Last weekend we met up with John and Diana in St Andrews for a gentle winter’s afternoon walk. We chose the Lade Braes, which is a well known walk in the town. The walk follows the Kinness burn which flows from near Strathkinness down into St Andrews where it reaches the North Sea at the harbour. There used to be mills by the river with their lades, hence the name for the walk, most of which is through traditional woodland. It was a glorious sunny afternoon for our walk and the sides of the burn were covered in early spring flowers, in particualr, snowdrops, crocuses and eranthis. Here are some examples below.
At the furthest point of the walk away from the town there is a beautiful stone doocot standing in its own grounds. It dates from the 1600s, but is no longer in use. The openings for the pigeons have been blocked up as they could not find someone to clear up the mess left by the pigeons and the nearby residents complained of the smell and the mess. The two circles of jutting out ridges are there to prevent rats from climbing up the wall and sneaking inside and stealing the eggs. Below are two views of the doocot.
You can return to the town by following the other side of the burn for part of the way and this takes you across Hallow Hill, which was a holy burial site in Pictish times. The remains of some of the shallow graves can be seen. This was the site of the murder in Val McDermid’s novel The Distant Echo. Below is a photo of the graves and part of the information plaque.