Falkland Fife has a population of just over 1100 and is Scotland’s first conservation village. In 1300AD, the village was called Parish of Kilgour. When I first heard the name it rang a bell, and after searching the net, I found that Mark Kilgour is a character in the Henderson’s boys novel series by Robert Muchamore. I wonder if Falkland is where he got the name?
James IV constructed Falkland palace in 1500 in French Renaissance to accommodate the royal court, which hunted in the near Lomond Hills. We spotted horses and cows in pasture, grazing under a blanket of mist hanging on the hills above.
To no ones surprise, Mary, Queen of Scots frequented here. The very charming location is so lush green, surrounded by rolling countryside, and is perfect for a relaxing walk.
Falkland was granted royal burgh status in the 15th century.
Now a town, Falkland is enchanting. With a modest bakery serving Scotch pies, a wee post office, a few stores on the main street and a haunted hotel that doubles as a restaurant: Falkland is a trip back in time.
We drove through town to a park area to which locals call, The Hidden Place. A delightful house in the middle surrounded by a vibrant green forest. Perhaps once a witches’ to lure Hansel and Gretel?
We discovered The Palace Pantry and gorged ourselves on steak pies and sausage rolls. I ended up buying twelve extra to take home to Capestang France in my Ryanair carry-on bag.
No vacation to Scotland is complete without meeting a Scottie dog. Does every town have their token canine leashed up to their bakery? I think so.
We decided to enter The Covenanter Hotel – coffee shop & restaurant, the charming 17th-century coaching inn turned modern, for a cuppa before my sister and her husband drop Angelina and I off at the airport in Edinburgh.
The covenanters’ were the Scottish people who signed the National Covenant in 1638 to confirm their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. (Or so the brochure says)
My sister told us the story of the haunted hotel. Guests claim a floating female figure thought to be the unhappy spirit of Mary Queen of Scots visited their room. Mary did live in the nearby Falkland Palace for a time, so the story pans out. I’m not sold on the existence of ghosts.
The interior had a strange old museum smell and the décor was renovated and pretty, nothing like I expected from the exterior of the building. We ordered our drinks and I took Angelina to the Lou. Once we found the bathroom, I decided to go into one stall and her into another. No sooner did we sit down; we heard a knock on our door.
Angelina said, ‘I’m in here.’ Then it happened again. Knock, knock, knock, so very faint, you could barely hear it.
‘Busy, just a moment.’ Then again. Knock, knock, knock.
I said Angelina stop messing around, are you knocking on my door?
‘No!’ Then there was a scratching sound, like long nails scrapping the door.
‘Who’s there?’ Then I got scared.
‘Angelina’, I whispered, ‘Let’s hurry up and get out of here!’
‘Okay…’ She said nervously.
Then my sister started to laugh!
Brat! Some things never change…
Falklands Palace is essential site to visit when you are in Fife, Scotland.