Showing posts from August, 2020


Fife | Village | ★★★ [Crail] Crail is the easternmost of all Fife's East Neuk fishing villages and, in our opinion, probably the best looking of them all. Steep ground around a semicircular bay lends a vertical dimension to the settlement which is unusual in this flat part of Scotland; red-tiled cottages spill down steep, cobbled wynds to the intimate, 16th century harbour which still has a smattering of fishing craft. The best viewpoint for the village is from the coast path immediately west of Crail; the half day walk from Pittenweem or Anstruther is a worthwhile one, and there are several other attractions in the wider area, listed below. [Harbour] Location & info 📌 Crail ★★★ Fife, G.R.: NO 613077 ///museum.noises.sketching 🚌 Crail is on the bus route from Leven to St Andrews, via all the East Neuk villages. See & do (<1 mi away) >> Walk: Pittenweem to Crail - exploring the East Neuk ★★★ Nearby (1-3 mi away) >> Cambo Gardens

Kingsbarns Distillery

Fife | Kingsbarns | Distillery | ★★★ [Kingsbarns Distillery] The story of Kingsbarns Distillery is closely linked to golf - unsurprising given its proximity to St Andrews . Local golf caddie Douglas Clement noticed the curious dearth of distilleries in eastern Fife, despite a wealth of potential clients who flocked to the region to play the links game in its purest form. Poor in money but rich in contacts, he gathered capital from wealthy golfers to set up his own distillery. Money ran out but the venture was sold to the Wemyss family and construction started in 2013. Kingsbarns is therefore one of Scotland's youngest distilleries; production only began in 2015, meaning whisky couldn't be legally bottled until 2018. We were instead able to taste a varied selection of Wemyss Malts - blends from elsewhere in Scotland - on our 2017 visit, before following this up with a tasting of the "homegrown" product in 2020. Tours start with an excellent film and exhibition, fo

Trimontium Museum

Scottish Borders | Melrose | Museum | ★★ [Trimontium Museum] Melrose is well known for its 12th century abbey and stunning gardens, but its history goes back a lot further. The area was occupied by the Romans in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, and a Roman fort called Trimontium was established about a mile away, close to the River Tweed. The Trimontium Museum in Melrose town centre is a real treasure trove, describing the area's Roman heritage along with hundreds of locally-discovered artefacts. Trimontium translates as three hills , referring to the Eildon Hills which rise above the town. [Trimontium Museum (31/8/16)] Location & info 📌 Trimontium Museum ★★ Market Square, Melrose town centre, G.R.: NT 547340 ///flock.marble.hexes Open Tuesday to Saturday, late August (probably April in "normal" years) to October | Free [Roman coins (31/8/16)]

Walk: Shafts & balls of Lowther Hill

Dumfries & Galloway / South Lanarkshire | Lowther Hills | Half day walk | ★★★ [Lowther Hill] An odd assortment of shafts and balls grace the two highest points in the Lowther Hills, on the border between Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire. The unsightly paraphernalia of radar tracking stations, radio masts, old mineshafts and even a cluster of ski runs mean this is hardly the place to get away from all signs of human activity, but on the plus side, the tarmac access road to the summit buildings can be used to make speedy progress between the two summits of Lowther Hill and Green Lowther. Starting from Wanlockhead helps too: this former mining village is Scotland's highest settlement. The panoramas from the top are exceptionally wide-ranging: if you're lucky enough to get clear air on the day of your climb - as we were - you may be able to spot the Isle of Arran, the West Highlands and even the Paps of Jura : the latter just a shade under 100 miles away. Our circuit adds in

Walk: Heathery Broughton Heights

Scottish Borders | Broughton | Half day walk | ★★★ [Broughton Hope] Broughton Heights is the highest part of a group of hills northeast of Broughton village, bounded by a triangle of roads. A handy car park near Broughton Place castle allows easy access to the western half of the range, with an approach through the very scenic glen cut by the Hollows Burn. This pleasant Borders round - coloured by swathes of heather in late summer - visits no fewer than 8 named summits on 1:25000 Ordnance Survey maps. Fear not - many of the hills have imperceptible reascent between them. And the views more than compensate for the occasional steep sections, with Tinto , Culter Fell and upper Clydesdale all easily picked out. [View southwest from Hammer Head] 📌 Walk: Heathery Broughton Heights ★★★ Start / finish at car park above Broughton Place, minor road half a mile northeast of Broughton, G.R.: NT 120374 ///degree.jumbo.polar ▶ 11 km / 7 mi | ▲ 610 m | ⌚ Half a day | ⬤ Tough Features: