Day 24 – 16th April

  • 20 minutes plus 5 minutes’ cooldown level 14 (bike 1)
  • Sets incline and abs
  • Max heart rate = 163 bpm
  • Calories = 257, total so far = 7560
  • Distance covered = 7.81 miles
  • Total distance so far = 258.36

David’s choice of music in the gym today – always a mistake as he can’t resist dancing to some of the tunes. Very off-putting as you can imagine and I will spare you photos of that here. Anyway, Bruno Mars 24k was David’s album of the day and Versace On The Floor he definitely wasn’t!

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I continue on the B867 from Waterloo and rejoin the A9 as I head south.  Today’s journey takes me within sight of Perth but I make my stop at the village of Luncarty.  You are never far from a river in Scotland and here I catch sight again of the River Tay. 

I was intrigued by some of the village names near here. Moneydie was one. However, judging by some of the houses on sale money seems to be alive and well here. And the aptly named Downhill, very popular with mountain bikers. But as I know only too well, downhill is very often followed by uphill!

As we have discovered, Scotland is certainly not short on castles but at last I have stumbled across a real palace – the impressive Scone Palace (pronounced Scoon). 

The last coronation here was of Charles II when he accepted the Scottish crown in 1651 and Robert the Bruce was crowned here in 1306. However, it goes back even further than this and has rather a darker past. In the 9th century, Kenneth MacAlpin established himself as the first true King of Scots. According to legend, he is said to have invited the Pictish King Drostan with all his nobles to banquet with him at Scone. 

While they were seated, and perhaps taking advantage of their gluttony of both drink and food, the Scots drew out the bolts supporting the boards, whereupon the Picts fell into the hollows below their benches. While caught in some strange contraption up to their knees, they were all slaughtered.

Nowadays, as well as being a fascinating place to visit, it is a venue for weddings and events and you may well have glimpsed it on TV at some time as it has played host to The Antiques Road Show, The Great British Bake Off and Escape to the Country.

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At one time the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destiny used to be housed near here in the now derelict Scone Abbey – and a rest here would have been a happy relief from all the pedalling!

A bit like the Elgin Marbles, it has been back and forth a bit. It’s an oblong block of sandstone, earliest origins unknown but which has been used for centuries in the inauguration of kings and queens. It was last brought to Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and will next make an appearance in England when Charles is crowned.

In 1296, King Edward I of England seized the stone from the Scots, and had it built into a new throne at Westminster. From then on, it was used in the coronation ceremonies of the monarchs of England and then Great Britain.

On Christmas Day 1950, four Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey in London. Three months later it turned up 500 miles away – at the high altar of Arbroath Abbey.

In 1996, the stone was officially returned to Scotland. Today, it is one of the priceless treasures on display in the Crown Room in the Royal Palace in Edinburgh.

So if any of you are around for the next coronation – look out for the Stone!