Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Vistor’s Guide to Falkland

Falkland is a small village nestled between the Lomond hills in North East Fife and whether you are visiting for just one day or more there is so much to be enjoyed within the village and its surrounding countryside. Steeped in history the village holds the honor of being a Royal Burgh and is home to the beautiful Renaissance period Falkland Palace, when strolling through the cobbled, winding streets you will see the memory of this prestigious past etched into every building. If you are looking for a genuine experience of a small Scottish village you will struggle to find better than Falkland, where the local community prides itself on retaining a strong sense of identity. So read on and find out a little more about the exciting delights that Falkland has in store for you!

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The Red Squirrel Trail

Here in Falkland we are surrounded by nature. When walking on this pleasant trail, located only a short five minute walk from the village, you will be surrounded by the peaceful sound of birdsong echoing through the trees. You might catch a glimpse of the eponymous red squirrel or its grey cousin, or even sight one of the many deer families that roam the estate.

Within the boundaries of the Falkland Estate the squirrel trail is maintained by the Falkland Centre for Stewardship. By following the rubbing markers you can find out about the story of the red squirrels that reside within the woods. A collaboration between the Centre and local residents this trail is not only a pleasant walk but an education on the plight of the Red Squirrel in Scotland as it faces the challenge of competition from its grey cousin.IMG_3265
Maspie DenIMG_3282
A favourite of Falkland this hidden gem is a must see when visiting the village. The trail begins a short distance from the village within the grounds of the Falkland Estate. From here you follow the signposted path through tunnels and a winding trail that hugs the river all the way up the gorge where you will be treated to many delightful sights, accompanied all the while by the soothing sound of trickling water. At the end of this somewhat testing walk you will reach a spot of particular beauty. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but we can assure you it is well worth the trek!
Maspie Den

Trails, Trails and more Trails!East Lomond
Whether you like a short stroll or a tougher trek we have it all here at Falkland! You can set off from the village and follow the many paths through wonderfully peaceful forest or pack your wind proofs and waterproofs (this is Scotland after all) and tackle East or West Lomond. You could walk for days and still not cover all the trails we have here!


A slightly snowy Falkland Hill

Coffee & Crafts
After all the exertion of a day’s walking there is nothing better than a nice cup of coffee to relax with and in the village there are many places to choose from to sit back and enjoy a wee treat or two. Along with our cosy cafes  and  we have a thriving community of craft and gift shops where you can pick up a little memento or gift for that special someone. Here in Falkland our shops pride themselves on their individuality and you won’t find two of same things. Whether you are looking for locally crafted goods or just a postcard the gift shops in Falkland will be able to cater to your needs.

Places to Eat and Stay
For such a small place Falkland is home to a fine selection of places to eat, drink and relax. From quality pub food to something a little more adventurous there is a little to suit the tastes of everyone. We can assure you that you won’t go hungry on your visit to Falkland! There is also a hotel, a self catering apartments and a holiday flat for you to stay in if you find that one day is not enough!

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Falkland Palace & Gardens
No list of our charming hometown would be complete without a mention of the Palace and Gardens. The current building was constructed between 1501 and 1540 by the Scottish Kings James IV and his son James V who both frequented Falkland regularly, the latter being laid to rest here in 1542. The Palace is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture that you will find in Scotland. Restored and looked after by the National Trust for Scotland in 1954 the building retains plenty of its historic splendour for you to enjoy. You can learn all about the history of the building on a self-guided tour of the interior and afterwards relax with a stroll through the expansive gardens where you will find much of interest. For instance we can boast to be the proud home of the oldest tennis court in Britain!

Throughout the course of the year we also have a great range of events from Easter to Christmas and everything in between! You can find out more about all the fun goings on we have in store here.


Maintaining the Orchard

Work around the palace never ends, especially for our resident gardeners who are always kept busy none more so than in the Orchard. Our apple trees require a lot of maintenance throughout the year to keep them nice and in order. It’s necessary to ‘train’ the trees by applying ropes to the branches so that they grow to our gardener’s desires.

A fledgling's growth  being 'trained'

                  A fledgling’s growth being ‘trained’

The fruit that we harvest from our orchard is used in our annual Autumn fruit pressing events. We work to produce our own apple juice and invite local school children along to learn about this exciting process. It’s delightful work with a tasty and fresh drink at the end.

Collecting apples for our pressing workshop

Collecting apples for our pressing workshop

All of this hard work goes towards maintaining our Orchard in its beautiful state to be enjoyed by our visitors every year especially during the Summer time when our flowers come in to full bloom.


                         The Orchard basking in the Summer sun

Stained Glass Window Conservation Begins

Our Year of Conservation is well under way. First up are our beautiful stained glass windows. The process of removing the panels began this week. It’s a delicate job with these precious works of art and every care is taken to ensure they are kept unscathed. They are due to be cleaned up and restored before being returned back to us even more stunning than before. We are looking forward to seeing them sparkling new!

stained glass

The panels before removal looking in need of a good clean!

Removal of stained glass

One by one, each panel is carefully detached and stored

Easy now! The glass safely stored in the van on its way to being cleaned up

Falkland Palace and Gardens Year of Conservation

2015 will be a year of conservation at Falkland Palace and Gardens with lots of exciting projects with conservation work taking place on some of our stunning stained glass windows, painted ceilings and stone roundels (similar to the Stirling Heads).

You can keep up to do date with all the happenings here as we chat to the conservators, give you lots of photo updates as well as information on talks and family workshops.

CeilingRoundlesstained glass

2015: Falkland Palace Year of Conservation

2015 will be a year of conservation at Falkland Palace and Gardens with lots of exciting projects coming up over the course of the year. Conservation will be taking place on some of our stunning stained glass windows, painted ceilings and stone roundels (similar to the Stirling Heads).
You can keep up to date with all the happenings here as we chat to the conservators, give you lots of photo updates as well as more information on talks and family workshops.