A Charming Afternoon in Culross, Fife

Culross, Dunfermline KY12, UK

Culross (pronounced Coo-riss) is little Scottish village located in Fife. With cobbled lanes, quaint houses, and even a palace, it's little wonder that Culross is considered one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland - or that it's so often used as a film and television location (*cough* Outlander *cough*). Having spent most of my youth in Fife, I'm honestly surprised it's taken me this long to visit it! So, when one of my dearest friends, Kate, suggested we take a drive to visit it, I was beyond excited. Here's what we got up to.

Armed with my trusty Sony a6000, my phone, and my grandma's old film camera, we set off to explore (and photograph) all that Culross had to offer! Having been there many times, Kate was an amazing guide. We started off by walking out onto an old (rather rickety but certainly authentic) pier that looked out over the Firth of Forth. If it wasn't for the scar on the landscape that is Grangemouth Refinery, I could easily picture myself in an old Enid Blyton novel! Since the weather was looking slightly ominous, we swiftly proceeded to explore the village.

So far, Culross vaguely reminded me of a mix of North Berwick and St Andrews, with its pastel coloured homes and cobbled lanes. We soon reached a stunning orange-coloured limewash building with terracotta roofs, which Kate informed me was Culross Palace. Built by wealthy coal merchant George Bruce in the late 16th century, it is in fact not a palace but a grand and impressive house. Unfortunately for us, the Palace is only open between March-September.

Soon we came upon the village centre, where the Mercat Cross stands. Unfortunately, there was a fair amount of construction so I made a mental note to revisit during the summer to take more photos and also to visit the Palace. There was a fairly steep path that snaked upward with a sign informing us that it led to Culross Abbey. Kate admitted she had never been and was eager to see what it was like. As we walked, we noticed many of the homes had signs like "Coachman's Cottage" which hinted to who were the original tenants of the home.

I'd highly recommend the steep climb as we were rewarded with fabulous views of Culross from the top! After snapping a few photos, we wandered into the Abbey grounds (Culross Abbey is free to visit) and discovered that despite the church being intact there were also old ruins too. The monastery dates back to the 1200s and was once home to a community of monks and lay brothers. Nowadays, it's in the care of Historic Scotland. I think they've done a great job at retaining what was once there and providing visitors with interesting information and illustrations of what it once looked like. I enjoyed having the freedom to roam around and especially liked climbing up the ladder to have a look at one of the old rooms!

We finished our day by enjoying a hearty lunch at Bessie's Cafe (part of Culross Palace). Originally, Kate had wanted to take me to Biscuit cafe but unfortunately, they were closed for a holiday or refurbishment, as was their cute Pottery and Gallery shop. However, I thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Bessie's Cafe, we both had their soup of the day, a hearty bowl of spicy lentil. Plus, their staff were very friendly and the cafe was extremely cosy - which we were very grateful for as it was a chilly day!

That brings our visit to a close, if you haven't visited, I would highly recommend it!

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