After my month-long travels around Europe, I returned to Scotland 10 days ago. In that time, I have been out walking and shooting photos in the area near my parents’ home in Fife.
Shortly after returning from Italy, I joined my family on a long walk around Culross (pronounced “koo-riss”), on the north side of the Forth. We set off on a lovely hike along the river, then up through the fields, past a “plague grave” and a war cemetery, to Culross Abbey, before ending the day with dinner at the Red Lion Pub in the middle of Culross.
As you can see, we were lucky to have mostly blue skies. It was a pleasant day, and very nice area of Fife that I hadn’t previously explored.
I always think of Loch Leven as part of Fife, but in fact it is not. It’s over in Perth and Kinross, although still very close to Fife.
Last week I went with my parents to the RSPB at Loch Leven. That’s the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the area of land they look after on the south of the loch. Here, you’ll find a number of hiking trails (and even one that is wheelchair-friendly) set back into the hills. There is an astonishing variety of birds, and even some red squirrels. Most of these can actually be seen best right near the cafe and shop at the entrance, where the RSPB has set up a little garden with bird-feeders.
After visiting, I realized it may be time to invest in a better long-lens. And maybe a book about the different kinds of birds. I am pretty much clueless.
St. Andrews’ West Sands
Being so close to St. Andrews, I often find myself walking around the town or the nearby beaches. St. Andrews draws a lot of tourists each year, and it’s not hard to see why – it really is a beautiful place with a lot of history. (And that’s ignoring the golf.)
One day last week I visited the harbour and walked along to the castle:
Later, I set out along the West Sands, a frequent place for walking in my family. We went from the town to the very end of the beach, at the Eden Estuary, and then doubled back. We stopped for lunch at the cafe above the Golf Museum and watched a man from Rentokil using his hawks and eagles to scare off the seagulls, which apparently attack people near the golf course.