"there is a feast on the Sidlaw hills tonight, below the hill of Macbeth"
Battle of Dunsinane. Macbeth and a companion watch the Northumbrian army approaching from Dunsinane Hill
Public DomainBattle of Dunsinane. Macbeth and a companion watch the Northumbrian army approaching from Dunsinane Hill - Credit: John Martin

The Sidlaws are a range of volcanic hills spreading 30 miles across Perthshire and Angus in Scotland. ‘Sid’ probably derives from the Gaelic term ‘sidhe’, meaning ‘fairy’, and folklore held that the prehistoric cairns which dot the hills were inhabited by supernatural beings. Dunsinane Hill is commonly supposed to be the site where Malcolm Canmore defeated Macbeth in 1054. Shakespeare’s version of events holds the greatest sway over the public conception of this battle and its supernatural overtones colour this already sinister episode.