Kirriemuir, or Kirrie as it's known locally, is the ideal spot for those wishing to explore the beautiful Angus Glens, or visit Glamis Castle, only five miles south, or simply for those who wish to get off the tartan trail and stay in a lovely, unspoiled wee town.
Kirrie's claim to fame is as the birthplace of J.M Barrie (1860-1937), creator of Peter Pan, the little boy who never grew up. Barrie was the son of a hand-loom weaver and ninth of 10 children. His classic tale of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, written in 1904, is said to have been inspired by the memory of his older brother, who died while still young. Kirrie is the fictional
Local Sights & Activities for KirriemuirSightseeing
Thrums of Barrie's autobiographical novel, A Window in Thrums. Barrie's birthplace can be visited at 9 Brechin Road. The humble little weaver's cottage is now managed by the NTS, and the upper floor is furnished as it would have been when he lived there. The adjacent house features an exhibition of his literary and theatrical works. The outside wash-house is said to have been his first theatre and the model for the house built for Wendy by the Lost Boys in Never-Never Land. Barrie is also buried in Kirrie, at the nearby St Mary's Episcopal Church.
Another local son who is well-known is Bon Scott of the rock band AC/DC who was born and brought up in the place before emigrating to Australia. You can check out more details on Scott and other reputed residents of the town at Kirriemuir's Gateway to the Glens Museum.
This town is historically renowned for its handloom weaving industry and later as a textile centre. In 1860 there were 1500 handloom weavers in Kirriemuir and 500 more in the surrounding area. It is estimated that Kirriemuir's weavers produced over 9 million yards of linen per year during 1860s.
The disappearance of handloom fashions during World War I brought an end to 150 years of prosperity for Kirriemuir's weaving industry. However, some of it still remains, including Britain's only surviving jute mill in the Marywell Works.
Some of the most prominent places which attract tourists are J.M. Barrie's Birthplace, Display in Barrie's Birthplace, Kirriemuir Aviation Museum and Peter Pan Garden.
1 Apr-30 Sep Mon-Sat 1100-1730, Sun 1330-1730. Weekends only in Oct Sat 1100-1730, Sun 1330-1730. Tel. 572646.
At the top of Kirriemuir Hill is a camera obscura, which offers a panorama of the surrounding Strathmore countryside and the glens to the north and on a clear day, you can see 71 miles to Ben Louis!. J M Barrie is associated with this tourist attraction as well as he had donated one of the three Camera Obscuras to Kirriemuir in 1930.
At the southern end of town, at Bellies Brae, is the Aviation Museum, which houses a large, eclectic collection of Second World War memorabilia.
Apr-Sep Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1100-1700. Free (donations welcome).
Birdwatchers should head a few miles west of town, just off the B951, to the Loch of Kinnordy and RSPB Reserve, where there are two hides overlooking the loch and wetlands.
Kirriemuir Hotels & Accommodation
There's not a huge choice of accommodation in Kirrie. Best of all is the Airlie Arms Hotel, St Malcom's Wynd, Tel. 572847. A converted medieval monastery now a small, comfortable hotel, offers cheap bar meals and decent, moderately priced evening meals. Am ong the few B&Bs are Woodlands, at Lisden Gdns, Tel. 572582; and Crepto, at 1 Kinnordy Pl, Tel. 572746. Those wishing to stay longer can rent a self-catering cottage next door to Barrie's birthplace, for £250-320 per week for up to 4 people. Contact the National Trust for Scotland head office.
Self Catering Cottages in Kirriemuir
The best restaurant in the area is the Lochside Lodge, by the Loch of Lintrathen, Tel. 560340, 6 miles along the B951, then take the turning left for Bridge of Lintrathen. This converted farmstead serves moderately priced modern Scottish cooking and also rents rooms. Visocchi's is a good choice for daytime snacks and ice creams. Airlie and Hook's Hotel (opposite the museum) are other good choices for food. Hook's Hotel, Three and Bellies Brae are pubs which are popular with locals.
The Thrums Hotel, Bank St, is an awful place to stay loud and disruptive by those using and leaving the bar. A great café is 88 Degrees; would eat there everyday if we could but it wasn't open enough.
Kirriemuir is well known for its Folk Festival, held on the first weekend in Sep each year. The best venues for live music are the Airlie Arms, the Roods Bar nearby, and Three, Bellies Brae, which may be an unusual name for a pub, but is a very welcoming watering hole.
Travel Directions to Kirriemuir
Strathtay Scottish, Tel. 01382-228054, runs hourly buses (Mon-Sat, less frequently on Sun) to and from Dundee (1 hr 10 mins). There are also buses every hr to Forfar (25 mins) and twice a day (except Sun) to Glamis. There's a postbus service, Tel. 01463-256200, from Kirriemuir to Glen Prosen (once daily except Sun) and Glen Clova (twice on weekdays, once on Sat). The Tourist Information Centre is on Cumberland Cl, Tel. 574097. Apr-Jun and Sep Mon-Sat 1000-1700; Jul-Aug Mon-Sat 0930-1730.