Highland Pictish Trail: new website and trail


08 October 2021
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The rich Pictish heritage of the Highland Council area is being highlighted with the launch of a new website, app and leaflet highlighting 32 Pictish sites along an expanded Highland Pictish Trail.

The Picts dominated north and east Scotland from around 400AD for about 600 years, and the carved stones they left in the landscape, with their mysterious symbols, carvings of animals, and, later, intricately-carved Christian crosses and images of bible scenes, battles and hunting, have been a source of fascination for hundreds of years, along with their network of hill forts.

Explore 32 Pictish sites

The original Highland Pictish Trail, which dates back more than 25 years, has now been extended to include 32 of the area’s most impressive and accessible Pictish sites.

High Life Highland Chairman Ian Ross said: “This new project offers a great opportunity for residents and visitors to step back in time and discover life as it was 1,000 years ago. For many years, the Highlands were thought to be just an outpost of a Pictish kingdom in the Perthshire and Angus areas, but recent discoveries have shown the north was an important Pictish area in its own right – with major religious and royal centres of power, and strong links with Europe.

“I hope people will enjoy a weekend or during the upcoming school holidays learning about Pictish culture and society, whether through the app or by picking up one of the leaflets soon available from our museums or libraries.”

Highland life 1,000 years ago

Dan Cottam, Chair of Museums and Heritage Highland said: ‘After all the stresses and strains of the last 18 months or so, the Highland Pictish Trail offers local people and visitors the chance to step back into a time when life in the Highlands was very different from today.  You can admire the skill of the Pictish stone carvers, think about what the symbols and images are telling us about life here more than 1,000 years ago, and enjoy beautiful scenery and fresh Highland air. Exploring the Trail – whether for an afternoon, a day, a weekend or a week – is also a chance to explore and enjoy the food, drink, crafts and atmosphere of the distinctive Highland communities along the route. It’s is a real opportunity to slow down, immerse yourself in a different world, and re-charge your batteries. As many of the sites on the Trail are on or close to the NC500 route, we hope that NC500 visitors will also take advantage of the chance to enjoy this fascinating aspect of Highland culture.”

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The Highland Pictish Trail project is a partnership of The Highland Council, High Life Highland and Museums and Heritage Highland and has received financial support from the Highland Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Museums Galleries Scotland. Museums and Heritage Highland will be maintaining and updating the website and app when the current project ends.

Visit the Highland Pictish Trail website.

QUICK LINK: WHO WERE THE PICTS?

(Report courtesy of the Highland Council)