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Issue 20 - Benachally Perthshire

History & Heritage

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Scotland Magazine Issue 20
April 2005


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Benachally Perthshire

Singer songwriter Dougie MacLean adores the view over Benachally. Main text and pictures by Andy Hall

The view from Benachally near Dunkeld in Perthshire has the highest ratio of beautiful but different views of any vantage point that I know. It is the favourite place of Dougie MacLean, one of Scotland’s most successful songwriters, composer and performer of instrumental music.

As well as this fabulous vista towards Highland Perthshire, a quarter-turn anti-clockwise provides a view over the Loch of the Lowes, the expanse of the Vale of Strathmore towards Kirriemuir and the majesty of the Grampian Mountains.

I’ve loved Dougie’s music from as far back as I can remember. His songs accompany me on most of my photographic trips to the west coast. When A Sense of Belonging to Scotland was launched in Edinburgh, I asked Dougie if he would do me the honour of ending my presentation with one of his songs. In particular, the title track from my favourite album, Who am I? was the perfect accompaniment to the projected image of this photograph.

The lyrics describe the flight of a bird of prey over Benachally, a hill which Dougie has climbed many times with generations of his family. The memory of his rendition of this beautiful song with my photograph as a backdrop will always remain with me.

The clarity of the winter Perthshire air resonates throughout this picture. The beauty is in the detail, from the tough, unforgiving, rock-strewn heath to the string of pearl-like clouds on the horizon. Dougie has enjoyed unprecedented acclaim for 20 years, his latest success entitled Rural Image, A Song Vision Symphony at this year’s Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow in January.

If you are reading this issue of Scotland Magazine in the United States, he will be over in April and November. Catch him if you can! Details on

A Sense of Belonging to Scotland: The Favourite Places of Scottish Personalities
by Andy Hall (pictured) is published by Mercat Press.
There is a 25% discount for readers who buy the book from
US readers – contact Interlink Books on +1 413 582 7054