Sunday, January 22, 2023

Scotland IV

After we stopped at Balmoral we drove down the highway to find our B&B which was on a farm this time.  We were greeted by quite a herd of curious cattle outside the gate. 

Much of the Highlands is given over to forestry and game management, but as you get close to the North Sea on the east coast there is more and more active farmland.

Crathes Castle is another stop for Mrs. F.G. for this castle has a huge walled garden, though the castle itself is also very interesting.  Several rooms in the old part of the castle have original Jacobean painted ceilings and carved wooden beams.  The yew hedge dates from 1702.

The view from the tower shows about half the walled garden, a large area divided into 8 themed 'rooms'.  The large 300 year-old Yew topiaries are famous in their own right, and are now under renovation.

Our two travelling teenagers in a colourful section of the garden.

And the only 'gold' room we've ever encountered in a garden.

We avoided Aberdeen and headed down the cost to the southwest, back toward Edinburgh, with a stop at this 'bothy' as our B&B for the night, the only one we were not entirely satisfied with.

The girls went for a long walk on the beach beside the North Sea while we sat on the dunes.

After turning at Dundee we headed out through Fife to St. Andrews, stopping to see the ruined cathedral.  Said to be the largest church in medieval Scotland, built starting in 1158, it was destroyed by a Protestant mob incited by the preaching of John Knox during the Protestant Reformation in 1559, and fell into ruin.  It was used as a quarry by locals, leaving very little of the building left.

The tall square tower is actually the remnant of a separate church built even earlier to house relics of St. Andrew brought from Greece in 345 A.D. by St. Regulus (or St. Rule).  The tall tower was intended as a landmark for pilgrims finding their way to St. Andrews.


  1. Fascinating! I am enjoying this series very much. :-)

  2. Fascinating. Hard to believe that yews would last 300 years and that the funds would be spent to keep it shaped -- but then most of us don't now how wealthy the landed gentry has been.

  3. Those yews are amazing. Hard to believe they could live so long.

  4. What a beautiful colorful garden!!!

  5. The old ruins are particularly striking.

  6. So fascinating. The gardens of Crathes Castle look fantastic.

  7. The yew topiaries are incredible! They alone were worth a stop!

  8. So much history. Those gardens were amazing! The work it must take to keep them up is staggering to think about.

  9. Scotland has been on my bucket list for sometime. Wondering when the best time of year.

  10. That garden is so colourful :)

    All the best Jan