Sunday, 22 July 2018

Dunfermline Abbey and Palace

It was another Historic Scotland site this weekend with Dunfermline Abbey and Palace. The weather has cooled down a little but is still bright and warm, just perfect for days out strolling about castles and graveyards and absolutely ideal for Missy who loves sunshine, but not heat.

The site is split into three parts - the palace, the abbey and the knave, and each part is a distinct building on its own. We were a bit confused at where we were to be at first as the knave is attached to the back of a working church and there was a Canadian pipe band practising for a march, so the area was much busier than we expected! We found the Historic Scotland shop though and got ourselves in. The chap running the site was great, we asked about areas Missy might not be allowed in, and he was happy to give her full reign of the place (though obviously not the actual working church!) and offered to let us into the palace through the gardeners gate if we wanted owing to the spiral staircase being very tight. We declined the offer and, though Missy managed the narrow stairs, next time I would just go through the gate - they were very narrow indeed and she wasn't very keen on getting down them!

The palace and the abbey are predominantly ruins. One wall and the foundations remain on both sites and the knave itself is completely intact. All of the signs are well written and illustrated and, as always, the hubby and I helped Missy with the kids quiz. She's doing well on her history lessons and I think she enjoyed the break from the usual central-belt history of the various Douglas clans and Mary Queen of Scots. Instead we learned about St Margaret in the original church and then about Queen Anne who had it expanded and rebuilt in the 1500's.

After we covered all three parts of the site (and Missy was perplexed as to why we would want her posing in a fireplace), we went for a lovely walk through the adjacent Pittencrieff park. There was a Chinese garden, an Italian garden, large areas of lawn, lots of forestry bits and, most importantly, hundreds of squirrels. A sign warned of free roaming peacocks, but no other dogs were on leads and there was no peacocks to be seen, so we allowed Missy to stretch her legs and brush off the cobwebs and go for a good run. There was a big King Charles Spaniel meet up going on (there was about twenty dogs) and lots of other playful pooches trying to distract Missy from her squirrel conquest.

After that we went for a bumble through the town centre (a few very nice craft shops, lots of places to eat, usual sort of thing) and then called it a day. It had been getting progressively nicer and warmer as the day had gone on and we figured it would be nice to spend the last few ours of sunshine out in the garden.

In other news, I've been getting back into my sewing (I have a few projects I cant share just yet), but I was really pleased to put together this little dress for myself:

Sloths, koalas and pandas? And pockets! And a pretty bow! What more does a dress need? I've finally figured out how to use the tailors dummy as more than just a coat hook to drape my latest project on. Its a hobby I'm constantly learning in, and with my next big project being an Edwardian boating coat, I'm sure I'll continue learning for a while to come!


  1. Looks like a fun day and that dress is adorable!

    Also, pockets? On a dress?!


    Hmm...I wonder if I can retroactively add them to all my dresses, they would be so useful

    1. Yes, you can add pockets to dresses! So long as they have side seams :-)