#Scotland 2015 Day 12 – Broughty Ferry to Dunbar with Kelpies

#Scotland 2015 – Sept 22, 2015

While we were disappointed to be leaving Broughty Ferry, we were excited to be moving on to our next destination. At least this morning the sun was shining. We had hoped to be after the rush hour but no such luck. I think we were smack in the middle of it.

After being held up at a stop for petrol (the place was a zoo) because the person at the pumps ahead of us had left her car there (she was already nowhere to be seen when we pulled up) and we waited for ages for her to return and get a less than sincere ‘sorry’. But at least she pulled her car away from the pumps before going back in to get whatever else it was she was after.

Finally, we were out of heavy traffic and onto single carriageways. The scenery through here was pretty but unfortunately, the laybys with the best views were filled with lorries and and other cars already. I finally did find one but had to walk back a bit because the trees blocked the view.

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Scenery near Powmill

After getting some photographs, we moved on again but not far. We both thought the boot hadn’t closed properly so at the first opportunity, we pulled into a carpark for a church. And never being one to pass up the opportunity to wander through a graveyard, we took a brief time out for a look. I went around by the front of the church (more photo ops that direction) and Don had a look around the back.

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Blairingone Church
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Blairingone Churchyard
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Our car at the Blairingone Church

When we reached the area near our destination, “Satnav Sally” turned us in to the carpark at the Falkirk Football Stadium. Come to find out, it was overflow parking for The Kelpies. Don’t think that would happen if there was a match taking place.

We got back onto the road and the turn we wanted was at the next set of traffic lights. It cost £2.00 to park which was more than reasonable because you could spend the entire day there. If you wanted to take the tour inside one of the two giant Clydesdale heads, there was an additional fee but we only wanted to see them from the outside.

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The Kelpies

We did look inside the one that was used for the tours (head down) and it looked like you stayed on the ground level. There were no stairs visible from our vantage point. Can you imagine being able to climb up and look out one of the eyes?

I wanted to stop at two castles on the way to our hotel – The Royal Mackintosh – in Dunbar so we had to get a move on.

The further away from the kelpies we got, the cloudier and gloomier it became and before we reached the first of the two castles I wanted to visit (Dirleton), it was raining. Not super hard but hard enough to be miserable and have to keep the cameras under cover.

These two trees in the gardens at the castle remind me of the ones in the Haunted Forest in The Wizard of Oz. What do you think? They’re definitely spooky looking. And maybe being there on an overcast, rainy day made them look even spookier.

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Spooky trees in the gardens at Dirleton Castle

Coming in the direction we did from the gardens, this was the entrance to the castle we took. By the time we reached the top step, my knees were burning but I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying the views in and around the castle – upstairs and downstairs.

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The back entrance to Dirleton Castle – the way we entered
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Main entrance to Dirleton Castle

I love the stone seats in the window alcoves of this room. Even on a cool, damp day, this room didn’t feel it. But then that could have been the sweat we’d worked up with all the step climbing and walking.

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The De Vaux Castle – one of the constructions at Dirleton Castle

This section of the castle was the Haliburton’s construction. The intricate stone buffet was in the end wall of the Great Hall.

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The stone buffet at Dirleton Castle where the family silver was displayed

North Berwick Law is a massive mound visible from almost everywhere in the area because the ground is so flat… well except for it.

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North Berwick Law from Direlton Castle

By the time we reached Tantallon Castle, it was raining harder and the wind had come up. There were times when I thought my umbrella and I were going to do our best Mary Poppins impression.

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Approaching Tantallon Castle
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The cliffs at Tantallon Castle

Bass Rock is home to a huge colony of gannets. From every vantage point looking out to see here at the castle, this formation is visible.

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Bass Rock framed by the ruins of Tantallon Castle

Despite the rain, wind and slippery, wet stones we climbed up to the top and walked on the ramparts of the castle. Mind you, this would have been so much more pleasant on a sunny, dry and less windy day but, hey, it was all part of the experience.

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On the ramparts of Tantallon Castle

And remember North Berwick Law? Well, here it is again… kind of like the Price Building in Quebec City.

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North Berwick Law from the ramparts of Tantallon Castle

By now we really had to get a move on and to our hotel but we decided that on the day we left Dunbar for Kelso, if it was nice, we would come back to the castle and see it in a different light.

After checking in and getting our goods and chattels into our room, we walked down to the train station to get an idea how long a walk it was. I knew where it was from google maps and the hotel’s website said it was a short walk but a body still has to measure it themselves.

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The Royal Mackintosh Hotel in Dunbar
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Our room at the Royal Mackintosh
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Our Room at The Royal Mackintosh
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Our room at The Royal Mackintosh

When we returned from our timing of the train station walk, we had a meal in the hotel bar – a Bigger Mack. I swear the hamburg patty was two inches thick! OMG! It was delicious, juicy and cooked all the way through… but way too much. Should we have one of these on a future trip, we won’t each order one. We’ll order one and cut it in two and get an extra order of chips.

Now that we’d stuffed ourselves, we went upstairs got the cameras and went out for a walk along the high street then down to the water where we watched the tide come in before walking back up the hill to our hotel.

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Dunbar High Street
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Statue of naturalist John Muir, born in Dunbar
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By the sea at Dunbar

Tomorrow we’re off to Edinburgh for the day.

2 thoughts on “#Scotland 2015 Day 12 – Broughty Ferry to Dunbar with Kelpies”

  1. Wow. So much to comment on in just one day! The horses at Kelpes, the amazing Castle and the beautiful sunset at your final destination. So much history and beauty. Can’t wait to read and see more.

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