Having done extensive genealogical research and built quite a large family tree, we knew we would want to spend some time at specific locations directly related to our ancestors. Tops on our list were Dunkeld and Dunfermline thanks to great-grandparents like Saint Margaret, King David I, and King Malcolm III, and aunts, uncles and cousins like Alexander Stewart Earl of Buchan, Sybilla of Normandy, and many more.
Jack and Discover Dunfermline created a tour based on our hopes and exceeded them on the day.
We began in the village and Cathedral of Dunkeld, HQ for many of those ancestors. History abounds all throughout and, when that’s coupled with our familial connections, the goosebumps showed up!
The setting is gorgeous and so peaceful.
I don’t want to give away too much but bonus: surviving stones with carvings from the time of the Picts, 700/800s AD!
Mini sidetrip: practically around the corner is the Beatrix Potter garden and Museum in Birnam, someone of whom my aunt is especially fond. We spent a bit of time checking that off of the bucket list, too.
Dunfermline Abbey was next. Again, I don’t want to give too much away but, oh my goodness, what a thrill! Yes, this is the final resting place of Robert the Bruce, a great-grandfather of ours, and so much more. References to the centuries-long historical significance of this place are everywhere.
Included on the grounds is a monument to St Margaret: a special experience, a bookend to end all sets of bookends in conjunction with the chapel dedicated to her over at Edinburgh Castle.
Our final destination for the day was Rosslyn Chapel. Before arriving, we knew a bit about its historical role, and that the crypt was used during filming of The DaVinci Code, but not much more. During the presentation of one of the guides, we learned much more, both long ago and more recent happenings within these walls. Yes, we totally went down into the crypt! And we discovered that our ancestors have quite the connection to this place: sharing these same spaces with them… always leaves me in goosebumply awe. The architecture and carved artwork all throughout appear influenced by all the world. Enchanting.
Between each of our locations, Jack shared sites and history with us along the way. Being that all three of us in this fam tour group of ours are history nerds, we loved every minute.
Jack is knowledgeable to say the least. He effortlessly shares the stories of these people and places and has fun doing it, which means we had loads of fun! Much laughter throughout the day, including lunchtime when pictures of family and pets on phones began making appearances while we ate. 😉
Thank you, Jack, for our unforgettable experiences on this special day. Thank you!!!
Images below all credit to AD Johnson, October 2019