The beginning: Kincardine-on-Forth
In the beginning was North Queensferry, the original start line. However, sometime B.C. (i.e. Before the Queensferry Crossing), the powers that be recognised Kincardine as, well, the most westerly and southerly point in the Kingdom of Fife. So Kincardine now has that rather ok arch to set things up. A reasonable start I think, but not necessarily queued up with folk looking to wear out shoe leather. Does shoe leather still exist on the bottom of shoes? Pass.
After 1928, Kincardine was the most seaward road crossing before the sea: it had previously been the ferry crossing point for cattle who had been driven down to the get to the Falkirk Tryst (mark 3) at Stenhousmuir. You can still see the ferry quay timbers sticking out of the mud.
But Kincardine is mostly a place to pass through these days and there is a sense that it is a part of Fife that is forgotten about if possible, especially as the coal has now gone and the coal-fired power station (belt-fed in its day by coal moved on belts to the station) is being decommissioned..
A visit to the “Palace” in Culross is an excellent idea. Culross is in itself almost an National Trust for Scotland NTS property, with large parts of the town being made up of renovated period houses. Culross was once a thriving Burgh, with income derived from mining and salt pans, and there are good displays in the Palace itself, as well as the surrounding town. The volunteers minding the place are knowledgeable and helpful, highlighting the inside of the building. I had expected something bland and sanitised, but the wooden, shaped cladding with faded painting and decoration were suprisingly elegant in their homespun way.