Neolithic Brochs, Haunted Castles, Witches Pools, Pineapple Houses and Cavemen

On Saturday I headed out on a Larbert bound train heading for a wonderful day of adventures!

I’ve recently just discovered, and signed up to, Meetup. It’s fantastic!

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.

So basically it’s a huge database of all the social groups in your local area, and I’m currently signing up to all the amazing events as we speak…. I’ve spent wayyyy too long wrapped up in my duvet cocoon, snuggling up in a Netflix rabbit-hole…. so this seems like a good way to get out and enjoy lots of weird and wonderful things! So… stay tuned for lots of interesting blog posts to come!… starting with this one…

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Come learn about Pictish Culture and the fingerprints of a time long past… Hypnotic blue pools that none can explain and a dilapidated castle and cave system. If people have transport we can also head to one of only two Pineapple Houses in the world…. Plus a bonus caveman lesson in cooking.

That was today’s description… vague but interesting!

And interesting it certainly was. Thank you to everyone involved, I had a great day, and you were all so lovely :) Special mention for Lance: our incredibly knowledgeable guide, and host. You made the the day! and the oily cake things were brilliant!!

First stop…… The Pineapple House!!!

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This glorious example of expert stonemasonry was commissioned by Lord Dunmore, as a gift for his wife. In Virginia, sailors would put pineapples on their gatepost to signify their arrival home, and it was this tradition that Lord Dunmore brought back home and, well…. elaborated on!

Unfortunately the actual building isn’t open to the public, but the beautiful gardens and surrounding woodland was, and we had a lovely little wander round! taking in all the plants… and even nibbling on a few! We also, walked out to the old mausoleum, which although crumbling and dilapidated, was rather beautiful and overgrown with stunning greenery, and mystical yew trees.

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Next stop, a hike through an ethereal larch forest to a Pictish settlement: Tapoch Broch. Although only the ground floor remains, after scrambling through the tiny arched door, it was easily to visualise how this was a fortified building housing lives of years past.

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Next, a walk up to a system of caves where we stopped to build a fire and fry up some Bannock Buns. This was our cave:

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And this was our view:

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After caveman lunch, we wandered back through the trees, and came across a mystifying sight…

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Nobody knows the origins of this magical pool, or even why it is so blue and clear. The water has been tested, and still no explanation… a blip in the middle of the woods. Lance described it as a witching pool: looking onto the surface of the crystal clear turquoise water the reflections shining back at you are supposed to be visions of the future…… what do you see?

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Heading back along our path, we wandered to our final destination: Torwood Castle.

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Today was beautiful. I would highly recommend everywhere we went… and I would highly recommend taking a Lance with you!

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Chloe out.

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