The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

The cloud base was havering around fifteen hundred feet when I set out for Hill of Tarvit. I had journeyed all the way out on the A 91 as far as Cupar then a short spell on the A914 before turning onto the A916 and the long steep climb all the way up to Hill of Tarvit. At something close to 2000 meters. The cloud had lifted a bit but you could not see the summit, so no point in climbing up there today, unless all you wanted to do was say you had been there. I had arrived at the entrance at 10 minutes after 11 o’clock according to my new Garmin Edge Explore GPS, which according to the instructions, it should have given me an altitude reading, but since I am still not sure how to work it, it didn’t.

At the door of the house I rang the bell and when a lady appeared I told her who I was and that I had booked a visit in online.

“But we are closed today” she told me.

The second question I asked sealed my fate,

“Is Kelly Castle open today, do you know?” the answer was yes it is.

“Would you do me a kindness and check whether I am booked in for a visit here tomorrow?” off she went and on her return, confirmed that I was at 12 o’clock.

Drat and double drat, I had mixed the two-places, I should have been at Kelly Castle today and Hill of Tarvit tomorrow.

However the day was not a total loss for I was able to visit the grounds, which are extensive. I met with the gardener on my perambulation of the gardens, he told me he was in a gang of one but did say that he gets help from the gardeners at Kelly Castle and in the summer months they have students volunteering.

The strong smell of summer flowers was overpowering

The first thing you notice is the mature trees they are huge.

I then went on to visit the laundry,

it was locked up but looking through the window you could see the tables and irons (that would have had to be heated) and the clothes drying cabinet for when clothes could not be hung outside. If anything freed women from the drudgery of wash day, that something must be the modern automatic washing machine.

Then onto the stables,

And on my way back to my bike, a well with beautiful ornamental blacksmith work to hold the pulley block.

Wishing Well
The house as seen from the tennis lawn
Cat in Residence
The house looks gorgeous from any angle.

Homeward bound, in Ceres, rather than drop straight down to Pitscottie, I climbed all the way up to Baldinnie before the long weeeeeeeeeeeee, all the way down into Pitscottie, for no outer reason than just a bit of fun. Then home on the B393, which was into a headwind all the way, the weather forecast said 8 mph but on tired legs if felt like double that.

I plugged the computer into my laptop when I returned home to re-charge the battery and it said I had done 27.8 miles and climbed 1427.5 ft which I would guess to be about right. Tomorrow I will do it all again, this time to see inside the house, and I know it will be open to me this time around.

Keep safe.  

2 thoughts on “Hill of Tarvit (Gardens).

  1. Margaret Lear says:

    Hope it’s drier for the return trip than it is in Perthshire today!

    Like

  2. Like Camalot – the rain is only allowed to fall during the night in St Andrews. The rain has passed overnight but I will be taking my cycle cape with me, well wouldn’t want to trail into other people’s homes like a drowned cat. “Look at the mess you’re making of my clean floor” Ops Sorry.

    Like

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