The Scottish tour continues
Stirling-St Andrews-Aberdeen. A 2-hours-and-20-minutes’ drive.
It’s an-hour-and-a-half’s drive to Stirling so you’d better leave at around eight in order to be at St Andrews’ Cathedral as soon as it opens (9:30 a.m. from Apr. 1st to Sept. 30th/ 10:00 a.m from October to March).
St Andrews, the third oldest university town in the English-speaking world, its “Old-Course” is renowned all over the world among golf players.
The Scottish tour continues:
St Andrews Cathedral
1 – The Cathedral of Saint Andrew, often referred to as St Andrew’s Cathedral, is a ruined Roman Catholic church dating back to the XIIth century.
The cathedral originally included a central tower together with six turrets, of which only three are standing, two in the east and one in the west, respectively.
Among what’s left of the original building, St Rule’s square tower still rises tall, 33 metres (108 feet) above the Cathedral grounds.
In 1559, during the Reformation, a Protestant mob plundered the premises and the interior of the Cathedral was destroyed.
After the attack, the church fell into decline, becoming a sort of quarry where material for the building of the town was easily to be found.
When you get to the Cathedral, you can buy a combined ticket for the Castle (opening times – Apr. 1st/ Sept. 30th : 9:30-5:30; Oct. 1st/ Mar. 31st : 10:00-4:00). Tickets can be purchased in advance.
On the seaward side of the Cathedral there is an even older religious site, the Church of Saint Mary on the Rock.
2 – We then headed north, for a fifty-minute drive, past the River Tay and Dundee to Glamis Castle.
The childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, the castle is also famous for its ghosts, as well as for other haunting tales. The interior offers rich stuccos in a remarkable state of conservation.
Though you have to pay to walk through the grounds and view the castle only from the outside, to me, the experience is worth it. You can purchase your ticket at the entrance.
Glamis Castle opening times
3 – This is the must-visit.
It is a unique strong castle enjoyong an extraordinary defensive position. In fact, it stands on a fifty-metre-high rocky outcrop projecting onto the sea. Its only link to the mainland is a steep and narrow path winding up and down the rock.
The tickets can be bought at the Castle kiosk at the entry. The Castle website strongly recommends to reach the place on foot from the nearby town of Stonehaven, since stunning views can be enjoyed along your way.
The site, which suggests you to be there on time to fully take advantage of the experience, also advises to download the dedicated free app prior to your visit.
A detailed timetable of opening times, which frequently vary, can be found online.
The terrible legends of Glamis Castle
The Glamis Castle, located in Angus, Scotland, is a place full of history and legends. There are many legends surrounding the structure.
One of the most well-known stories is about Lady Janet Douglas, a widow who was imprisoned and tortured in the castle in the sixteenth century. Lady Janet Douglas was accused of witchcraft and of being involved in a plot to kill King James V. After being imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, Lady Janet Douglas was later transferred to Glamis Castle, where she was held captive in a small room without natural light, food, or water. She died a few days after her imprisonment, and it is said that her soul remains trapped in the castle, still wandering its rooms to this day.
It is also said that there is a room inside the castle that has been walled up and closed forever. According to legend, the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who owned the castle, had a son who was born deformed and showed signs of witchcraft. The earl, to hide the existence of the son, had him walled up alive in a room in the castle. Since then, it is said that the soul of the child continues to wander the castle and that strange noises can be heard coming from the walled-up room. Some people claim to have seen the figure of the child through the windows of the room, although this version of the legend has been debunked.
Another legend tells of the existence of a secret room inside the castle, called “The Secret Chamber.” It is said that the room was used as a burial place for members of the royal family, and that there are still remains of some people inside. The room was sealed forever because of the fear that the ghosts of the dead could wander the castle.
Finally, a legend tells of the existence of an underground tunnel that connects Glamis Castle with the nearby Arbroath Abbey. The tunnel was allegedly used by the royal family to move secretly between the two structures, but it was closed forever due to a landslide.
In your tour, you could not miss this Castle with its terrible Legends. Although the veracity of these stories is debated, the charm and mystery of the castle continue to arouse interest and curiosity among visitors.