Hope you are all still healthy and staying safe. Today’s post is not going to be long. I would rather let the photos tell the story.
Our next stop on our Grand Tour of Scotland that we booked through Nordic Visitor is St Monans.
St Monans is a village and parish in the East Neuk of Fife and is named after Saint Monan.
It was raining when we arrived in St Monans but when we got to St Monans Kirk the sun was shining.
St Monans Kirk is situated on the west end of the village on the edge of a rock overlooking the ocean. They say that St Monans Kirk is the closest to the sea in the whole of Scotland.
Dad decided to stay in the car because the wind was just too cold. I grabbed my camera and walked around the Kirk trying to capture it from all angles.
Our next stop was St Monans harbor and the Wellie boot garden.
Next on my places of interest list was the Wellie Boot Garden. I have seen so many photos of it on Instagram and just had to capture it for myself. I had a bit of a struggle with the sun and the wet ground but I got it done in the end.
I just love the way they utilized the old Welly Boots as planters for the flowers.
The view from the slipway was also very beautiful. I just had to take some photos of the boats on the water.
Thank you for joining us for our visit to St Monans. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Hope you are all still safe and healthy. Here in Cape Town, we are freezing our buds off. My hands feel like two ice cubes.
Our next stop was Aberdour Castle and Gardens. It was spectacular, and this was the first castle we visited on our Grand Tour of Scotland. Nordic Visitor arranged for explorer passes with Historic Scotland. This enables us to visit a wide range of places without standing in queues at ticket counters.
After getting our pass activated, we could go and explore. The only thing Dad wanted to explore was the shop and restaurant… But I got him to walk with me through the garden and grounds.
We had to walk through the Walled Garden to get to St. Fillan’s Church. It took me a while to get to St Fillan’s Church there were just too many beautiful flowers to capture…
“St Fillan’s Church is one of Scotland’s finest examples of simple Norman architecture. To the south, it overlooks Aberdour Harbour; to the north and west, it is sheltered by the high wall of Aberdour Castle Garden; to the east, what was the Castle kitchen garden as early as 1390 St Fillan is mentioned as the church’s patron saint.
The entrance to the church and its old cemetery is from Hawkcraig Road along Kirk Wynd. On the right, the top of the Wynd is a door to the Castle grounds, above which the monogram of William, Earl of Morton, and his wife, Lady Anne, dated 1632. Further down the Wynd, on the left, is a collection of badly weathered old gravestones, some dating from the seventeenth century.
Initially, St Fillan’s consisted simply of a nave and the chancel, lit by deeply splayed windows, and remains much as it was in the 12th century. Sockets for the rood screen can still be seen.
The dedication to St Fillan probably came about through the influence of Robert I (the Bruce), who gave Aberdour to his close friend and supporter Thomas Randolph Earl of Moray. St Fillan was the king’s favorite saint and is credited with helping the Scots win the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
In the 15th century, the church was enlarged by adding the south aisle. This involved an arcade supported by the three pseudo-Norman pillars and lowering the floor to its present level.
St. Fillan’s Church will celebrate its 900th Anniversary in 2023.”
For more information, please go to St Fillans Church.
Next, we walked around and came across the Terraced Garden.
Up next, we had a peek into the stables and then went for a nice cup of tea.
After our tea break, I explored some more, and Dad went to the gift shop to look for fridge magnets for his collection.
Thank you for joining us on our walk through Aberdour Castle and the gardens. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Without further delay, let’s continue our road trip to St Andrews and Knockhill Farm, where we will spend the night.
Our next stop was Dalgety Bay. The 8th largest town in Fife. We did not spend much time exploring Dalgety Bay due to a very long list of places to see. Also, at this stage, I struggled with the Tom Tom trying to get to the places of interest on our list… We were trying to find Donibristle Stable Block but ended up with a view of the Fourth Road Railway Bridge instead. Not that I am complaining. The views and flowers were stunning.
Our next stop on our list was Cornerstone Full Gospel Church. I got the names on my Google Maps when I planned our trip. What I did come to realize on our Grand Tour of Scotland was that the names on Google Maps and the names on the signboards are not always the same…
Dad and I saw the church on our way to Dalgety Bay, and on our way back, we took the turnoff to the church. Next to the church, I found this beautiful cottage with fields and sheep.
I walked up to the gate to see if I could enter, and it was open, so I walked inside and took a few photos. Now this is what I call a peaceful place. Normally I don’t like walking in graveyards, but one thing that stood out for me was how peaceful it was here. Maybe it is the surrounding pastures with sheep and horses grazing. One doesn’t even hear the cars passing on the road to and from Dalgety Bay.
Thank you for visiting Dalgety Bay with us. Our next stop is Aberdour, and I look forward to sharing some of the photos taken in this beautiful town.
At long last, we can start the next phase of our Grand Tour of Scotland. We will drive to St Andrew’s along the coast and spend the night at Knockhill Farm. I must admit I was very nervous on that Cloudy Tuesday morning. This would be my first time driving in Scotland, and I did not know what to expect. The only comfort for me was that I was used to driving on the left side of the road.
The driver that picked us up at the airport on Sunday gave me a few tips and told me to avoid the bus lanes and never to park in parking places for taxis. He also explained to me how the passing place works.
The people at Arnold Clark were very friendly, and before I knew it, we were on our way to Inverkeithing, our first stop.
We stopped in the first parking lot we could find, and from there we walked and explored for a while. While touring through Scotland, I fell in love with the buildings, the decor and details on the buildings, the shapes and sizes of the windows, the colorful and detailed doors, and lastly, the bright colors used to paint the houses and shops. I we could, I think we would have stayed much longer in the different towns, and I would have taken building by building, street by street, to make sure I captured every little detail… But we had to cover around 100 to 180 miles per day depending on our route, and we had to be at our final destination for the day at a certain time… This was one of the reasons we decided that our next tour of Scotland we will do in a campervan and we will stay in Scotland for about 76 days.
It took me a while to get used to driving 20 miles per hour. But I made sure that I kept below the speed limit just to make sure I did not get a ticket. Now let me explain why the speed difference was so difficult. Here in South Africa, the speed limit in our towns is 60 Kilometers per hour which equals around 37 miles per hour. The most confusing part while driving is you get a sign that says 40 Miles per hour, then about 2 meters after that, it is either 30 or 20 miles per hour. For someone who is driving in Scotland for the first time, it is very nerve-wracking, but by the end of the day, I figured out the pattern…
In our rental car, we had a Tom Tom, and oh my word, did it frustrate the living daylights out of me. First, when I typed in a castle name or Church name, it kept saying not found. Before we came to Scotland, I mapped out our tour in Google Maps and saved it to my phone. All the places on our list were on google maps, but for some reason, I could not find it on the Tom Tom, not even when I typed in Street addresses. So, when I saw that some streets have more than one name, it started to make sense. I switched to google maps on my phone and only used the Tom Tom as a guide to the flow of the road ahead.
After exploring, we remembered the sign at the church that offered Tea, coffee, and home baking. Dad and I decided we still had time for a nice cup of tea before leaving for our next stop.
We were welcomed with open arms and felt right at home. We sat down at a table, and it was not even a few seconds when the first man came to greet us. He and Dad hit it off and talked about Scotland and South Africa. He was a retired doctor and came to visit a few times here in South Africa around 15 years back. Dad explained to him how everything has changed and that nowadays, one can’t just go out at night and walk as one pleases; it is too dangerous.
While Dad and the retired doctor talked, I excused myself and took photos of the church’s beautiful windows.
Thank you for reading my post, and I truly hope you enjoyed the photos. Our next stop is Dalgety Bay.