Category Archives: Fife Fantasy

Selkies, Seals and Seafield Tower ~ Diana’s virtual tour of Fife continues

If there is one chapter of my fantasy ~ memoir ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ that has ended getting me into trouble it is the walk to Seafield Tower!

It happens to be one of my favourite walks, it being closest to home, running along the Fife Coastal Path from just above Kinghorn Harbour, behind the caravan parks and on to winding paths and craggy slopes. Here are some photos. They were taken on my phone and so are not the best quality I’m afraid.

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Kinghorn Harbour

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Back towards Pettycur

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Up and down paths and steps

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To Seafield Tower

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seals on the rocks

… if you can spot them on this picture, but I assure you that they are there!

So why am I in trouble?

Picture this. I am researching places, people, saints and legends as I walk along The Fife Coastal Path, and they abound in plenty. I stumble across selkies; a cross between a seal and a person with magical powers. Each of my chapters reflect on an issue we all face in our lives and my selkie deals with ‘love’. All of us, or most if we are honest, have a lost love or a past love in our lives and, however happy we are with the present, at times we need to let go. As a writer I loved the symbolism and it allowed me a huge amount of creative licence.

And so, if you are a man I know down south please, please don’t think this chapter is about you because it isn’t. There are no other men in my life other than my husband and  my father at present, so if you know me if Fife then please don’t ask, ‘who is the other man?’

After all, you didn’t ask me if I really spoke to St Margaret did you? Tell a lie, one friend did! tee hee hee 🙂

There’s a better photo of the seals on my video on you tube if you’d like to watch it.

If you continue further to Kirkcaldy, about three miles, the walk along the sea front is pleasant too and you could walk on to Dysart. (my last post)

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Kirkcaldy sea front

 

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Filed under Fife, Fife Fantasy, Memoirs, Scotland, The Healing Paths of Fife, Virtual tour of Fife

Diana’s Virtual Tour of The Kingdom of Fife ~ Dysart of Outlander Fame!

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Dysart is one of the locations of the popular series Outlander, which I’ve only just started watching on DVD. It is my Tuesday evening treat when my husband is out at Rotary!

We discovered Dysart fairly early on during our first stay in Kinghorn by following the sign to The Harbour Master’s House from the main road; the scenic route of The Fife Coastal Trail. The building is seen in the photo above on the other side of the wee inner harbour, which was once a haven for ships carrying salt and coal.

The Harbour Master’s House is now a cafe bistro (aptly situated on Hot Pot Wynd) serves mouthwatering home made soups, but it is also the home of The Fife Coastal Path’s information centre; a room with a wealth of photos and resources informing you of the flora, fauna, history and geology of the area. It was there I discovered that Kirkcaldy, a mile or so away, is on the same latitude as Sweden. For an English person this seemed remarkable.

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The whitewashed restored cottages are a sign of Dysart’s former glory, in front of which you can follow The Fife Coastal Path further eastwards towards West Wemyss. You may walk along tiny Wynds (a path which winds!) and admire the Crow – stepped gable ends on the houses.

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If you return to the harbour, follow the path around the inner and outer harbours and then through a tunnel, your path will meander in woodland and out beside walls of fortification. These command views towards Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn, Pettycur and the shores of East Lothian if the weather is clear. The history of this landscaping which incorporates Ravenscraig Park is described comprehensively here.

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This path will take you to Kirkcaldy, where old contrasts with new as Ravenscraig Castle comes into view alongside the three towers, familiar as a landmark from as far away as North Berwick on the southern estuary of the Forth.

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Dysart stands alone as a place to visit and while away a couple of hours, but it is also strategic on The Fife Coastal Path for refreshments, a comfort break and interest. It is also the home of the church where food parcels are made up for the Kirkcaldy Foodbank. It may seem a sleepy little place but there is much if you delve beneath the surface.

 

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Diana’s Virtual Tour of The Kingdom of Fife ~ Aberdour

DSCN3790.JPGThe first glimpse I had of Silver Sands Bay at Aberdour was on a mobile phone. I was still down south, struggling with the running down of the college where I once loved to work before I even knew of the possibility of voluntary redundancy.

Roger was enticing me to join him up here. He knew for me it was a tall order to leave my parents, my family, my work, my home which I adored and lovely friends; but he was only asking for me to consider a temporary relocation for a year or two. (wasn’t he?)

He had decided to remain in Fife for the weekend and was sitting at The Silver Sands Cafe above the beach, looking over the Forth towards Edinburgh and along the coast to Burntisland.

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Since then Aberdour has become a favourite of ours, especially the walk over the cliffs between Silver Sands and Black Sands. There you can look out to Inchcolm Island and Abbey; the Iona of the east. I have happy memories more recently of a trip with my parents.  (It is only fifteen minutes drive from here) How Mum managed to walk up the slope and back to the car park I shall never know. Sheer determination and enjoyment of visiting a beautiful place.

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‘I never thought of coming to Scotland and enjoying the seaside,’ said Dad. (a quote of the year since Scotland’s incredible and diverse scenery nests surrounded by a coast of breathtaking beauty.)

Aberdour is easily accessible by car, bus or train. There are local shops to browse in, three hotels and many cafes. A friendly rivalry for floral displays between villages along the coast here, Aberdour boasting many awards, only enhances its appeal.

Another moment in Aberdour which sums up the warm and welcoming nature of its inhabitants was last May. We were walking down towards the lighthouse and back to Silver Sands when we heard fairly loud music. As we approached the path above the water’s edge, many young people passed us and there was a gathering at the point. One lad smiled shyly and apologised,

‘We’re sorry about the noise and hope it isn’t disturbing your walk, but it’s out last day of term you see.’

‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘We were young once!’

I cannot imagine the same conversation taking place down south, can you?

 

(Author Diana Jackson enjoys researching social history and this inspires her writing. Her latest release ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’, a fantasy / memoir, reflects her growing love for the Kingdom of Fife.)

 

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