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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A Sojourn in the Kingdom of Fife

I'm over in Fife staying with an aunt for a few days.Here are some of the pictures I took.

On my way to Glenrothes I decide to go by Auchtermuchty, where I began my working life.

After leaving school my first job was in Auchtermuchty.
I was employed as an apprentice weighing machine mechanic at John White and Son , Burnside.
Established in 1715 they're still on the go, but have moved shop to Back Dykes

This was where I worked. It's now a block of flats, but I like the way they've retained the name and called it Whites Weigh.

It's colourful in Rowallan Green in Glenrothes.
They have their very own Community Garden
It's the first such project in Glenrothes

My first short walk is to Stenton Ponds where a good variety of birds reside

These ring necked doves were unconcerned by my proximity

An action shot on the Thornton road

Over towards St Andrews is the RAF base of Leuchars.
As a youngster I'd go and watch the brilliant air displays.
What I didn't know  was the existence of  Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve 
( there's a downloadable pdf leaflet/map on the Forestry Website )
So, on the last day of February 2012, my aunt and I went through Leuchars and Kinshaldy to park up in Tentsmuir for a beach walk. 

Out on the wide expanse of sands, St Andrews can be seen to the south

Leuchars is home to the Raf Typhoon Air Display Team and we're treated to some practise 

There's no lack of information

To get distance photographs, my Powershot SX10IS was on full zoom with a few coming out blurred.
Here, we're looking at cormorants on a thin sandbank, with the links of Carnoustie on the other side of the Tay

Directly north is Broughty Ferry. If we'd walked all the way to Tentsmuir point we'd have been looking over to Dundee

A very blurry zoom in catches a multitude of seals basking on a sandbank

There are a lot of people out walking today, but since it's such a large area you could easily miss bumping into anyone

It's another day, and I'm heading up East Lomond hill, otherwise known as Falkland Hill.
(Anyone who read my previous Fife posts may remember my recollection of my first climb of  this hill. Myself and my cousins lived in the village of Springfield about 6 miles away. We were only ten or eleven, and we decided one day we could walk to it and climb it. We did it, but we were in trouble when we got home)   
The car park is by the phone masts at 330 mtrs.
Falkland Hill is only 424 mtrs so it's not a difficult climb
Distant views are hazy but all the nearby villages can be seen.

Directly below is Falkland

This is the Smith Anderson Paper Mill.
They've been making paper in Fife for over a hundred and fifty years

This of course is Falkland Palace .
Acquired from Macduff in the 14th century, Kings James the 4th and 5th, between 1501 and 1541 transformed it into a beautiful palace

Above are pictures of the Falkland Estate and West Lomond.
I'm minded to go down for a closer look.

A drive through Falkland fetches me here.
A sign says the Falkland Estate welcomes walkers and cyclists

The sun arrives as I begin my stroll around the estate

Above is the unfinished Memorial Chapel and the stable block

There's a downloadable PDF map of the estate

Nowadays, the house is a private boarding school for boys with special needs
Copyright 'The Gazetteer for Scotland 1995 - 2005'
"Built between 1838-44 by William Burn (1789 - 1870) for Onesiphorus Tyndall-Bruce (1790 - 1855) and his wife, the heiress Margaret Tyndall-Bruce (1788 - 1869) at a cost of £30,000. The couple lived at Nuthill House, but this was demolished and the stone reused for this new house. Burn's style was subdued, perhaps not wishing to eclipse the nearby Falkland Palace. The house comprises two connected sections; a main block of two storeys and a single storey service range attached to the northwest. The chimneys are copied from Winton House in East Lothian.
The House of Falkland was bought in 1890 by John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute (1847 - 1900). He immediately employed Robert Weir Schultz to redesign the interior, in the Arts & Crafts style, featuring an idiosyncratic medley of inlaid wood, exuberant plasterwork, heraldic glass and opulently painted ceilings."

Mary, Queen of Scots loved this place. She'd play at being a 'country girl' in the woods and park

The school is private of course, but I got close enough to get these pictures

Back at the stable block I've only seen a small section of the estate.
I'll explore more on my next visit.

On my way back to Glenrothes  I stopped to snap these interesting farm signs.
Although I grew up in Fife, there's much I don't know about.
I'll look forward to my next visit


  1. This part of Fife always reminds me of the late Nicholas Fairbairn he resided either in Falkland or the palace. Not sure which. Your aunt must be a fair age to have you as a nephew!!

  2. An area I know well Jim though not as a local. Falkland is a belter of a place and Tentsmuir beaches I never tire of.
    Once swam across to the elbow sand bar at low tide.It runs for miles out to sea.
    Hope you enjoyed your trip back and that your aunt is keeping well.

  3. Thanks for the tour Jim, I enjoyed your photos & the stories behind them. Looks like an absolutly beautiful place to grow up!

    Cheers, hope all is well...

  4. Good tour of a bit of Fife - it's a county I've only dipped in and out off - living just over the water from the Kingdom for years, I could be in, looked, and out before they knew I was there. Nowadays I'm only ever through it on the train but we did glimpse a Typoon from it a few weeks ago.
    Falkland looks like it's worth a look at some point.

  5. Cheeky sod Gordon,

    Thanks Bob, that's some swim, I wonder whether you were ever in danger from the rifle ranges on Barry Links.

    We had some adventures as youngsters Michael, It was a great place to grow up.

    I was amazed myself Sandy about how little I knew of Falkland having grown up close and worked even closer.
    There are two guided tours in September. I'm over then for the Leuchars Air Display, so might get myself on one of them.

  6. What an absolute treat Jim! I just love seeing your part of the world through your lens. Thank you so much for sharing. The history....the buildings.....countryside.....everything!

  7. Thank you Rose, I'll be popping into your pages shortly


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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