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Brechin

Brechin

Brechin is an attractive town situated on the banks of the River South Esk in rural Angus. It’s predominantly known for being one of the end points of the Caledonian Railway, which runs steam trains four miles to Bridge of Dun.

Brechin’s rich character and Victorian architecture were developed through a boom-or-bust history as a market town prone to plague, but successful in textiles, brewing and distilling. Dating even further back, the remains of iron-age hill forts can be seen on the outskirts of Brechin.

The Old Town’s maze of streets are worth getting lost in en route to exploring the remnants of 13th century Brechin Cathedral. Brechin’s position as a diocese for pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism brought with it the cathedral and the title of City, but today, this is only observed by the council and local football team. Nearby Brechin Castle was built in the same period, but converted into a mansion in the early 18th century. It’s now part of the Dalhousie Estates, open to the public four weeks a year.

We love Brechin because...

  • Picturesque Victorian town
  • Novel steam railway
  • Fascinating local history
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Hotels
Hotels in Brechin
Northern Hotel
2 Clerk Street Brechin DD9 6AE

The ancient town of Brechin is worthy of a visit in its own right, but also makes an excellent stopping point en route to Aberdeen. Located in the city centre, Northern Hotel has been welcoming guests to the area since it was founded as a coaching inn in 1842.

2 nights from
£78.00pp
Northern Hotel
2 Clerk Street Brechin DD9 6AE

The ancient town of Brechin is worthy of a visit in its own right, but also makes an excellent stopping point en route to Aberdeen. Located in the city centre, Northern Hotel has been welcoming guests to the area since it was founded as a coaching inn in 1842.

In and around Brechin

Brechin Cathedral

Dating from the 13th century and described as a jewel of medieval Scotland, Brechin Cathedral is best known for its round tower topped with a hexagonal spire. Built in the 1100s, the tower predates the cathedral, but its six-sided cap was added in the 14th century and is one of only two in Scotland. Inside you’ll find magnificent stained glass window and many historical details pertaining to the Cathedral’s Pictish origins, found in its quality stonework. Outside, a well-kept cemetery in picturesque grounds provides insights into the town’s history, and in the evenings, the cathedral hosts small concerts.

Caledonian Railway

The Caledonian Railway, run by volunteers of The Brechin Railway Preservation Society, operates a limited service on weekends and special occasions on the former line between Brechin and Montrose. Originally built by the Aberdeen Railway in the 1840s, the line was closed by British Rail in 1981. It’s perfect for experiencing historic steam travel, with a journey time of 25 minutes each way and a speed of just 40mph, giving passengers plenty of time to enjoy the scenery rolling past. Seasonal and special journeys include the Easter Eggspress, the Santa Train, Days Out with Thomas (with children’s entertainment at the station), Murder on the Brechin Express and The Frying Scotsman, which serves fish and chips on the way out and dessert on the way back!

Edzell Castle and Gardens

Run by Historic Scotland, Edzell Castle is a hidden gem. Construction began in 1520 and today it’s a ruined yet stately 16th century structure, with a beautifully replanted and maintained 17th century walled garden. Designed more as a country home than a military stronghold, the castle only saw action once, briefly during Oliver Cromwell’s reign of terror. Adjacent to the castle lies the Renaissance walled garden, built in 1604. It showcases a well-manicured lawn, intricate flower beds and a host of sculptures and wall carvings. These wall panels reflect the spiritual and philosophical ideas of the day and are unique in Britain. A small, cosy summerhouse, reconstructed in the style of the era, creates a feel for how the gentry would have lived at the time.

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