Early Road Trips

As we look back over our photos from this year, we realize that there were several experiences from early last fall that we never recorded permanently here on our little web diary.  We’re sharing them now for a few reasons.  We want to preserve the memories, of course, but we also have some family coming to visit in the next few months, and perhaps some of them will want to go and see some of these same sights.

Hill of Tarvit

Our first road trip was to the Hill of Tarvit Mansion and Garden.  One of the most memorable things about it is that it was one of the first times we rented an e-car (perhaps even the first) and thus was also our first experience driving on the wrong side of the road (and of the car).  Wider roads would have been easier to learn on, but we’re sort of out in the country here, so we dipped our tire in the ditch a few times but got where we needed to go.

The hill is a modern mansion built on the site of a 17th century house and has extensive, beautiful grounds.  It’s maintained by the National Trust for Scotland, so anyone can go and see it.  (If you join the National Trust, it’s free to go.)  It was less than a half-hour drive from St Andrews.

View of the home from the grounds
View of the Hill of Tarvit Garden
The grounds also include an extensive golf course with putting and chipping practice areas
You are allowed to use the game room, including this full-size billiards table
They also loan lawn games to visitors, no matter how dumb they look

Kellie Castle

We also visited Kellie Castle, parts of which were built in the 14th century, but which has been updated since then.  This was the closest of the historic homes we visited, just about 20 minutes from our home in St Andrews.

Kellie Castle

One of the interesting things about the castle is its garden, from which they sell the produce extremely cheaply.

Part of the castle gardens
Inexpensive produce. Unless you want carrots. Or cabbage.
Choosing her produce

Falkland Palace

The final of the nearby historical places we visited was Falkland Palace, renovated by Stuarts in the 16th century and loved by Mary Queen of Scots.  It has tapestries, its own chapel, extensive grounds with a willow labyrinth, and one of the country’s first tennis courts.

We took these people with us to the palace. They did not enjoy the small back seat of the electric car nearly as much as this happiness might suggest.
Palace grounds
View from the gardens
Garden sculpture
The kids enjoyed visiting the hands-on apothecary in the palace basement
They fed me whatever this was and I remembered nothing more.
And you can play giant-sized chess.
If you want to follow:


  1. Nana | | Reply

    Thanks for adding these reports for us to enjoy. The photos are terrific, almost as good as being there.

  2. Karen O | | Reply

    Nathan, Lydia and Kids,
    Have to let you know (belatedly for sure) how much I have enjoyed your blog! We had a catch-up dinner with J & D in mid-February in Norwell and heard all about their visit to you over the Christmas holidays. What a fascinating year you are having! The fact that the whole family participates in your journal is an added bonus for those of us following you from the States. And the photos are great.

    Thank you for sharing!

    – Karen O

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *