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Brucefield Road, Blairgowrie
The red stone Towns of Blairgowrie and its sister Rattray lie on either side of the River Ericht where it emerges from spectacular gorges in Strathmore. The River Ericht has its sources in two of the loveliest glens in Scotland, both being natural passes to the North from Strathmore - Strathardle and Glenshee (the glen of fairies). The origin of the name Blairgowrie is uncertain - it may mean "Plain of the Goats" or The Battlefield" but other origins have been suggested. Blairgowrie and Rattray form the second largest Town in Perthshire with a population of around 8,000. In the early 1700s Blairgowrie became the starting point for the military road North to Braemar which was finished in 1725. This took a route up the west side of the River Ericht. At the same time Blairgowrie was connected to Rattray by a bridge. The original bridge was washed away in the 1840s but was quickly replaced by another. The bridge linking the two parts of the community today has been considerably expanded to cope with the traffic now making use of it. The settlements growth owed a great deal to the strength of the waters of the River Ericht as it flowed south from the Cairngorms. Water powered linen mills were starting to make advantage of the location by 1790 when 100 weavers were employed. By 1860 there were 11 water powered mills on this stretch of River employing 1600 people. 8 of these mills were turning flax into linen and 3 were producing Jute. The 1900s saw a shift away from textiles and instead the community took advantage of its location to promote tourism and it has also become the centre of the Scottish soft fruit industry (the raspberry in particular). Until the process is fully mechanised raspberry picking will provide seasonal employment for armies of pickers from many from cities like Glasgow.
Leisure & Recreation
A vast array of attractions and activities are on the doorstep including Glenshee Ski Resort which offers skiing and snowboarding facilities for all abilities, from the novice to the most experienced. If you are a keen walker you are perfectly placed with a variety of walks available including the Cateran Trail, a 60 mile circular waymarked route. An ideal centre for golfing fanatics with 70 courses less than an hour's drive away including 3 immediately on your doorstep. Rosemount Golf Course was designed by some of the great early names of Scottish golf and is considered one of the best inland courses in Scotland. Between Blairgowrie and Dunkeld lies the Loch Of The Lowes, a Scottish Wildlife Trust, where you can watch Otters or the rare Osprey. Other local pursuits include Fishing, Pony Trekking, Cycling and Hill Walking.