Bruce's Cave

Dumfries & Galloway | Kirkpatrick-Fleming | Historic cave | ★★

[Path to Bruce's Cave]

On the outside of a river meander close to the village of Kirkpatrick-Fleming, the Kirtle Water has carved a small cave into the sandstone cliff, its interior covered in carvings from centuries of visitors. Now several feet above the water level, this cave is said to be the spot where King Robert the Bruce had his famous encounter with a spider. The story goes that Bruce hid in the cave while on the run from Edward I of England during the winter of 1306-7, desperately low on morale. He watched a spider painstakingly spinning silk, eventually succeeding in making a web after several failed attempts. The spider's persistence inspired Bruce to a series of victories over the English, culminating in the Battle of Bannockburn and Scotland's independence for centuries afterwards. Now, a word of warning: several other caves around Scotland and Ireland claim the same significance, so a little imagination might be needed here. The large spider's web spun across the cave entrance did no harm to the story's credibility when we were there!

[Bruce's Cave... and a spider's web]

Location & info

📌 Bruce's Cave (Kirkpatrick-Fleming) ★★
Inside Bruce's Cave caravan park, half a mile west of Kirkpatrick-Fleming village centre, G.R.: NY 265704 ///narrates.less.clasping
Open daily whenever caravan park is open - visitors requested to report to reception on arrival | £1 adult / 50p child (2017)

💬 From the signposted car park at the caravan park reception, follow signs for the "river walk" or similar. The cave is a 5-min walk away on a mud / brick path with steps.

[Steps down to the cave]


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