abbeys

Dryburgh Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Ruined abbeys are some of the most austere and commanding places you’ll find in Scotland. Mere shades of their former glory, these structures are magnificent even in repose. Appreciating their grandeur does not require a religious heart. On the contrary, for those who ascribe to no particular faith, like myself, wandering among the ruins provides a spiritual uplift. These places held power long before Christianity swept across the British Isles in the first millennium AD, for such is the nature of conversion that even the places of worship are repurposed for a new religion. Something of the old gods remains, just beyond perception, thrumming a melody we might one day hear again. Read more...

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Along the coast in Fife's East Neuk

A couple of years ago I rolled out a series of Itinerary Ideas that highlighted different areas of Scotland. When I’d written as many as I could, I noticed there were still some glaring holes on the map. It was this process that kickstarted the planning of my subsequent trips – I needed to dig into and explore these areas in more depth. Today I’m highlighting the only part of Scotland still claiming to be a kingdom — the Kingdom of Fife — which lies just across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh calling visitors to make the quick journey north.

These Scotland Itinerary Ideas collect many of my previous articles on the selected region into one place… Read more...

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Dunfermline Abbey, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

Just across the Forth Bridge in southwest Fife stands one of Scotland’s most important cultural and historic sites. You’d be forgiven if your first thought was The Little Shop of Heroes, the game store that drew me to the town of Dunfermline in the first place, for it stands near the topic of today’s epistle. No, I’m writing about a special place in the heart of Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter, tight against Pittencrief Park and the Tower Burn: Dunfermline Abbey.

The abbey has its roots in the 11th century and is the final resting place of more Scottish royalty than anywhere else in Scotland barring Iona… Read more...

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The Eildon Hills

A little over a year ago I rolled out a series of Itinerary Ideas articles that each highlighted a different section of Scotland. When I’d written as many as I could, I couldn’t help but notice there were still glaring holes on the map, little wastelands of knowledge here on my site. It was this process that kickstarted the planning of my next trip – I needed to dig into and explore these areas that didn’t have their own articles, and so I hit the road last spring to ferret out some of the great visitor experiences of southern Scotland.

Coming up today – Scotland itinerary ideas for the Scottish Borders!
Read more...

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Melrose Town from Melrose Abbey

The Scottish Borders do not get their fair share of the tourism limelight. When visitors to Scotland begin scripting their itineraries, the mythic grandeur of the highlands unfurls to the north of Edinburgh and Glasgow and so go their travels. All too often that span of land between Scotland’s cities and the English border are struckthrough and not even given an honest thought.

I understand.

I’ve helped dozens of people plan their trips to Scotland in the past six months, and it’s hard to find the time to go south when most of Scotland lies to the north. Read more...

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