11 April 2011 00:57
This is a the view from the top of the West Lomond looking over to Loch Leven. Confusingly the Lomond hills aren’t anything to do with Loch Lomond which is in the west of Scotland where the scenery is altogether much more spectacular.
Friday was a lovely blue sky day so we decided to go on our first hill walk of the year and chose the West Lomond hill near the village of Falkland in Fife. Usually both of the Lomonds are incredibly busy, in fact the first time I walked up them there were hoards of people going up and down which was a strange experience for me. I prefer hill walking to be fairly solitary with just a few people visible in the distance. Here is the West Lomond, it’s just as well that you can’t here us peching and panting our way uphill!
I had my wish this time and on the whole walk we only saw four other people. The hills are full of ground nesting birds at this time of the year and the whole place was full of larks singing very high up in the sky.
If you veer off the track to the right you can see a large green mound which is called Maiden Castle. It’s the remains of an Iron Age settlement and although it’s really just a big mound of grass it’s nice to have a walk to the top of it and imagine what it must have been like all those years ago. The mounds in the next picture are where the entrance is supposed to have been.
Just to prove that we did actually make it to the top of West Lomond here is a photo of yours truly standing by the Ordnance Survey marker, the shades were as much about keeping the wind out of my eyes as the sun.
So that was the good part of the day. The bad part was being stuck in Edinburgh airport waiting to pick my brother up and his flight being delayed for over four hours. Now I remember why I don’t like travelling!
26 April 2010 10:24
The village of Falkland in Fife is dominated by the Royal Palace of Falkland.
My photo is a stitch of two because I couldn’t get the whole Palace into the one frame. Shame about the red car.
The village and Palace are well worth a visit if you are in the area. It’s stuffed full of ancient history but it also played a part in more recent times with The Chapel Royal being used by the Polish Airborne Forces during World War 2, when they were stationed nearby. They were allowed to use it as there wasn’t an ordinary Roman Catholic Church in the vicinity.
I really liked the royal (real) tennis court. It’s the oldest one in Britain and was built for James V in 1539. When we were there , a match was actually taking place. It is a sort of cross between tennis and squash.
The village itself is very quaint and has a variety of interesting houses. Some of them are absolutely tiny but people are still living in them today. I think they were probably inhabited by weavers originally.
It was traditional to carve the initials of the original house owners as well as the date on the door lintel. This is known as a marriage lintel.
Falkland Estate is on the outskirts of the village and has a very pretty gatehouse. As you can see there is a pond by the house. It’s usually full of ducks and moor hens but it was deserted when I took this photograph.
The lovely wee stone bridge just leads into a field. It crosses the burn (stream) which fills the pond. The burn continues its way from the pond and under the house. That is the one thing that puts me off the house. I would hate water running underneath my home, especially as it is a rushing torrent and noisy.
You can walk through the estate which has a very smart cricket pitch, which I think is probably a bit of a shock to English tourists, but cricket is actually quite popular in more rural areas. We’re just not very good at it.