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Showing posts from 2021

Look after yourself... and Scotland

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Scotland is gradually emerging from Covid-19 lockdown. Travel anywhere within Scotland is now permitted again (hooray!), though accommodation and most tourist attractions are currently closed. Full guidance and the possible timetable for easing restrictions further can be found on the Scottish Government official website . Travel to and from Scotland from other parts of the UK is expected to resume in the coming weeks, with dates still to be announced for foreign travel. There is likely to be a lot of pent-up demand, so some areas will be exceptionally busy. Here are 3 things worth bearing in mind when out and about: [Travel within Scotland is now permitted again] 1) Be canny Avoid crowd "blackspots" on weekends and bank holidays, especially if you can save them for a quieter time. Have a Plan B if your first spot looks too busy or the car park is full. Need inspiration? Browse our interactive map for ideas - we're called Scotland Off the Beaten Track for a r

Walk: The Kiln Coast - a step back in lime

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Fife | Limekilns | Half day walk | ★★ [Limekilns] The Broomhall Estate in western Fife has a rich heritage: limekilns, railway lines and harbours all supported limestone quarrying as well as coal extraction, shipbreaking and soap production along this stretch of the Firth of Forth. All this activity has long since ceased, leaving behind two sleepy villages - Charlestown and Limekilns - and a fascinating industrial legacy. 6 miles is enough to explore the picturesque coastline, inland estate and its history, with good views of Rosyth Dockyard later in the circuit, which has since picked up the economic baton. [Broomhall Estate] Location & info 📌 Walk: The Kiln Coast - a step back in lime ★★ Start / finish at Limekilns Pier, west end of Limekilns, G.R.: NT 075834 ///different.river.shops 🚌 Bus to Limekilns | 🚗 Street parking ▶ 10 km / 6 mi | ▲ 90 m | ⌚ Half a day Features: Limekilns; Charlestown, harbour & limekilns ★★ ; Broomhall Estate; Rosyth Old Church ⬤

Charlestown Limekilns & Harbour

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Fife | Charlestown | Limekilns & harbour | ★★ [Charlestown limekilns & harbour] Limekilns and Charlestown are a pair of attractive, west Fife villages sitting on the north bank of the Firth of Forth a few miles west of the Forth Bridges. Bypassed by the main road between Dunfermline and Kincardine, they're very much off the tourist trail, but are well worth visiting if you're in the area. The hillside behind both settlements was once extensively quarried for limestone, originally processed in Limekilns village (no prizes for guessing how the settlement received its name). The local estate owners - the Earls of Elgin - had ambitious expansion plans, however, and built Charlestown from scratch in the 1700s together with a new harbour, railway line and eventually 14 limekilns. Today, it's the newer neighbour which is the more worthwhile visitor destination. The limekilns have been restored and you can enter some of them - though prepare to be divebombed by pigeons

Walk: An Almond almanac

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West Lothian | Livingston | Half day walk | ★★ [River Almond in Livingston] This pleasant linear route traces the River Almond all the way from Mid Calder to Blackburn, passing through the surprisingly green Almondvale in the heart of Livingston. The first half is essentially an urban walk - though an agreeably leafy one as a result of thoughtful planning by Livingston's architects - with options to break for refreshment at a vast shopping centre or at the Livingston Inn. The riverside path then passes the fringes of Almond Valley heritage centre, complete with assorted farm animals, before escaping into the countryside for the last few miles. A frequent bus service conveniently connects the start and finish - or you could double the distance by retracing your steps, perhaps varying the route slightly by switching banks in Livingston (river banks, not the financial kind). [Weir beyond Seafield (13/3/21)] Location & info 📌 Walk: An Almond almanac ★★ Start on Market

Surgeons' Hall Museums

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City of Edinburgh | Old Town | Museum | ★★★ [Surgeons' Hall Museums] The Surgeons' Hall Museums on the south side of Edinburgh 's Old Town have roots stretching back to 1505. This collection of bone and tissue specimens began life as a teaching resource for local medical students, finally opening to the public in 1832. Even a decade ago this was a fairly niche tourist site, and even now, grisly bodily curiosities aren't to every taste. Nevertheless, a major redevelopment in 2014 helped transform the museum into a relatively popular attraction, encompassing what is now one of the UK's biggest pathology collections. Location & info 📌 Surgeons' Hall Museums ★★★ Nicolson Street, Old Town, Edinburgh, G.R.: NT 261733 ///scans.double.mugs 🚌 Local bus | 🚆 Edinburgh Waverley (0.5 mi) | 🚋 St Andrew Square (0.5 mi) | 🚗 Street parking nearby (charge) Open daily | £8 adult / £4.50 child

Walk: Treading the Catwalk to Mendick Hill

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Scottish Borders | Pentland Hills | Half day walk | ★★★ [Mendick Hill] Mendick Hill is a quiet Pentland Hills outlier, but its steep-sided profile and location set apart from the main hill range affords it superb views of its more popular neighbours, as well as a wide southern and eastern vista taking in the Broughton Heights range, Cloich Hills and even Tinto . There are several possible routes up the grassy slopes, including from Dolphinton to the south; our variation begins from the charming village of West Linton and avoids the nearby farmyards. The approach also takes in an attractive path known as The Catwalk , so-called because it winds along the edge of a deep glen - though it's not quite as airy as the name implies. [West Linton] Location & info 📌 Walk: Treading the Catwalk to Mendick Hill ★★★ Start / finish on Main Street (B7059) (street parking), West Linton village centre, G.R.: NT 150518 ///radar.opened.parts 🚌 Bus to West Linton. ▶ 10 km / 6 mi |