two on the Scottish mainland.

In the town, you will find a fragment of the Maison Dieu Chapel, a former almshouse.

Brechin Castle, on the edge of the city and separated from the cathedral by a trickling burn, withstood a siege in 1303 and stands within a fine park.

On Sundays during the summer, the echo of the Caledonian railway wakens the town, when the train steams between the handsome Victorian station and nearby bridge of Dun.

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