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“ If we look from Stirling, eastward, when the sun is rising, we see him shine on undulating groves and rich fields, on stately mansions and beautiful pleasure-grounds, the winding Forth gradually expanding into a vast estuary, with towns and villages occurring at intervals, till the landscape closes in hazy distance amid the hills und the smoke of Edinburgh.."
7. The Tay rises in the south-west Grampians, and, running a north-east course, passes through Loch Tay. As it curves to the south-east it is joined by the Tummel and other tributaries, bringing the surplus waters from many lakes. Below Perth the river becomes navigable, and, like the Forth, expands into a noble estuary. The course of this river is very rapid, and the volume of water brought down is greater than that of any other river of Britain.
8. The river Dee takes its waters from the loftiest cluster of mountains in the United Kingdom, of which Ben Macdui, Cairntoul, and Cairngorm, all over 4,000 feet in height, are the chief. Its tributary streams flow through deep and gloomy ravines, seldom visited by man. In its middle course the river flows through scenery justly deemed
the finest in Scotland. * Near the sea the river flows between low hills, bleak and bare, or with vegetation stunted by the bleak east winds. This river is noted for its valuable salmon-fishery. The Don drains Aberdeenshire, and enters the sea about three miles north of the mouth of the Dee.
9. The only important rivers north of the Grampians are the Spey and the Findhorn. They drain the mountainous region between the Grampians and the Vale of Glenmore, and flow in a north-east direction into the sea west of the Moray Firth. The Spey is the most rapid river in Scotland.
Balmoral Castle, the Highland residence of Her Majesty, is in the valley of the Dec.
1. The surface of Scotland is mountainous, and much broken and diversified. And the same may be said of its coasts. In many parts, especially in the west and northwest, the mountains extend to the sea and form rocky barriers, “ bleak and storm-beaten, but with a rough and rugged beauty of their own.” The west shores, too, are everywhere broken by long, narrow inlets of the sea. Many of these openings are glens between the mountains, but being open to the sea form salt lochs.
2. The shores of the north-west division of Scotlandthe Northern Highlands—cut off by the canal and chain of lochs in Glenmore, are the edges of a vast broken moorland plateau, and are high, broken, and rocky. It is only on the east coast around the Moray and Dornoch Firths that there are level tracts of land fit for cultivation, together with a broken coast-strip, varying from one to ten miles in width along the counties of Sutherland and Caithness.
3. Ardnarmurchan Point, in Argyllshire, is the most westerly point of the mainland. Cape Wrath, in the extreme north-west, is a bold headland, with rocks rising 600 feet in height. The waters around are full of sunken rocks and desolate islets; but a lighthouse gives the cheering signal to warn ships off this inhospitable coast. Dunnet Head, the most northern point of Scotland, is another bluff promontory some 300 feet in height, but so rough is the sea here, at the entrance to the Pentland Firth, that, during storms, the spray dashes over it. On the east side of the Pentland Firth is Duncansby Head, with its columns of rocks rising out of the sea. Tarbat Ness is a long peninsula dividing Dornoch and Moray Firths.
4. The larger inlets of the sea into the Northern Highlands are Lochs Linnhe, Sunart, Torridon, Gairloch and Broom, on the west ; Loch Erribol, the Kyle of Tongue, and Dunnet Bay, on the north ; and Dornoch, Cromarty, and Moray Firths, on the east coast.
5. The Grampians reach to the sea on the west coast of Argyll, and also form many rocky cliffs on the north and east coasts of the Southern Highlands. Kinnaird's
Head is a rocky promontory on the north coast of Aberdeenshire. Buchan Ness, in the same county, is the most easterly point in Scotland.
6. The Vale of Strathmore extends to the sea in Forfarshire, and the coast is mostly low. The cliffs on the shores of Fife facing the North Sea are of no great height, but some of them are very interesting. They are torn and rent into fantastic shapes, and in some places hollowed into caverns. The most singular-looking of these rocks is called the Rock and Spindle. The Ness of Fife is a rocky headland, from which dangerous reefs run out to sea. Fifteen miles north-east of Fifeness and opposite the Firth of Tay, is the lonely Bell Rock Lighthouse.
7. On both sides of the Firth of Forth, where the estuary opens wide, the coast is iron-bound, and hollowed into caverns, and carved into rocks of the most curious shapes. The cliffs on the south side of the Forth, in iladdington and Berwick, are the terminations of the Lammermuir Hills. Though not of great height, the rocks along this part of the coast are characterised by rugged wildness, and bluff after bluff of the darkest iron hue bears on its summit a ruined stronghold of other times. Of these rock-built fortresses the most noted is that of Tantallon, the scene of some of the most stirring scenes in Scottish history.
8. Opposite the Tantallon Castle, and distant two miles from it, is the wondrous Bass Rock, whose white precipices, starting straight, abrupt, and sheer out of the water, are the resort of immense numbers of sea-fowl, chiefly Solan geese. Between this rocky islet and the cliffs of the shore “boils and roars the ever restless sea." The rocky promontory of St. Abb's Head consists of two hills; on one a lighthouse has been erected; the other exhibits the remains of a monastery and a church.
9. The coast on the west side of the Southern Lowlands—the shores of Ayr and Wigtown—are in many places bold and rocky, especially towards the south. The cliffs are the western terminations of the spurs from the Lowther Hills. The Mull of Galloway is a rocky point between two and three hundred feet in height. The chief inlets of the sea in the Lowlands are the Firths of Tay and Forth on the east, the Firth of Clyde and Loch Ryan on the west, and Luce and Wigtown Bays on the south coast.