Tired Of Edinburgh? Here’s An Escape To Kinnesswood Village
A 30 minute car journey from Edinburgh takes you to fairy steps and one of the smallest libraries in the world…
Do you remember your favourite playground when you were a child, perhaps a forest, a park, your backyard or a hill? There are such special places hidden inside the memory of each and every one of us. One of Paul’s special places lies in the small village of Kinnesswood in Scotland
At first sight, it seems like a typical Scottish village with various grey coloured houses. However, if you look closer then you can find some true hidden gems here.
Overlooking the village is Bishop Hill. On our visit in September, the sun and a few clouds beautifully highlighted its mix of brown, green and yellow colours and we therefore decided to visit Paul’s special childhood play area – Bishop Hill. After we parked our car, we walked to the hill.
The easiest way to find the public footpath is by heading towards it along The Cobbles lane. At the end of the lane is a path. If you follow the path then you should soon see a small gate. During our exploration, a sign on the gate warned of a free running bull which suddenly turned our exploration into quite an adventure.
There were a few other people visible from afar so we took the risk and continued. We turned left and a few minutes along we stood in front of seemingly thick bushes. Like you would imagine the hedge of thorns looked like in Sleeping Beauty. Fortunately there weren’t any thorns on the bushes and my prince knew his way and walked right through them. Another few minutes along, we finally found Paul’s special playground. It was a huge rock.
On the rock were many engravings and on the front of it were several indentations. The indentations are actually fairy steps which allow you to climb up the rock. We followed the fairies footsteps and climbed further up the steep hill and hoped that the fairies would protect us from the bull which was soon visible from afar. Some glider planes popped up from the top of the hill and distracted us from the bull. Gliders are a feature in the local area due to the nearby Portmoak airfield.
It was a perfect day for them to take a ride through the sky. We turned around and watched them disappearing and then admired the view from Bishop Hill over the area. The lanes and houses in Kinnesswood were visible and then views of the fields in the area. A farmer worked with his tractor on one of the fields and you could see the big Loch Leven. In the Loch lies a small island that houses Loch Leven Castle which is famous for the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, during the 16th century.
We hiked back down and as I turned one last time looking up the hill, I saw a fox running through the field.
Then we walked into the village along The Cobbles. One of the houses on the lane is the Michael Bruce Cottage Museum. Michael Bruce was a Scottish poet and hymnist and he was born in the house on 27th of March 1746.
When we reached the end of the lane we turned left and headed towards the bus station. At the station you can find the visitor information point.
A small area on the left side of the bus shelter was arranged like a miniature garden. It is called the Picture Garden. Inside the garden was a sign that showed that Kinnesswood village was awarded the trophy of Best Kept Village in 2013, 2012 and some previous years. The award is given by the County of Kinross and awarded through the Kinross-shire Civic Trust. Judges tour around the villages and evaluate each on various criteria’s, i.e. appearance of the village and community spirit. The Best Kept Village award tradition is being carried out in many parts of the UK.
– Click on images to see a larger version –
A wall of the Picture Garden showed a tiled panel where several hand painted tiles gave an insight into the history of Kinnesswood, or in Gaelic “Kinaskit”, meaning wood at the head of the waterfall. Ms Jacqui Seller of Jacqui Seller Ceramics painted it in 2009 for Kinnesswood in Bloom. Kinnesswood in Bloom is a local community project that was formed in 2005 to enhance the village of Kinnesswood. The community project issued “A Walk In Kinnesswood” leaflet which gives you an insight into the history of the village as you walk around it. It also includes a special part for children for items to look for along the way.
The detailed work of art on the panel took Ms Seller over 160 hours to paint. It beautifully displays everything we’ve seen and a bit more of Kinnesswood. The top left corner shows rocks and gliders flying through the sky. Underneath is a fox, just like the one I saw running through the field and next to it are the fairy steps. Underneath the fox is an image of Mr Alexander Buchan, a famous Scottish meteorologist, who was born in Kinnesswood.
Additionally, the board commemorates the works of Michael Bruce. In the middle of the panel you can see his description of Kinnesswood from “Lochlevin” and on the outer edges of the panel, framing the art work, are the words of his poem “Ode: To the Cuckoo”.
The panel displays a few businesses, like the weavers, the Kinnesswood Gaslight Company and The Kinnesswood Lime Company. It also mentions the Bishopshire Golf Club, which has a 9 hole golf course that gives the players panoramic views over Loch Leven.
On the right side of the bus shelter is another interesting sight. An old telephone box was turned into a small public library. The principle of the library is simple, you take a book away and you leave one yourself. It was nice to see that a traditional phone box is being kept alive through something so simple and that makes it one of the smallest libraries in the world.
Where to buy “A Walk in Kinnesswood”
It is available for £2 at Kinnesswood village shop (next to the bus station), at the farm/restaurant Loch Leven’s Larder and the Findatie tearoom. The proceeds support current and future community projects.
Details of the Michael Bruce Museum:
The museum is free of entrance. You can donate money through an honesty box inside the museum if you wish to.
The keys to the museum can be obtained from the garage in the main street.
Address of the Bishopshire Golf Club: The Clubhouse, Kinnesswood, Kinross, Perthshire, KY13 9HX
Address of Jacqui Seller Ceramics: Jacqui Seller Ceramics, Main Street, Kinnesswood, Kinross, Scotland, KY13 9HN