Scotland’s Hidden Secrets

Perhaps my opinion is biased, but this country is fantastic! So rich in history, and such beautiful scenery, as people far and wide already know.

But it has so much hidden, or should I perhaps say, forgotten history too. Little nooks and crannies tucked away in the places we visit on a regular basis. Places off the beaten track that only the person with an explorer’s heart sees. I found one such gem last year while I was on my holiday here.

I had planned a solo day trip to North Queensferry, on the edge of the Firth Of Forth River, settled in between the three bridges connecting Fife to the Lothians and Edinburgh. I had gone there after finding out that the famous “Flying Scotsman” would be crossing the iconic Forth rail bridge that morning. It was something I couldn’t miss, and I wanted to find a good vantage point. I had expected there to be a lot of other photographers around, considering the location and great views of the bridge. As it turned out, there were only about 1/2 dozen of us…

Anyways, after seeing the train and having a bite to eat, I wandered around the streets of the town. The village is set on the side of a hill, and at one point, I noticed an old set of stone steps going down towards the river. “Explorer Jen” decided to investigate! The winding narrow steps led down to a causeway with high walls on both sides, with ivy hanging over the edges. And at the bottom, tucked in the corner was an iron gate built into the wall and a dark cavern inside. There was a sign on the wall saying that inside the cavern is Willie’s Well. It sits below the edge of what used to be the ancient village washing green (17th and 18th centuries). It used to be the main source of fresh water for the village. And local legend has it that anyone who drinks of its waters will always return to the “Ferry”. And that’s just what I did…

Willie’s Well, North Queensferry. Image copyright ThruJensLens Photography

When my friend and I went out a couple of weeks ago to take in and photograph more of Fife’s beautiful coastline, we finished up in North Queensferry. The sun was setting, and we got some great images of the bridges. And I was telling my story of the last time I was there. It felt like I had truly come full circle, and that I was finally really home. Last year, I may not have drank from Willie’s Well, but I did have a coffee at Rankin’s Cafe just around the corner from it. And today, I remembered that my image above is now on a website of British historic buildings! It is also on my 2021 calendar, “Out And About In Scotland”. I’ll leave the links below. It is also going to be mentioned in my upcoming book project….keep your eyes peeled for it!

Willie’s Well fact sheet

Out And About In Scotland 2021 Calendar

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Published by jenmcnaughton

Born in Scotland, I moved to Canada in 1980 with my family. I was 10. I became homesick in my 20's, and longed for my beloved Scotland. Happily, I recently returned home for good! I am a photographer, freelance writer and bestselling author, and entrepreneur. I am an animal lover and advocate. My other hobbies include exploring, collecting sea glass, reading and music.

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