While the past months definitely were the weirdest and loneliest in my life, there are certain aspects that would not have happened if it was not for lockdown.
First of all, I would not have explored Dunfermline to the extent I did now. After I moved here in February I made all kind of plans, where to travel and had only seen very small parts of the town so far. When I had flat viewings I visited Pittencrieff Park but that was about it, what I had seen.
Lockdown then forced me to stay within Dunfermline. Like literally I did not leave the area where I live and the town centre for 2 months. During this time I did all kind of walks around the town. And I really fell in love with the place. There is so much history and things to discover. I know there are also parts which are not as nice and I believe also quite a high number of people who are not as lucky but overall I feel very good about living here.
Pittencrieff Park became one of my regular places to go to see all the grey squirrels and explore the Glens and getting all excited when the cherry blossoms were out.
Last month I then started to leave town by foot and walked a lot South of Dunfermline in the direction of Rosyth and Limekilns. I’ve been loving my walks through wheat fields, rapeseed fields and enjoying all the wildflowers coming out. Plus seeing loads of pheasants and rabbits in the fields, too.
I would probably never explored this area if it was not for lockdown. It made me realise though how nice the area around Dunfermline is. It is a pity though there are no proper pavements among some of the roads, so I had to actually walk through the wheat field and was basically scared I get shot by the farmer… I was very careful not to step on the crops and stay within the lanes carved in by the farming machines.
When restrictions were eased further 2 weeks ago, I started to look at places I got explore without going too far. Actually we are supposed to stay within a 5 mile radius of home at the moment. To be honest I did venture a bit further. I think I have behaved very sensibly and responsible over the past months while many have walked, cycled and driven more miles already to get out and about. However, I am trying to stay within an area where I don’t drive more than 30 minutes, which is maybe a radius of 15 miles – as of the roads here ;).
So, my first further little trip was then down to North Queensferry. I have been once before in February, just when I had moved to Dunfermline. But it was already late in the afternoon and about to get dark and freezing!!! This time I had blue sky and perfect sunshine. I made my way up along the Fife Coastal Path in the direction of Inverkeithing. The path leads along the coast line of Fife, and you could basically walk all the way from Kincardine to Newburgh. The section from North Queensferry leads through Carlingnose Point – a wildlife reserve. You have an excellent view on the bridge and further down the path you get to a rocky beach where you can see all across the Forth to Edinburgh and the coastline of Fife. At some point I want to have walked all sections of the Fife Coastal Path – but not in one go :D.
My next further afield trip was to Glendevon. Glendevon is a glen in Perthshire actually which leads to Auchterarder, where the famous Gleneagles Hotel is located. I parked at the Castlehill Reservoir which is the water supply for Fife. I then walked up a woodland walk path up to Glenquey Reservoir. I was so happy to finally be surrounded by hills again. It is not the highlands but at least some kind of Scotland feeling again.
On my way back I stopped at Dollar because I wanted to check how you get to Castle Campbell. But I was too confused by the road closure up to the castle and had not checked out the walk through the Dollar Glen to get to the Castle, so I left it for the next day. Especially since it was already late in the afternoon, or actually evening already.
So on Sunday last week I drove to Dollar again and made my way through the Glen up and around Castle Campbell. It is a beautiful walk at the moment! Everything is so green! The whole place smelled of wild garlic and I basically felt like in some fairytale woods. I figured out you can actually walk all the way through the Glen starting in the town centre but I drove to a car park further up in town.
It was quite a tiring walk to be honest, as a lot of steep sections, steps and then steep down again. But you have beautiful views on the Castle at the top and it must look amazing in autumn, too. So I know I will certainly be back. I walked around the Castle and then down the path on the other side of the Glen but oh my God…. I was lucky to be still alive… The path is super narrow and steep an not much opportunity to hold onto something. Not sure that was one of my best ideas but hey, I am still here… I tried to be super careful as well and walked very slowly.
My legs were killing me when I was back at the car and I was in pain on Monday… Sitting mostly on my bum for the past 3 months, hill walking is definitely not as easy anymore.
So in summary, I am quite glad I discovered all the places now and look forward to explore more while we are still restricted to stay locally. However, I am also longing to go to the West Coast and the Highlands again soon…