Meikleour Beech Hedge, Perthshire
When you hear the words “World’s biggest” there is always a frisson of excitement, but the world’s biggest hedge may not be one of the world's great crowdpullers. That shouldn’t take away anything from its leafy greatness though - it sure is big, standing 120 feet tall at its highest point. Just think of the stepladder you’d need to keep that in trim.
It runs along 580 feet of the A93 Perth to Blairgowrie road - on the left if you’re going north; right if southbound. It is believed to have been planted in the autumn of 1745 by Jean Mercer of Meikleour and her husband Robert Murray Nairne (who was later killed at the Battle of Culloden). The Meikleour Beech Hedge has carried the “World’s Biggest” crown since 1966. As with any world record it’s a serious business and the hedge is cut and remeasured every ten years. It is looked after by the Meikleour Trust and maintenance takes 4 men approximately 6 weeks.
If you are seeking it out you could be forgiven for missing it, as to the untrained eye it looks like a tall, well-kept row of trees. I confess to being totally underwhelmed by this as a child, but when I took the time to walk along beside it to get some pictures it is actually quite impressive. The pavement underneath is narrow so from the bottom you can’t quite see the top, like a proper skyscraper. And being beech, it goes a lovely colour in the autumn. Scotland isn’t renowned for its big things, so maybe we should appreciate what we've got, even if it is only a hedge.
Meikleour Beech Hedge photos
How to get there
The Meikleour Beech Hedge is on the A93 Perth-Blairgowrie road, 12 miles north of Perth. It is marked on most roadmaps but is not signposted. There is an information board at the north end just before the turn-off to Meikleour, and a lay-by at the south. This Google map shows the village of Meikleour, the hedge is on the main road (marked "Deeside") just south of the turn-off.