I was about 20 or 25 years behind everybody else where reading Rosamunde Pilcher is concerned as it was only last year when I got around to reading anything by her. If you’ve read her book September you might remember that the story is set in Scotland and the main characters are Lord and Lady Balmerino. At the time I thought that it was a made up name but since Duncan (eldest son) moved to Dundee we’ve been driving past a road sign which points the way to Balmerino Abbey and last Saturday we got around to visiting it. The photo below is the view on the way to the abbey.
It actually looks far more beautiful in real life, there aren’t many parts of Fife which are very scenic but this area in the north of Fife is not bad.
I loved this gateway, it’s all dry stone walling, no mortar involved and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
This Spanish chestnut tree is in the grounds of the ruined Balmerino Abbey. It has been tested and apparently it’s between 400 and 435 years old. You can see that some of the branches are being supported by massive metal poles, in the same way that the Birnam oaks are.
On the left of this photo is part of the chapter house of the abbey and the huge cross is where the original altar was. Ermengarde de Beaumont founded the abbey and she is buried in front of the cross.
If you’re in the area it’s definitely worth a visit, Balmerino itself is very small but in a lovely setting by the banks of the Tay. It’s very remote though and you have to get into a car for the necessities of life as there are no shops, it would be about an eight mile round trip to buy a newspaper!