Updated: May 30
As is alluded to in the title, we have a busy few months ahead in Iona, and it all 'kicks off' on the 10th of June (watch this space!) So, in the meantime, we decided to squeeze a wee six or seven days into our schedule.
But where to go? The perennial question as we sat in Iona on the driveway! The decision was 'turn right', which meant heading north, and we were soon driving through the fabulously luscious countryside of Stirlingshire on a beautiful late afternoon in early summer. We made our way up and over the fantastic Duke's Pass between Aberfoyle and Loch Katrine, which supplies our home town of Glasgow with its fresh water, and where my ancestor Rob Roy McGregor was born, and drove on to Brig o' Turk where we stopped at the Byre Inn. We checked with the Inn's proprietor, Jason, who told us to find a parking spot in the small car park and come in for a wee swally and a meal. So, after setting Iona up for the night, we found a seat in the dying evening sun, where we enjoyed a few beers and a couple of freshly made, wood-burner-cooked pizzas!
And so, after our night at the Byre, we headed into Callandar, where we offloaded the bikes and enjoyed an exhilarating 20-mile cycle to Strathyre and back before moving on to Craigtoun Meadows campsite near St Andrews. As an aside, one of the realities of life on the road is the variability of internet connections, which can hamper our ability to update our blogs and website regularly; however, we hope this is not an issue!
On our first day at the campsite, we decided to walk into St Andrews along part of the Fife Pilgrim Way, which took about 40 minutes and led us through some lovely woodland park areas of the town. Coincidentally, the route also took us past a housing development I was involved in during my working life as an Architect, so we detoured and wandered around the 'estate', which has 'bedded' in well. Being a Friday night, St Andrews was busy and vibrant, and the weather was great, which made our visit enjoyable.
We took the bus to St Andrews on Saturday. We wandered about parts we missed the day before, taking in the Royal and Ancient (under renovation), the Old Course, the magnificent older buildings of the University, the Castle and Cathedral remains, and of course, a couple of local pubs, before catching the bus back to the campsite!
Sunday saw us moving around the coast to a farm field between Crail and Cellardyke, where we had arranged to stop over for the next two nights. The campsite was well placed for walks into both towns, and we visited Cellardyke and Anstruther on Sunday, where we finished our trip with a visit to the local Indian Restaurant, Eastern Touch. Then on Monday, we walked to Crail along the Fife Coastal path, and during the walk, we saw a sizeable dead creature (a baby whale?) with a seal in its mouth washed up on the rocks. Bizzare!
The rest of our visit to Crail was peaceful as the town was quiet, despite being a Bank Holiday, and we rounded it off with a drink in the Golf Hotel's beer garden in the late afternoon sunshine. Once back at the campsite, we sat out of the breeze at the back of Iona and enjoyed the 'dying embers' of the day over a glass of cold white wine, bliss.
And so ends our latest trip in Iona, and we really enjoyed our visit to the Kingdom of Fife, and not a midge in sight!
Click the link for our route: