Tag Archives: Places to visit in Fife

A visit to Wemyss Caves

DSCN5006[1].JPG

Court Cave

Continuing my tour of the Fife Coast I was pleased to see on Twitter last Friday that Wemyss Caves were having an open day. Rounding up two good friends we headed towards East Wemyss and a happy group of enthusiastic volunteers greeted us, handing us a leaflet of activities laid on to both inform and entertain.

The Court Cave was our first stopping point where we joined a guide who led us into the cavern, pointing out various intriguing carved pictures and shapes on the cave walls. She explained that we can only guess the meaning of the creatures and symbols, which were almost certainly Pictish in origin.

Click HERE for the Wemyss Caves website with more detailed information.

DSCN5008[1].JPG

Doo Cave

In our next cave, the Doo Cave, we were entertained by a storyteller; quite an atmospheric setting for such scary tales. At the back of the cave rectangular cut out shelves lined the walls. Were they for the doos ~ pigeons as the name of the cave suggests, or for skeletons of their departed? Intriguing!

DSCN5009[1].JPG

MacDuff’s Castle

Climbing the steps to MacDuff’s castle we encountered archery, apothecary, chain mail production and wool spinning. The volunteers were enthusiastic to demonstrate and it was a great pull for the children, but interesting for us too. I remembering being in awe of this castle on our first visit as suddenly the ‘fictional’ character of Shakespeare’s Macbeth became all so very real.

We didn’t continue down to Jonathan’s Cave. The climb was too steep for one of my friends, although we were helped by seats both on the climb up and down. We will leave that pleasure for another day, but were impressed by the organisation of the day and the hard work put into it by the group of volunteers.

Which cave did I visit on my walk along the coastal path in The Healing Paths of Fife? Almost certainly The Court Cave.

Which stranger from the past did I encounter?

I first met the gypsies I believe, although I did not call them by their title in my book, but I was certainly rescued by  King James V, disguised as the ‘Guidman of Ballengeich’ !

 

 

1 Comment

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

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

Dysart.jpg

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.

Dysart2

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.

DSCN3073.JPG

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.

DSCN3075.JPG

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.

DSCN3076.JPG

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.

 

Leave a comment

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

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.

DSCN4444.JPG

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.

DSCN4445

‘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.)

 

Leave a comment

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