Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Culross Palace, Fife, Scotland.

This evening, I am providing information on Culross in Fife, a colourful and enchanting small town dating back to the 17th century and now under management of heritage organisation, The National Trust for Scotland.

Culross, Fife, Scotland

The name is derived from cuileann, a Gaelic word for holly.

Location is about twenty-three miles N.W. of Edinburgh on the north bank of the Firth of Forth, an estuary or bay.

Culross is characterised by red-tiled (pantile) roofed houses which line the cobbled streets.

Culross domestic architecture.

Narrow, cobbled street at Culross, Fife.

At Culross there are some twenty buildings owned by the Trust noteworthy of which are:

  • The impressive Palace. This features high quality, painted woodwork, barrel-vaulted ceilings and an interior virtually unchanged since the 17th century.

Culross Palace Garden

  • A ruined abbey dating back to the 13th. century.

Culross Abbey, Scotland.

The local wealth was derived from coal mining and salt extraction.

A fascinating site at any time.  Views of the Firth of Forth (waterfront)  adds an extra dimension.

Video clip of Culross.

Punting on the Cam at Cambridge.

This evening, I am posting information on the famous university city of Cambridge, England.

Key information:

  • Population of about 124,000.
  • Home to thirty-one university colleges and is located on the banks of the River Cam.
  • The City has connections with many famous people, is well endowed with museums, theatres and art galleries and is conveniently situated about sixty miles (96 km) north of London in East Anglia.

King’s College Sundial at Cambridge

Punting on the Cam at Cambridge, England.

Cambridge Street Scene.

More information:

  • History: In Roman times there was a settlement named Duroliponte. By the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086 the name was Cantebrigie or ‘Bridge on the River Granta’. Due to Norman influences, the river name was changed to Cam.
  • University: There are thirty-one colleges affiliated to Cambridge University many of which were established in medieval times with the oldest established in the late 13th century. These colleges are: Christ’s College, Churchill College, Clare College, Clare Hall, Corpus Christie, Darwin College, Downing College, Emmanuel College, Fitzwilliam College, Girton College, Gonville and Caius College, Homerton College, Hughes Hall, Jesus College, King’s College, Lucy Cavendish College, Magdelene College, Murray Edwards College, Newnham College, Pembroke College, Peterhouse ( est. 1284), Queen’s College, Robinson College, St. Catharine’s College, St. Edmund’s College, St. John’s College, Selwyn College, Sidney Sussex College, Trinity College, Trinity Hall and Wolfson College.  Cambridge University has produced about eighty five Nobel Prize winners.
  • Famous People: Past students/graduates include: Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Drake, Thomas Cranmer, John Harvard, Robert Malthus, Maynard Keynes, Sir Frank Whittle, William Wordsworth, William Wilberforce, Oliver Cromwell, Ernest Rutherford, J.B. Priestly, Stephen Hawking. James D. Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953 at Cambridge’s Medical Research Council.
  • Museums and Art Galleries: Cambridge is well endowed with these facilities which include: Whipple Museum (science), Sedgwick Museum of Geology, Cambridge and County Folk Museum, Museum of Classical Archaeology, University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Museum of Zoology, Scott Polar Research Institute, Fitzwilliam Museum (antiquities, paintings, etc.), Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs, Wren Library and Kettles Yard ( paintings, sculpture, etc.).
  • Entertainment:  A wide array of facilities which include: Arts Theatre ( drama, opera, ballet, etc.), ADC Theatre (amateur drama), Mumford Theatre (theatre, dance and films), Vue Cinemas, Corn Exchange (mixed entertainment programme), The Junction ( bands and cabaret), Cambridge Arts Picture House, and Cineworld.
  • Botanic Garden: Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Bridge of Sighs, Edinburgh.

Mathematical Bridge, Cambridge.

King’s College, Cambridge

Punting past the colleges at Cambridge, England.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Entrance to King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

Principal options for visitors are as follows:

  • Guided walking tours.
  • Open-top Tour Bus
  • Punts on the River.

Torry Bay, Fife, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on today’s small group hike which covered a 10km route in the east of Scotland, from Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline to the heritage village of Culross, close to the Firth of Forth (a bay).

Terrain underfoot was wet and muddy as a function of recent rains. The group encountered heritage architecture at Culross, coastal views, snowdrops and other Spring flowers, woodlands, snow-capped hills and streams in full spate.

Spring snowdrops

Burn (stream) in full spate.

Tree shapes, Fife, Scotland

Woodland walking trail

Spring flowers, Fife, Scotland

Snow-capped Ochills, Scotland

Culross architecture, Fife, Scotland

Firth of Forth, Scotland

Mercat Cross, Culross, Fife, Scotland

Culross architecture, Fife, Scotland