Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 17/August/2002
From: St Andrews
Via: Falkland
To: Carronbridge
Miles: 80
Midges: 500 (Estimate)
Weather: Hazy sunshine
Mood: Good

Picture of the 18th holeBreakfast in St Andrews was an interesting experience as the restaurant of Rusacks Hotel overlooks the 18th green of the Old Course (Rusacks Hotel is the higher building in the centre of the picture), I even managed to find a table at the window. I spent the morning in St Andrew, waiting for the tourist office to book a bed ahead for the evening, getting a haircut and watching golf for a while.

Picture of Falkland PalacePicture of herbaceous bordersMy first stop on the way to Stirling was in Falkland, where I visited Falkland Palace. Falkland Palace was a royal residence for a long time until it was abandoned for a while after the Jacobite uprising. It was abandoned until the late 19th century when the Marquess of Bute acquired and restored it. Some of the rooms can be visited, unfortunately there weren't any guided tours when I visited.Picture of the gardens Falkland Palace also has one of the last remaining courts for Royal Tennis (different to lawn tennis), unfortunately it was impossible to take a picture due to the way the court is built. The gardens are quite nice with colourful herbaceous borders along the walls. From Falkland I continued along the A91 towards Stirling and decided to stop at Loch Leven near Kinross.Picture of Loch Leven with the castle When I arrived at Loch Leven I found out that there is a castle on an island, accessible by a small ferry. I decided to have a little boat trip and made the crossing to the castle,Picture of the ferry which takes about 10min. Apart from the tower and the outside walls there is not very much left of the castle. Its claim to fame is that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here for 11 months in 1567-1568. It is believed that she stayed in the Glassin TowerPicture of the Glassin Tower for at least some of the time. She miscarried while being on the island, possibly due to the stress of the isolation.Picture of Loch Leven Castle She managed to escape with the help of the son of Lady Douglas, who rowed her to land after stealing the keys to the castle.

Picture of CarronbridgePicture of the Carronbridge HotelStirling was extremely busy, partly due to overflow from the Edinburgh Festival, so the tourist office couldn't find any accomodation in Stirling for me. Instead they had to go to the outskirts and found a room at the Carronbridge Hotel near Denny for me.

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