William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, revered throughout the world as ‘The Scottish Play’, is one of the most enduring tales of all time.
Over four centuries later, the timeless tragedy of the great but flawed Macbeth, his ambitious lady, and their ruthless pursuit of power, continues to captivate audiences on stage and screen.
Visit Scotland has devised a trail which brings together the stunning film locations of Macbeth (2015), the real-life places immortalised in the play, and many other historic sites and dramatic landscapes connected to the story of the real Macbeth.
The places and locations in our part of central Scotland include:
Dunkeld Cathedral wasn’t around in Macbeth’s lifetime but he would have known its location. The power base of the Church of Alba, St Columba’s relics from Iona were housed here, and Duncan’s father, Abbot Crinan, was the lay Abbot of the Monastery and Diocese of Dunkeld.
Scone Moot Hill
No fewer than 42 kings were ‘acclaimed’ king of Scotland at Scone Palace starting with the first King of Scots, Kenneth MacAlpin, and ending with Charles II. Like them, Macbeth would have been inaugurated King of Alba sitting upon the Stone of Destiny at Moot Hill.
Loch Leven boasts a little-known historical connection to Macbeth on its island of St Serf ’s. This was once home to an ascetic Christian community known as the Culdees to whom Queen Macbeth, Gruoch, along with her husband, bestowed grants of land in Fife.
The Birnam Oak
With its huge, moss-covered trunks and gnarled branches, the Birnam Oak and its neighbour, the Birnam Sycamore, certainly looks like a relic from a bygone age. No one knows how old the Birnam Oak actually is, but it is said to be the last survivor of the wood from which Malcolm’s soldiers cut branches to camouflage their attack on Macbeth at Dunsinane Hill, 15 miles to the south east. Whether or not the oak has stood here since 1050, it may well be a descendant of the original wood.
‘Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him’.
Crowned with the remains of an ancient hill fort, this windswept peak is believed to be where the army of the historical Macbeth clashed with the forces of Malcolm Canmore and Earl Siward of Northumbria at the Battle of the Seven Sleepers in 1054. Soaking in the rugged, unspoilt terrain from its summit, it is hard not to imagine a medieval battle unfolding here. It’s located by the village of Collace.
For more information on the Macbeth trail visit the website at http://www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/macbeth/
If you are planning a holiday here in central Scotland in one of our self-catering holiday cottages and have an interest in the work ofWilliam Shakespeare why not visit one, or more, of the locations mentioned here for an interesting family day out.