Start. Bulgownie West car park.

Route. Bulgownie West car park - Village Square - Back Causeway - Mercat Cross - Tanhouse Brae - Kirk Street - Culross Abbey - West Kirk - Culross - Bulgownie West car park.

Notes. Come take a wander back in time, step with us back into the 16th century, “not possible I here you whisper, he's gone mad”, well the latter may be true but the former is possible on a visit to Culross. This 16th century time capsule grew rich of coal and salt production, the vision of one man Sir George Bruce, who built a splendid palace here. To cut a long story short after the mine flooded shortly followed by Bruce's death in 1625 the village subsequently went into decline, three hundred years of decline until the National Trust for Scotland saw potential in roofless buildings and crumbling bricks and mortar, what we see today is thanks to 70 years of sympathetic restoration.

After parking in the Belgownie West car park we wandered into the village, passed the memorial to Admiral Lord Cochrane and splendid 15th century town house, after the town house we entered the cobbled street of Back Causeway, climbing the hill passed the Mercat Cross to reach the remains of Culross Abbey, behind which stands the Abbey Church. Our route continued up hill, on leaving the village a gate allowed access to crop fields, we passed through said gate and continued along the edge of the field, after crossing a minor road we stepped into a green lane. Between ruinous walls we wandered until a finger-post invited us to West Kirk, a short walk up hill took us to this wonderful old church with it's yews, cypresses and fine old grave stones.

Visit over we re-traced our steps to the finger-post, continuing down hill on a clear path which emerged into a pleasant sunken lane with a burn running beside it, this deposited us back at the car park. Our visit was not yet over, we had some lunch to grab followed by a visit to the mustard yellow rendered Culross Palace.

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Welcoming us to Culross this barrel roofed building, I'm assuming it's an ice house.

Looking to the Town House built in 1626 with the addition of a tower constructed in 1783. The rooms on the first floor were the chambers of the town council, the lower rooms were used as a prison.

A small slice of Culross.

The cobbled surface of Back Causeway looking to Tanhouse Brae.

The narrow streets of Tanhouse Brae.

Viewing Mercat Cross.

A gap in the wall gifts the lucky visitor with views over the Firth of Forth.

Culross Abbey founded in 1217 by Malcolm earl of Fife for use by a cistercian community of monks.

From Culross Abbey views to the Abbey Church.

The Abbey Church, enter at the base of the tower.

The east window.

I'm afraid there's no escaping the structure rising above the tree line, The Longannet Power Station.

Further down the hill we have wonderful views to the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth.

West Kirk, I love wandering around old burial grounds, this on is no exception, history reaching back hundreds of years.

West Kirk also known as the Wester Kirk, the old Parish Church and St Michael's, the Parish Church of Culross abandoned in 1633.

After fighting my way through undergrowth I was able to take this shot, the Dalgleish mausoleum.

To prove how important these old green lanes used to be, this one comes with a deep drainage ditch, take care this gutter was overgrown and hidden in places.

View taken up the lane we've just walked down.

Sir George Bruce's home, Culross Palace.

Views from the Palace gardens, ever wondered why there's a Mediterranean feel to many of the buildings? not just here at Culross but all the way along the Fife Coast, ships sailed from many Scottish ports carrying goods to the Mediterranean, to avoid a rough return journey, roofing tiles were loaded as ballast.

From the small jetty at Culross views to the Longannet Power Station.

Under restoration the jetty at Culross.

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