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Scotland Historic Buildings

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Aberfeldy Water Mill
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Aberfeldy, on the A826/A827
Tel. 01887 820 803
Open: Easter to Oct, Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm, Sun from 12noon-5pm
1825 restored mill, producing stone-ground oatmeal

Argyll’s Lodging
Stirling, just below Stirling castle
Tel. 0 1786 431 319
Open: April-Sep, daily, 9:30am-6pm; Oct-March, daily, 9:30am-5pm; last ticket 30 min before closing
Historic Scotland property; town residence of Earls of Argyll; most complete example of 17th century town home in Scotland; restored and furnished
For photos and more information see our article Argyll’s Lodging

Arnol Black House
Off the A858, west of the village of Barvas, on the island of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Governed by the Western Isles council
Tel. 0 1851 710 395
Open: year round, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-6:30pm
Historic Scotland property; thatched house depicts how people lived on Lewis in the traditional way; fully furnished; attached barn, byre and stackyard; 1920s whitehouse and ruined blackhouse also on property; visitor centre; interpretative displays; parking; shop; café

Auchindrain Township
Argyll and Bute
Furness, Inveraray
On the A83, 6 miles (10km) south-west of Inveraray, Argyll
Tel. 0 1499 500 235
Open: April-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm
Open-air folklife museum of the West Highlands; history dates back over 1000 years; display centre, houses, barns and byres; tea-room; shop
Web: Auchindrain Township

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Balcarres Craig Folly
Colinsburgh, on the B942
An 1813 sham castle with ruined arch and walls, arrowslits, arches and windows; ruined chapel on the property serves as a mausoleum

Barry Mill
Angus and Dundee
Barry near Carnoustie, Angus, on the A930
Tel. 0 1241 856 761
Open: Good Fri-end Sep, Thu-Mon, noon-5pm; Sun, 1-5pm
National Trust for Scotland property; 19th century water powered meal mill; rebuilt in 1814 due to a fire; original machinery restored and working; demonstrations on weekend afternoons

Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces
Orkney Isles
Kirkwall, Mainland Island
Tel. 0 1856 875 461
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-6:30pm; closed all winter
Historic Scotland property; Bishop’s Palace is 12th century hall house, altered, with a tower built in mid 1500s; adjacent Earl’s Palace built early 1600s in Renaissance style

Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace
Argyll and Bute
By the village of Taynuilt, off the A85
At the head of Loch Etive
Tel. 0 1866 822 432
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9.30-5.30pm
Historic Scotland property; most complete charcoal fuelled ironworks in Britain; founded 1753; displays explain the industrial heritage of the area and how iron was made; parking; picnic area; shop

Bonawe Iron Furnace
Argyll and Bute
By the village of Taynuilt, Argyll
Off the A85/B845 at head of Loch Etive
Tel. 0 1866 822 432
Open April-end Sep, daily, 9:30am-5:30pm
Historic Scotland property; founded in 1753, this is most complete remaining charcoal fueled ironworks in Britain; display showing the process of iron making; parking

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Calton Hill Folly Group
Edinburgh and the Lothians
On Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Lothian
Built circa 1800, this group of follies consists of the unfinished National Monument (a replica of the Parthenon), the Playfair Monument, which is a base with a tomb and pillars and other Greek style monuments.

Cammo Tower
Edinburgh and the Lothians
On minor road by the Edinburgh airport, at Turnhouse, below Corstorphine Hill.
Built in 1871. Tall 4 storey round tower topped with a parapet.

Cape Wrath Lighthouse
Durness, Sutherland
reached by ferry, then by minibus
Tel. 0 1971 511 284; mobile: 0 7742 670 196
Open: May-Sep, daily, phone for times of ferry
1828 lighthouse on cliffs overlooking ocean; tower of hand-dressed stone; other buildings of granite; 81 steps to top; trip takes 2.5 hours return with schedule depending on tides and weather; cafe in old lighthouse keeper’s quarters; car parking at ferry port
Web: Cape Wrath Lighthouse
Web: Cape Wrath Ferry

Captain Fraser’s Folly
Isle of Skye
On the A87, at Uig
Owned by the Uig Hotel and built in 1870, this little tower has arched windows and arrowslits.

Castle Lodge
Thurso on the A9
Built in 1875 in Gothic Revival style; folly is an ornate building with a square block, tower and turrets

Culsh Memorial
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
New Deer, Grampian
Off the A981/A948
Built in 1876, this tower, topped by a spire, is restored and can be climbed

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Dalgarven Mill
Ayrshire and Isle of Arran
Dalgarven, Kilwinning
Tel. 01294 552448
Open: Easter-end Oct, Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm; rest of year, Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm; Sat, 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm; open public holiday Mon.
1640 mill rebuilt in 1880 after a fire; Garnock waters power a 6-metre diameter breast-shot wheel that drives French burr millstones through cast iron gearing; wheel turns when possible. Riverside walk, coffee shop; Museum of Ayrshire Country Life and Costume on site; 30 minutes from Glasgow
Web: Dalgarven Mill

Dallas Dhu Distillery
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
One mile (1.6km) south of Forres
Off the A940
Tel. 01309 676 548
Open: April-end Sep, daily 9:30am-5:30pm; Oct-end March, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm, except closed Thu and Fri
Historic Scotland property; perfectly preserved 1898 distillery making malt whisky; AV presentation; parking

Doonhill Homestead
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Two miles (3km) south of Dunbar
Off the A1
Historic Scotland property; site of 6th century wooden hall and Anglian chief’s hall of 7th century

Dun Carloway Broch
1.5m south of Carloway; about 16m north-west of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis on the A858
Tel. 0 1851 710 395 (The Blackhouse, Arnol)
Open: not given
Historic Scotland property; one of best preserved broch towers in Scotland; visitor centre; parking

Dunnet Head and Lighthouse
Dunnet Head, on minor road off A836
Most northerly point of Britain; dramatic view from 300 ft high clifftop of Orkney Islands and Scottish coastline from Cape Wrath to Duncansby Head; white stone lighthouse built in 1831 by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of the author Robert Louis Stevenson; automated 1989; 51 steps and 9 ladder steps to top
Web: Northern Lighthouse Board

Dunnet Head Lighthouse
Dunnet Head, on minor road off A836
Tel. NA
Open: building not open to the public
Most northerly point of Britain; dramatic view from 300 ft high clifftop of Orkney Islands and Scottish coastline from Cape Wrath to Duncansby Head; white stone lighthouse built in 1831 by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of the author Robert Louis Stevenson; automated 1989; 51 steps and 9 ladder steps to the top
Web: Northern Lighthouse Board

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Finavon Doocot
Angus and Dundee
Off A90 6 miles (10km) north of Forfar, Angus
Open: Good Friday-end Oct, daily. Get key from Finavon Hotel.
National Trust for Scotland property; largest doocot in Scotland with 2400 nesting boxes; built in the 16th century

Fort Charlotte
Shetland Isles
In Lerwick, Mainland, Shetland
Open: daily, 9am-10pm
Historic Scotland property; five-sided artillery fort with high, massive walls, built in 1665; burned in 1673 and rebuilt in 1781

Fort George
11 miles (17.7km) northeast of Inverness, Highland, by the village of Ardersier on the B9006.
Tel. 01667 462 777.
Historic Scotland. Vast site with one of the most outstanding unaltered artillery fortifications (1769) in Europe. Reconstruction of barrack rooms in different periods and display of muskets and pikes.

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Gates of Negapatam
At Evanton, Highland, off the A9, on the B817.
Built in 1790. Three battlemented arches with ruined pillars. Best seen from a distance, as it is a 40-minute climb to the folly.

Georgian House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
Tel. 0 131 226 3318 or 225 2160
Open: March and Nov, daily 11am-3pm; April-end June and Sep-end Oct daily, 10am-5pm; July and Aug until 7pm
National Trust for Scotland property; Robert Adam masterpiece of urban architecture in neo-classical style forms north side of Charlotte Square; house furnished as 1796 date; china, silver, pictures, furniture, gadgets, utensils; below stairs life; AV presentation on history of Edinburgh’s New Town and one on life in the Georgian house covering a day; shop

Gilnockie Tower
Dumfries and Galloway
2.3 km north of Canonbie, on west bank of River Esk in hamlet of Hollows
Tel. 0 1387 371 876 or mobile 0 7776 256 970
Open: April-Oct, by tour only
Built c1520 by outlaws; 4 storey tower house (once known as Hollows Tower); burned by English in 1528, rebuilt and damaged again in 1540s; then rebuilt with parapet walk, beacon stance added; mostly intact due to restoration in 1978; vaulted cellar, spiral staircase, hall; now houses Armstrong family centre; nearby is Gilnockie Castle

Gladstone’s Land
Edinburgh and the Lothians
477B Lawnmarket, at top end of Royal Mile, Edinburgh, near the castle
Tel. 0 131 226 5856
Open: Good Fri-end June and Sep-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm; July and Aug, daily 10am-7pm
National Trust for Scotland property; six storey home of 17th century prosperous merchant; period decoration, paintings, and furnishings; painted ceilings; reconstructed shop booth with replicas of 17th century goods; shop

Gunsgreen House
Gunsgreen Quay
Reached by foot only
Tel. 0 1890 752 062
Open: March and Oct, weekends; April-Sep, Thu-Mon; 11am-5pm
250 year old house now restored; home to smuggler John Nisbet; cellars where contraband was hidden; secret tea chute; parlour with blue panelling; later became a minister’s house and a Regency dining room was created; of special note are the wallpapers; special children’s activities; also has a self catering apartment on 2nd floor
Web: Gunsgreen House

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Hackness Martello Tower and Battery
Orkney Isles
On the south-east end of island of Hoy
Tel. 0 1856 701 727
Open: summer only; reach by Orkney ferry—prebooking wise
Historic Scotland property; built 1813-15 to protect British ships from French and American pirates; parking

Hermitage Tunnel
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Acharn on a minor road off the A827
On the shores of Loch Tay near Kenmore
Tunnel built in 1790; dark and twisting, so take a torch; at the far end is a spectacular view of the Falls of Acharn

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Inveraray Jail
Argyll and Bute
Church Square, Inveraray, Argyll on the A83
Tel. 01499 302 381
Open: daily, April-Oct, 9:30am-6pm; Nov-March, daily, 10am-5pm
19th century jail. Life-like figures dressed in appropriate costumes, exhibitions.

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Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum
The Borders
Castle Gate, Jedburgh
Borders, on the A68.
Tel. 01835 863 254
Open: Easter-end Oct, Mon-Sat, from 10am-4:30pm, Sun from 1-4pm.
Built as a Howard reform prison in 1823-4 on site of town gallows; only existing example of its kind in Scotland; three prison blocks show life of the period; museum has small display of items relating to 19th century prison life and collections relating to the history of the Royal Burgh of Jedburgh; audio tour and av presentation.

John Knox House
Edinburgh and the Lothians
On the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Tel. 0131 556 9579
Open: Mon-Sat from 10am-4:30pm
Town house built before 1490; exhibits about John Knox

John Muir’s Birthplace
Edinburgh and the Lothians
126 High Street
Dunbar, East Lothian
Tel. 01368 865899
Open: April-Oct, 10am-5pm, Mon-Sat, on Sun from 1pm; Nov-march, 10am-5pm, Wed-Sat, from 1pm on Sun
John Muir was a Scottish conservation pioneer, farmer, inventor, botanist, geologist, explorer, mountaineer, and writer. Information on his travels around the world, extracts from his journals, and some of his sketches of wildlife and plants.

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Keathbank Mill
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
At Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross
On A93/A926
Tel. 01250 872 025
Open: Easter to Sep, daily, from 10:30-5pm
Scotland’s largest working water wheel, a steam engine, model railway, heraldry museum and woodcarving displays.

Kenmore Follies
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Kenmore, Perth and Kinross
On the A827
Several follies are located here: Taymouth Castle, built in 1830, the Rustic Lodges in 1840, the Hermitage in the early 19th century and the Fort in 1760 (now let as a holiday cottage). Some of the Rustic Lodges have entire trees as supports; some are fake miniature castles.

Kinnoull Hill Tower
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Bridgend, in Perth
On the A90 by exit 11 from the M90
Open: open site
Dramatically sited on the extreme edge of a high hill overlooking the Tay River; round tower set between walls, battlements and arches, built in early 19th century; surrounding land is a country park with nature trails through the woods

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Leighton Library
The Cross, Dunblane
Tel. 0 1786 822 305 (custodian)
Open: summer months, Mon-Fri, 11am-1pm
Two storey building 44ft x 20ft erected 1684-88 of stone from ruined bishop’s palace; barrel vaulted roof on lower storey, originally had living quarters for librarian; first floor has one room lined with presses of shelving for book storage including archbishop Robert Leighton’s own books; eventually 4500 books in 88 languages added; 1688 red leather chairs; parking in street
Web: Leighton Library

Linlithgow Palace
Edinburgh and the Lothians
Linlithgow, Lothian
On the A803
Tel. 0 1506 842 896
Open: daily April-end Sep, 9:30am-5:30pm; Oct-March, daily, 10am-4pm; closed 25 and 26 Dec and 1 Jan
Historic Scotland property; picnic area; shop, tea and coffee; parking
Magnificent ruin of a Royal Palace set in its own park; residence of Stewart kings and queens from James I; James V and Mary Queen of Scots were born here; great hall and chapel
For photos and more details see our article Linlithgow Palace

Lower City Mills
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
West Mill St, Perth
Tel. 01738 627 958
Open: April-end Sep, Mon-Sat, from 10am-5pm
Restored and working Victorian oatmeal mill

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Maggie’s Hoosie
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
26 Shore St, Inverallochy
Four miles (6km) from Fraserburgh, Grampian, off the B9033
Open: Mon, Wed, Thu, 10am-12noon and 2-4:30pm
Traditional fishwife’s cottage with earth floor and original furnishings.

Mary Ann’s Cottage
Tel. 0 1847 892 303
Open: daily, 2-4.30pm
150 years of croft life in red roofed barn

Mary Queen of Scots House
Jedburgh, on the A68
Tel. 01835 863 331
Open: Mar-Nov, Mon-Sat, 10am-4:30pm, Sun 12-4:30pm; Jun-Aug, Mon-Sat, 10am-4:30pm, Sun from 10am
16th century L-shaped tower house visited and lived in by Mary Queen of Scots in 1566; ground floor kitchen cobbled and barrel vaulted; engraved glass panels, paintings, documents and relics tell the story of life of Mary Queen of Scots

McCaig’s Folly
Argyll and Bute
Oban, Argyll, on the A85
Built between 1897 and 1900; perched on a hill overlooking the town; a supposed copy of the Coliseum; public garden is located inside the hollow shell; steep steps climb to the top of the hill

Moffat Woollen Mill
Dumfries and Galloway
Moffat, on the A701
Tel. 01683 220134
Open daily April-Oct, 9am-5:30pm, 5pm rest of year
Working weaving exhibition

Moirlanich Longhouse
Glen Lochay Rd., off A827, 1 mile (1.6km) northwest of Killin
Open: Easter Sun and May-end Sep, Wed and Sun from 2-5pm
National Trust for Scotland property; outstanding example of mid- 19th century cruck frame cottage and byre with many original features

Mylne’s Mill
Edinburgh and the Lothians
At Leith, Edinburgh on the A901
Folly perched on the top of a pub; built in 1686, it started life as a windmill, then became a signal tower in the 1800s.

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New Abbey Corn Mill
Dumfries and Galloway
At New Abbey Village, Dumfries and Galloway, on A710 across from Sweetheart Abbey.
Tel. 01387 785 260. (Phone for opening times).
Historic Scotland. Renovated water-powered oatmeal mill in working order. Demonstrations in summer months.

New Lanark Mills
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
New Lanark, South Lanarkshire
On the A73/ A743/706
Tel. 01559 665 738
Open: daily, 11am-5pm
18th century planned industrial village located on the floor of the River Clyde gorge by the Clyde Falls. Restored millworker houses, village store, working textile machinery, exhibition; highly commercialized site
For photos and more details see our article New Lanark

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Palace of Holyroodhouse
Edinburgh and the Lothians
At the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Tel. 0 131 556 1096
Open: April-end Oct, daily except when the Queen is in residence—check with Tourist Bureau or phone; April-end Oct, 9:30am-5:15pm; Nov-end March, 9:30am-3:45pm
Official residence of the crown in Scotland; historic tower apartments of Mary Queen of Scots; grand staircase and state apartments with decorative plasterwork ceilings, carved woodwork, tapestries and canvases; works of art from the royal collection; Holyrood Abbey in the grounds; no parking
Web: Palace of Holyroodhouse

Pineapple, The
At the end of the walled garden in Dunmore Park north of Airth
7 miles east of Stirling, off A905, then off B9124
Tel. 0 1324 831 137
Open: all year, daily 9:30am-sunset
National Trust for Scotland/Landmark Trust property; a structure in the shape of a pineapple, 45 ft. high, built in 1761 as a garden retreat; surrounded by a walled orchard of crab apple trees; pond and woodland walks; available as a short lease holiday home—phone 0 1628 825 925 for let information; car park

Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot
Edinburgh and the Lothians
East Linton, Lothian
Off A1
Tel. 01620 860 426
Open: Good Fri to Easter Mon and May-end Sep, Mon-Sat from 11am-1pm; weekends in Oct from 1-4pm.
National Trust for Scotland property; stone 18th century mill with conical roofed kiln and red pantile roofs. Exhibition on milling. The Phantassie Doocot is a short walk away. Obtain key at the mill.

Prop of Ythsie
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
In a field at the highest point of the Haddo Estate at Tarves on the B999.
Square tower built in 1861 that has a view over the area—91 steps to the top.

Provand's Lordship
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
3 Castle St, Glasgow City
Tel. 0 141 553 2557
Open: Mon, Thu, and Sat, 10am-5pm; Fri and Sun, 11am-5pm
The oldest surviving house in Glasgow, built in 1471, now a museum with period furniture
For photos and more information see our article Provand’s Lordship

Provost Skene’s House
Grampian (Aberdeenshire and Moray)
45 Guest Row, off Broad St, Aberdeen
Tel. 0 1224 641 086
Open: all year, Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 1-4pm
16th–17th century early Burgh architecture; period rooms depict Georgian and Edwardian times; plaster ceilings; wood panelling; costume gallery; religious paintings; outstanding 16th century painted ceiling in the chapel

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Repentance Tower
Dumfries and Galloway
Annan, near Hoddom Castle
Reached by hilltop climb with no path; get specific directions locally or from Visit Dumfries and Galloway Visitor Centre
Tel. NA
Open: tower not open; go for hilltop views only
Watchtower on hill; built by Maxwell family for views of Solway shore; had beacon and bell; surrounding graveyard

Ruthven Barracks
On the B970, one mile from Kingussie; signposted from A9
Tel. 0 1667 460 232
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 9.30am-5.30pm; Oct-end March, daily, 9.30am-4.30pm
Infantry barracks of 1719 with two ranges of quarters and stable block. Captured and burnt by Prince Charles Stuart’s army in 1746

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Scone Palace
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
On east bank of river Tay
Two miles (3 km) north of Perth on A93
Tel. 0 1738 552 300
Open: April-end Oct, daily, 9:30am-5pm; on Sat open 9.30am-4pm; Nov-March, grounds only, Fri, Sat, Sun, 10am-4pm
Historic Houses Association property; 1580 palace remodelled in early 1800s; since 9th century a crowning place of the kings of Scotland and home of the Stone of Destiny; first recorded Scottish Parliaments took place at Scone; collection of shrubs, woodland walks
Web: Scone Palace

Scotland’s Secret Bunker
Crown Buildings
Troywood (near St Andrews)
Tel. 0 1333 310 301
Open: 3rd week March-end Oct, daily, 10am-last admission 5pm, closes at 6pm; phone for group bookings
Hidden beneath a Scottish farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland’s Secret Bunker; 24,000 square feet of secret accommodation on two levels, 100 feet underground built for the government during the Cold War; discover how they would have survived; restaurant; shop
Web: Scotland’s Secret Bunker

Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom
The Borders
Market Place, Selkirk, A708
Tel: 0 1750 20096
Open: April-Sep, Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm; Sat, 10am-2pm; May-August, also open Sun, 10am-2pm; Oct, Mon-Sat, 1-4pm; closed certain days in June, phone for details.
Dating from 1803, the former town house and sheriff court where Sir Walter Scott sat as Sheriff of Selkirkshire until 1832; now a museum on his life, his writings and his time as a sheriff; AV presentation; shop

Smailholm Tower
The Borders
Minor road off the B6397 near Smailholm village or off B6404, 6 miles (10km) northwest of Kelso, Borders
Tel. 01573 460 365
Open: April-Sep, daily from 9:30am-6:30pm
Historic Scotland property; small rectangular 16th century tower house. Inside is a model of the former residence depicting tower house life, a collection of costume figures and tapestries.

Stanley Mills
Perthshire (Perth and Kinross)
Stanley, Perthshire, PH1 4QE
Seven miles north of Perth, off the A9
Tel. 01738 828 268
Open: third week March-end Sep, 9.30am-5.30pm; in Oct from 9.30am-4.30pm
Historic Scotland property. Former watermill complex built in 1786 on banks of river Tay, closed in 1989; visitor and education centre in Bell Mill and Mid Mill; displays, interactives, exhibits, and video on history of the people, products, and power of the mills.

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Tenement House
Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley
Greater Glasgow Museums. (M8/M77) 145 Buccleuch St., Garnethill
Tel. 0141 333 0183
Open: March-end Oct, daily, 2-5pm
National Trust for Scotland property. Example of late Victorian first floor tenement flat. Exhibition.

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Verdant Works
Angus and Dundee
On the A90/92 at West Henderson’s Wynd
Tel. 01382 225 282
Open: Mon-Sat, from 10am-5pm, Sun, 11am-5pm; Nov-March, 10am-4pm
Fully working jute mill of the last century; guided tours and computer simulations.

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