Anyone who knows this family knows we are devoted Outlander fans - even before we had the dream to come here to Scotland to live, we had read the books by Diana Gabaldon and watched the TV series on Starz. Claire and Jamie were in our blood. When we were here last year we visited several of the filming locations for the TV series, and yesterday we went back to one of our favorites (can there be a favorite?) for another visit - the town of Culross (pronounced koo-ross). It's almost as if you can feel Claire and Jamie walking about there - except I have to remind myself that they never actually existed, they are fictional characters. However, the actors brought them so alive, it's fun to pretend that they truly were real, and that we are walking on the same stones they did.
The town of Culross doubled as the fictional town of Crainsmure when the TV series was being shot. It includes the square where the young lad's ear was "Pinned for one hour" to the pillory (where we took group photos of each other) and Geillis Duncan's home (forgot to get a shot of this one.)
The town itself is beautiful, and even in the middle of summer we found solitude on a 3 mile hike through the woods to get to, and come back from, an old church ruins known as the Black Kirk in the TV series. It is actually called West Kirk, and was used as the original Parish church from the early 12th century until the reformation ( early 1500s to later 1600s) for the Culross area. To imagine the feet that have trod upon this ground, and all that has happened here - regardless of Outlander - is amazing to me. There are some headstones dating back to the 1600's - one man died at the age of 96 (!) in 1660! We had a lovely picnic in the sun, and enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the setting (it was really warm - and, yes.....it does get warm in Scotland!).
On the way to the kirk, we went back to visit what is called The Plague Grave. You have to climb over a fence and step off the main path to get to it. One poor man lost 3 children on the the same day in 1645 - there is a plaque to commemorate it.
It was another pinch-me-is-this-real day for me here in Scotland. We finished the day by having a lovely meal at the Mallard Hotel in Gullane, which is owned and operated by our flat hosts, the Laws. Another "shitty" day in paradise!