There aren’t so many places in Scotland I haven’t been to. There are great swathes of the country I haven’t seen – I’ve not yet been to Shetland, for example, nor Stornoway, Ullapool, Assynt or Skye – but those places tend to be a bit harder to reach by public transport or in a day from Glasgow. When I do visit somewhere new, it’s usually those places which are, dare I say it, less nice than others. After all, why haven’t I been there before if it is so good?
Culross is an exception. I was there on Sunday morning, purely on a whim. It’s been on my list for years but has always been gazumped by someplace else. It’s not like it is hard to get to – Culross has a half-hourly bus service from Dunfermline, one of the best connected towns in Scotland – and I tend to be in Fife a lot, for one reason or another. There’s simply no reason why except other places jumped the queue. Anyway, when I finally got there, it was beautiful. The uninterrupted view across the Forth to the Grangemouth oil refinery is admittedly less bonny but then again there are some who like bleak industrial scenes. My main focus was on land, looking at the 16th century buildings, the cobbles and all around, wondering if I was really on the Mediterranean rather than in west Fife.
We spent an hour walking around before heading on eastwards. Being a contrary sort, I would like to be in Culross again on a winter’s day. It was a beautiful autumnal morning when I was there but I would imagine it would be lovely on a cold, bright December day when the light is precious and anxious not to be wasted.
A lot of people see Fife as a place to pass through or for a particular purpose, like golf or Deep Sea World. There are quite a few places in the Kingdom that deserve a closer look, such as Cellardyke, Crail and Culross, just to go through the C’s. I still have a few places I would like to see myself, like Kellie Castle, near Pittenweem, and Tentsmuir Forest, to name but two. There is only so much time, unfortunately, but it just takes the right day and the right whim to get there.
(For more photographs of Sunday’s visit to Fife, and indeed my trip on Friday to St. Abbs, please see my shiny Tumblr page at http://walkingtalking89.tumblr.com/.)