This is a walk we've been planning to do for a while, we just needed the right weather and nothing else that needed done. It also gave us a chance to cross the new bridge over the River Forth, the Queensferry Crossing. We were lucky with the weather in the morning and the views from the new bridge were great, if a little odd seeing the original two bridges from the west.
|Crossing the new bridge|
|Crossing the bridge|
After parking in the west car park on the foreshore in Culross we headed west along the main road. Bracken by now has worked out he's getting a walk and is raring to go. Once the pavement ran out we kept walking past the entrance to Dunimarle Castle on our right and continued until we reached the entrance to Blair Castle. Here we turned in and up the rhododendron lined drive heading up hill towards the castle. It was a relief to get away from the main road. Once we were nearly at the castle we took a right turn onto a track which took us up past Blair Mains farmhouse on our left. Now we were beginning to get views out over the River Forth and the now closed power station at Longannet.
|There were plenty plump brambles in the hedgerows|
We continued walking uphill along the farm track bordered by hedges full of brambles, hawthorn berries and rose hips, a sumptuous feast for the birds and we enjoyed some brambles too. We passed a field full of sweetcorn with the cobs well on the way to ripening. Interesting to think of sweetcorn growing in Fife! Bracken loves this kind of walk as there are so many things to sniff and investigate.
|There always has to be a dog on a stone / trig point / |
hill summit photograph on our walks
Once we started to walk through woodland we took a right turn along a small path between trees opposite a metal gate, heading back in the direction of Culross. The path follows a robbed out dry stone wall with woodland on the left and fields on the right. There were plenty fungi growing amongst the birch seedlings, more brambles and views of the River Forth again.
|Plenty fungi on our walk|
Half way along this path there is a sign for plague graves in the woods. It marks the spot where three children Robert, Agnes and Jeanne Balds, are said to lie after succumbing to the plague on the same day - 14th September 1645. We didn't have time to take this detour and carried on along the path, passing under pylons and towards the ruins of West Church where we stepped off the path and investigated the ruins and graveyard. There were lots of very old stones in the graveyard and set into the crumbling walls of the old kirk and an old mausoleum hidden in the undergrowth. The peace of the ruins was shattered by the arrival of a team of council grass cutters so we left them to it and headed off along the path.
|A mausoleum hidden in the trees and brambles|
|Part of the old kirk|
|Bracken investigates West Church|
Carrying on along the grassy track towards Culross, we left the fields behind as the track headed downhill between tall hedges until we came to a split in the path. The right hand path is signed Culross and foreshore and the left Culross Abbey. As we wanted to visit the Abbey we headed left, sheltering under some large trees during a sudden shower. Once it eased off a wee bit we headed into the town and up to the abbey. The rain persisted and we were hungry so we went for lunch in the Abbey tea rooms. Tucked away between the abbey ruins and graveyard this wee tea room was basic but nice, though it did feel we were having lunch in a charity shop. We had soup and a sandwich then cofee and cake, which was nice, nothing fancy but nice.
|You can climb up this mad ladder to the |
dormitories of the monastery
|Even Bracken came up to see|
|A corner of the graveyard at Culross Abbey|
Once we left the tea room we headed back down into the centre of the village, it was still drizzly so we didn't linger but taking care on the wet cobbles. A quick nod to the scenes where Outlander (sigh) were filmed and we were back at the foreshore and car park.
|Walking back down the narrow streets of Culross|
We walked out onto the old pier out into the bay which gave great views up and down the river and back towards Culross. It was windy but a great vantage point for photos but Bracken was not happy walking over the wooden slats on the walk way.
|Walking out to the pier|
We really enjoyed this walk which is about 3 miles in total and not difficult at all. It combined country views, history, a pretty village and the River Forth. Bracken would give it 10/10 for doggy interest, but then he thinks every walk is brilliant (perhaps not the pier though).
To see other walks and visits to interesting places we've done visit my page here for ideas
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