Culross

[Culross Palace]

In the middle of the industrial region around the upper tidal River Forth lies a small town almost unchanged from the 17th and 18th centuries. Welcome to Culross (pronounced Coo-ross): a picturesque jumble of narrow cobbled streets and historic buildings, many preserved by the National Trust and unique in Scotland. The easily accessible location in the centre of Scotland attracts tourists in large numbers, and the place can seem more like an outdoor museum than a living community at times, but most visitors don't explore far beyond the centre. Head up the steep hill towards the abbey for some peace, quiet and more views over the estuary.

[Culross Abbey (foreground) and Abbey Church (background)]

Name: Culross ★☆☆
Location (free car park, 5-min walk from the centre): North side of the tidal Forth, G.R.: NS 983858 / topic charities safe

Name: Culross Abbey ☆☆☆
Location: Kirk Street, 5-min walk steeply uphill from the centre, G.R.: NS 989862 / enchanted subject bottled
Description: Ruined 13th century monastery, partially built over and incorporated into the later (still used) Abbey Church, which is itself worth a look inside if open.
Open: Always
Cost: Free

Name: Culross Palace & Garden; Townhouse; Study ★☆☆
Description: Striking yellow merchant's house with terraced gardens behind, plus various other key buildings preserved in their original state.
Location (palace): Village centre, G.R.: NS 986860 / storage attic acclaimed
Open (2016): Palace: Daily, July to August & Easter period; Wednesday to Monday, June; Saturday to Monday, Easter to May, September to October. Townhouse & Study: by guided tour if the palace is open.
Cost (2017): Palace & Garden: £10.50 (adults), £7.50 (children), free for National Trust for Scotland members. Townhouse & Study: £2 including for members

[Views of Grangemouth oil refinery from the sea front remind you of the heavily industrial surroundings]

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