Category Archives: Fife

A Trip on The Forth Belle ~ Diana’s Virtual Tour of Fife

DSCN3010.JPGDidn’t we choose a perfect day for our Three Bridges and Inchcolm Island trip along the Forth yesterday? It was magic.

Friends from down south were staying in Edinburgh and so we suggested meeting at Dalmeny Station. We have been known to walk down the cliff steps from the station to the pier on a couple occasions but, since the day before we had endured a snowy blizzard, we decided to drive and park near the quay. ~ It is the old car park, in fact, for the original car ferry crossing between South and North Queensferry before the first road bridge was opened in 1964, linking road users to the northern parts of Scotland. DSCN4541.JPG

Seals, whales, dolphins,  porpoises and even puffins can be seen at different times of the year but yesterday we were content to spot the occasional seal camouflaged on the rocks.

 

 

DSCN4538.JPGOne day we will alight at Inchcolm and explore the island and Abbey and maybe have a picnic but we’ll leave that pleasure for another time. Inchcolm Abbey is affectionately nicknamed The Iona of the East, aptly so if you compare photos of the two Abbeys. Adjacent to the quay there is Inchgnome Island! I’ll leave you to use your imagination as to how the little people got there.

As well as the beauty of a trip along the Firth of Forth you are made well aware of the oil industry and the heritage of shale mining, which dates back to the nineteenth century when Burntisland and The Binn became prosperous for its paraffin; thus saving the whale from annihilation.

We floated over a few famous protected shipwrecks including Blessing, Charles 1st’s ferry which is allegedly still full of many of his possessions; and the Cunard HMS Campania. 

DSCN4543.JPGThe view of the three bridges including the new Queensferry Crossing is awesome from below. Last time we did this trip the 21st century bridge was still under construction but yesterday the light of the sun caught its sails in all its glory.

Back on shore you have many places to chose to eat including Hawes Inn of Robert Louis Stevenson Fame, Harry Ramsden Fish and Chips, the biker’s cafe or The Railbridge Bistro, complete with model railway.

Yesterday our friends were too replete on breakfast and so we didn’t stop, but we have enjoyed all of the above places in the past and The Hawes Inn does a delicious Sunday Roast.

As we floated along we listened to the interesting commentary but we were able to add a personal touch as we shared our thoughts of the different places along the Fife Coast with our friends, all familiar scenes to us now.

 

 

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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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