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A Seaside Walk at Seafield, Kirkcaldy

In June we took a walk along the seashore of the Firth of Forth from Kirkcaldy towards Seafield Tower. There’s always some wildlife around.

This cormorant was sunning itself against the background of old sea wall blocks:-

cormorant , Seafield, Kirkcaldy, Firth of Forth, Fife

Panorama of rocks and seals:-

Seals at Seafield Kirkcaldy

Basking seals:-

seals, Firth of Forth, Kirkcaldy, Seafield

On the way back the tide had come in a bit:-

Seals Perched on Rocks near Kirkcaldy

More Seals at Seafield

“Do not disturb” sign. It’s a bit sad that there is felt to be a need to put up a sign like this:-

Do not disturb seals, Seafield, Kirkcaldy


Video of Seals Seals at Seafield, Kirkcaldy

On this video you can hear the seals’ howls:-

Seals Wailing, Seafield, Kirkcaldy

Views from Mount Fløyen, Bergen

View of Bergen from Mount Fløyen

View of Bergen

Bergen from Mount Fløyen

This one shows the ship we were travelling on (extreme right):-

View of ships at Bergen

Close up on lake with fountain:-

Lake with Fountain, Bergen from Mount Fløyen

A road bridge in central Bergen from Mount Fløyen:-

Bridge in Bergen from Mount Fløyen

Part of Bergen with sea inlets beyond:-

View of Part of Bergen from Mount Fløyen

A distant suspension bridge (photo is fuzzy due to zoom function.) Due to its sovereign wealth fund – a legacy of the oil boom – Norway is festooned with infrastructure like this:-

A Distant Suspension Bridge from Mount Fløyen, Bergen


On the way back up from Northeast England last June we took a trip over the causeway (having looked up the tide-tables beforehand) to Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, a place I’d always wanted to visit but somehow had never seemed to find the time before.

It’s an odd experience driving over the causeway – it feels quite long – but the trip was worth it. There was more to Lindisfarne than I’d imagined. Not just the castle and Priory.

Lindisfarne Castle from Approach Road:-

Lindisfarne Castle from Village

Closer view:-

Lindisfarne Castle

From the road there’s a good view over the sea to Bamburgh Castle:-

Bamburgh Castle

I thought the objects in the next photo were a bit odd, but obviously with some age to them. Only when I got home and looked them up did I find they were Guile Point obelisks and lighthouse. (When lined up the obelisks indicate the safe channel into Lindisfarne harbour.) As seen from Lindisfarne:-

Obelisks and Lighthouse from Lindisfarne

They can be seen again in the background here beyond Lindisfarne’s foreshore with these wooden stumps:-

Stumps on foreshore, Lindisfarne

There is a small village on the island (where lie the remains of Lindisfarne Priory) and a harbour.

Lindisfarne Harbour, Village and Priory from road to Castle:-

Lindisfarne Harbour, Village and Priory from Road to Castle

Isle of Whithorn

Isle of Whithorn is not to be confused with Whithorn. It is about three miles further south and is one of the most southerly villages in Scotland. The locals refer to it simply as, “the Isle.” It is said to be the place at which St Ninian first made landfall in Scotland.

Harbour. This is where the Drummullin Burn enters the Solway Firth:-

Isle of Whithorn Harbour

A chapel dedicated to St Ninian was erected here in the 13th century. Its ruins lie very close to the sea.

St Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn

Interior, St Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn,

St Ninian's Chapel Interior, Isle of Whithorn,

External wall,m St Ninian's Chapel, Isle of Whithorn

The village has a War Memorial to the right of the road entering it. A Celtic Cross on a square plinth. Great War names here:-

Isle of Whithorn War Memorial

Dedications, ‘In honour of the men from the village and district who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. “Lest We Forget.” 1939-1945,’ and World War 2 names:-

Dedications, Isle of Whithorn War Memorial

Edited to add: I meant to say above that the Isle was where part of the cult horror film The Wicker Man was filmed.

Blackpool Art Deco (ii) Seaside Wall

Art Deco styling on Blackpool sea wall. Pillar, and fencing:-

Seaside Pillar, Blackpool

From shore side:-

Sea Wall Pillar, Blackpool

HMS Queen Elizabeth and Isle of May

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier. (That’s the one there’s not enough money to fit out with any aircraft.)

She sailed out from her fitting out at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth for her sea trials in June 2017. We happened to be in Cellardyke, Fife that day and caught a glimpse of her near the Isle of May.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (yacht in front) and the Isle of May from Cellardyke Harbour:-

HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Isle of May

HMS Queen Elizabeth and Isle of May closer view:-

HMS Elizabeth and Isle of May

HMS Queen Elizabeth closer view:-

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Isle of May:-

Isle of May, Firth of Forth

HMS Queen Elizabeth and another ship:-

HMS Queen Elizabeth on Sea Trials

John O’Groats

Not quite the farthest northeast point of the British mainland (see previous post) John O’Groats is, though, the furthest northeast settlement in Scotland.

There’s almost nothing there though, which does mean it’s thankfully mostly unspoiled.

Well, a small harbour, from which there are boat trips (foot passengers only) to the island of Stroma, and I think Orkney:-

Harbour, John  O' Groats

A hotel:-

Hotel, John  O' Groats

The signpost – very difficult to photograph without a body in the way – though they don’t all wear silly hats:-

Signpost, John  O' Groats

This view inland also shows in the background the shop at the site:-

Inland View, Signpost, John  O' Groats

There’s also a sculpture with three intersecting curved metal strips to represent the local nomadic boulders the information board shown below explains. There were children playing on it though so I didn’t photograph the sculpture itself:-

Nomadic Boulders Information Board, John  O' Groats

Duncansby Head

Before heading back south from Thurso I’m nipping back to Duncansby Head, the northeasternmost tip of Scotland (and the UK) which is not, as most people might think, John O’Groats. Duncansby Head is a few miles eastward along a one-track road.

As we had factored in possible traffic delays we had an hour or so’s grace before the ferry to Orkney and so took in the Head.

Duncansby Head, Caithness

Cliffs and an inlet:-

Duncansby Head Cliffs

The cliffs are home to lots of seabirds:-

Birds at  Duncansby Head

As you might expect there’s a lighthouse at the land’s end:-

Duncansby Head Lighthouse

Just to the south of the head are these rocks sticking up out of the sea. They’re known as the Duncansby Stacks:-

Duncansby Stacks

On the way across to Orkney on the ferry I took this photo of Duncansby Head from ten or so miles away in the Pentland Firth:-

Duncansby Head from Pentland Firth

Dunnet Head and Lighthouse

Dunnet Head is the northernmost point of the Scottish mainland and hence of Britain.

Dunnet Head from distance, from a side road off the A 836:-

Dunnet Head From Distance

Cliffs at Dunnet Head:-

Cliffs at Dunnet Head

Lighthouse, Dunnet Head:-

Lighthouse, Dunnet Head

Dunnet Head Lighthouse Foghorn, island of Hoy in background:-

Dunnet Head Lighthouse Foghorn

Lighthouse and foghorn:-

Lighthouse and Foghorn, Dunnet Head

Lighthouse Information Board:-

Lighthouse Information Board, Dunnet Head

Lighthouse and Pentland Firth:-

Dunnet Head Lighthouse

Cliffs again:-

Dunnet Head Cliffs

Hoy from Dunnet Head:-

Hoy from Dunnet Head

Pentland Firth and Hoy from Dunnet Head:-

Pentland Firth and Hoy from Dunnet Head

The Old Man of Hoy is just visible in this zoom (and in the previous photo if you squint a bit):-

Hoy and Old Man of Hoy from Dunnet Head

Archæology on the Brough of Birsay

The Brough of Birsay is an island just off the north-east coast of mainland Orkney. I blogged here about the causeway you have to cross to access the island.

It is also home to some archæological remains (as well as a Stevenson lighthouse which we didn’t visit.) The weather was fine when we walked across the causeway to the island but while we were there it started to rain and the wind was so strong the rain was coming in horizontally, so discretion prevailed over perseverance. Even so by the time we got back to the car we were thoroughly drookit.

There was some nice geology just where the path from the causeway meets the brough proper.

Rocks, Brough of Birsay, Orkney

The archæology on the brough comes from three distinct eras. First there was some Pictish occupancy. However this Pictish symbol stone is a replica, unfortunately. (Though there was such a stone found on the brough.)

Pictish Symbol Stone, Brough of Birsay

There is a better photograph of the symbol stone on Historic Scotland’s Birsay webpage if you click through the pictures.

As the information board says there was later Norse – in two phases – and ecclesiastical building on the island.

Brough of Birsay Information Board

Remains of Norse houses:-

Remains of Norse Houses, Brough of Birsay

A later Norse house:-

Norse House, Brough of Birsay

Another later Norse house:-

Later Norse House, Brough of Birsay

Birsay may have been the home of Thorfinn the Mighty.

Brough of Birsay, Norse Houses, Information Board

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