Meikleour Beech Hedges – Perth and Kinross, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Perth and Kinross, Scotland

Meikleour Beech Hedges

The Guinness Record holder for largest hedge in the world is a verdant Scottish bulwark. 

The words “world’s largest” have a way of piquing the interest of just about anybody, but the world’s largest hedge might seem to be the exception to that rule. However don’t let the mundane name fool you, it is one hell of a leafy sight, standing 120 feet tall at its highest point. Just think of the stepladder you’d need to keep that in trim.

The massive hedge runs along 580 feet of the A93 Perth to Blairgowrie road, on the left if you’re going north. 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).

Even with it’s historical origins, the Meikleour Beech Hedge has carried the crown of “world’s largest” 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 four men approximately six weeks to complete.

Anyone looking to visit the hedge could be forgiven for missing it, as to the untrained eye it looks not unlike a tall, well-kept row of trees. The pavement underneath is narrow so from the bottom a person can’t quite see the top, like a proper skyscraper. And being beech, the hedge turns a lovely color in the autumn. Scotland isn’t renowned for its big things, but they can take some pride in this, even if it is only a hedge.

Know Before You Go

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.