State of the Savage: July 2015

July 29, 2015 by Keith Savage
Ardmucknish Bay, north of Oban, Scotland

It has been a couple months since I returned from my trip to Scotland’s west highlands, and the sights, sounds, and smells of that trip are still clear in my mind’s eye. The lush woods of Glencoe rife with dew-flecked mosses and broad-capped fungi, the smell of pine and oak and brine, and the rolling sea winds and crashing waves spring forth. I am just now finishing up my writings on last year’s trip to the south of Scotland, but in the coming months I will turn the page on Traveling Savage and begin writing about this most recent swing through old Alba (I’ve already written posts about the most recent trip’s accommodations).
As usual, it wasn’t long before… Read more...

A Day Out in Fife’s East Neuk

July 22, 2015 by Keith Savage
The beach at Elie, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

To my mind, there’s no more beautiful part of the Kingdom of Fife than the East Neuk. ‘Neuk’ is the Scots word for ‘nook’ or ‘corner,’ and indeed the East Neuk is the southeast corner of Fife, a span of quiet, historic fishing villages stretching along the coast between Elie and Crail south of St. Andrews. This area deserves attention especially in a place like Fife, which, in many travelers’ minds, is just another name for St. Andrews and golf. If you’re a fan of gentle, coastal scenery, good seafood, seaside walking paths, and picturesque harbors, then Fife’s East Neuk ought to secure a stop on your next trip to Scotland.

Allow me to elaborate. Read more...

A Happy Diversion to Cambo Estate

July 15, 2015 by Keith Savage
Cambo Estate, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

During my stint in the Kingdom of Fife last spring, I had the opportunity to explore much of eastern Fife from my base in Crail. I love the East Neuk’s cobbled fishing villages for their obvious visual charms but also their strong ties to the area’s past and old way of life. The subject of today’s post shares this in common with its East Neuk neighbors.

The Cambo Estate sits snugly between Crail and St. Andrews in countryside that couldn’t be more desirable. The estate is composed of a grand country home and many acres of wooded and open land. The history of Cambo Estate stretches back to the 12th century, but the estate… Read more...

On the Farm in Fife: Visiting Daftmill Distillery

July 8, 2015 by Keith Savage
Daftmill Farm Distillery, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

It feels like ages since my last write-up of a distillery visit. More than two years! I’ll rectify this horrifying gap by starting small. Really small. In fact, Daftmill distillery might just be the smallest distillery in Scotland, but I’ll get to that in due course. The truth is that when I was planning my trip to southern Scotland last year I got a little…anxious. Not for any characteristic of the Lowlands – they’re perfectly wonderful – but because the area of my trip was woefully devoid of distilleries.

I had already visited Glenkinchie, and besides Bladnoch, which went into bankruptcy just days before my scheduled visit (which was subsequently canceled), there isn’t much besides grain whisky distilleries like Girvan and North British that aren’t accommodating visitors at the moment. Read more...

Stirling Castle, Buckle of the Central Belt

July 1, 2015 by Keith Savage
Stirling Castle, Stirling, Scotland

Second only to Edinburgh Castle in sheer magnificence (and only by a kilt’s thread), Stirling Castle commands the Forth Valley passage into the highlands. The two castles are brothers in arms, separated only by a short distance and sharing many visual similarities: Both sit atop volcanic crags and tower over town, both possess age-stained cobbled streets and sandstone structures, and both have been meticulously maintained through the ages so that they now provide two of the best castle experiences in Scotland.

Stirling Castle’s history is rich and bloody – bloodier even than its more famous brother. Read more...