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Showing posts from October, 2014

Lennoxlove House

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East Lothian | Haddington | Stately home | ★★★

Comfortably separated by parkland from the town of Haddington is Lennoxlove, a 15th century mansion and the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton. Formerly a tower house called Lethington Tower, the original tower has been incorporated into a several-times-expanded, grand residence which is still lived in today. Despite this, tours run a few days a week over the summer months, taking in a varied set of public rooms (including a very impressive, vaulted Great Hall) and luxurious bedrooms. Unfortunately, no photos were permitted during our tour.


Location & info

📌 Lennoxlove House★★★
By the B6369 1 mi south of Haddington, G.R.: NT 515721 ///move.bucks.bounty
Open Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday afternoons, Easter to October | £10



Around Athelstaneford

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East Lothian | Athelstaneford | Museums | ★★★★

Peaceful Athelstaneford is famous for the first sighting of the Saltire in 832 AD: the doocot housing an unexpectedly high-tech audio-visual exhibition is just as humble as the village itself. On the way to East Linton and at the other end of the size scale is Scotland's national aviation centre at East Fortune airfield. The airfield used to be a major military airport and even served as Edinburgh's main airport for a short period in the 1960s. Four large hangers and several smaller buildings contain dozens of aircraft including the star of the show: the Concorde in Hangar 4. Don't miss the countless smaller exhibits, including the interactive Fantastic Flight gallery, explaining the fundamentals of getting objects into the air.


Location & info

📌 National Flag Heritage Centre★★
Description: Former 16th century doocot housing an audio-visual dramatisation of the local battle in which the Saltire first appeared.
Behind Athelst…

Walk: Traprain Law - volcano of the Votadini

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East Lothian | East Linton | Short walk | ★★★

Traprain Law is a volcanic laccolith that juts prominently out of East Lothian countryside above Hailes Castle and the River Tyne. Rising magma once pushed the rocks above into their characteristic dome shape, particularly prominent from the eastern side. The Votadini tribe created a hillfort capital here in the first century AD, building on ground previously occupied by Bronze Age dwellers. Most hill fort summits have great views: here, Berwick Law dominates the northern panorama with the Lammermuir Hills laid out to the south.


📌 Walk: Traprain Law - volcano of the Votadini ★★★
Start / finish at layby on minor road 2 mi south of East Linton, G.R.: NT 582750 ///notch.asteroid.recapture

▶ 2 km / 1 mi | ▲ 100 m | ⌚ Short | ⬤ Moderate
Summits: Traprain Law (221 m)
Terrain: Steep, grassy ascent on clear path; fainter, steeper and occasionally rocky descent (care & grippy footwear needed if ground is wet) followed by short section of track an…

Walk: Fife Coast - Kingsbarns to Cathedral

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Fife | Kingsbarns | Half day walk | ★★★

This is a particularly varied section of the 117 mile Fife Coastal Path, beginning in quiet Kingsbarns and finishing in the comparable metropolis of St Andrews. 1:25000 OS maps show interesting patterns of rock layers along the coast here - the highlights in real life are Buddo Rock sea stack and the Rock and Spindle formation. Before this, you'll already have passed the beautiful sandy bay at Salt Lake, a ruined mill and lade alongside wooded Kenly Water, and safely negotiated the brief mudbath near Boarhills. The hillier section after Buddo Rock also has a short tidal stretch, so pick your timings carefully to avoid an unplanned swim.


📌 Walk: Fife Coast - Kingsbarns to Cathedral ★★★
Park near the finish and take the bus along the coast to the start (roughly hourly, but check times in advance). Start on Main Street (A917) in Kingsbarns village centre, G.R.: NO 593120 ///swells.smuggled.next. Finish on Abbey Street (car parks nearby) in St A…

St Andrews Aquarium

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Fife | St Andrews | Aquarium | ★★★★

What do you think of when somebody mentions St Andrews? A historic university town? The home of golf? Probably not its excellent aquarium, housed in unpromising coastal buildings north of the town centre. The display areas are bigger on the inside than they appear from the outside, with seals, penguins, reptiles and meerkats just some of the larger additions as well as dozens of pools and tanks for various fish. All-in-all, an excellent option for the sort of day when staying outdoors would make you as wet as the creatures indoors.


Location & info

📌 St Andrews Aquarium★★★★
The Scores, 5-min walk northwest of St Andrews town centre, G.R.: NO 507171 ///otters.directive.inflates
Open daily | £11 adult / £8.50 child (2019)



Walk: Scone 200

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Perth & Kinross | Scone | Half day walk | ★★★

In 1805 the Earl of Mansfield became uncomfortable at the village clustering round Scone Palace's gates. And so he ordered the relocation of the entire settlement, including the church which was moved stone by stone, a mile uphill to the southeast. Two hundred years later, this circular walk was created by Perth and Kinross Council to commemorate the founding of the modern village, beginning fittingly at the old kirk and visiting two prominent monuments on Murrayshall Hill. A few places in the village serve food, so this could be a good post-lunch / pub walk - though you'll need your wits about you (and a map) to avoid navigation errors.


📌 Walk: Scone 200 ★★★
Start / finish at car park at Scone Old Church, Burnside, 10-min walk southwest of Scone village centre, G.R.: NO 132256 ///loads.bits.remain

▶ 9 km / 6 mi | ▲ 250 m | ⌚ Half a day | ⬤ Moderate
Summits: Murrayshall Hill (279 m) | Features: McDuff's Monument; Lynedoch Ob…

Scone Palace

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Perth & Kinross | Perth | Stately home | ★★★

"Visit the crowning place of Scottish Kings!" declares the website for Scone Palace. This is one of Scotland's better-known visitor attractions, where indeed coronations were held for almost all Scottish Kings in the 500 years up to James IV in 1488. A house tour reveals the suitably opulent interior, including the longest room in Scotland and a huge library. Meanwhile, 100 acres of grounds are surely equally worthy of your time, peacocks strolling over manicured lawns and around the chapel with a replica of the Stone of Scone (used for coronations) in front. Doesn't it sound magnificent? Well, we were (slightly) underwhelmed. The building lacked atmosphere for us, perhaps partly as a result of the grey skies and time of season. Nevertheless, the history might prove too much of a draw to resist a visit.


Location & info

📌 Scone Palace★★★
By the A93 2 mi north of Perth, G.R.: NO 113266 ///conspire.impose.mutual
Palace …