Lens-Artists Challenge #126 – A is for Anstruther and Archives


“There is magic in Scotland.”

Gayle Rankin

Among the many responses to Patti’s alphabet challenge this week, I doubt any others will feature Anstruther 😊. A small Scottish fishing town, Anstruther is well-known for its beautiful harbor and award-winning fish and chips (Yes, they were definitely calorie-worthy!). We were in Anstruther because of its proximity to St. Andrews, the revered golfing mecca. As golfers we enjoyed St. Andrews and the historic town that surrounds it. Beyond that though, we were absolutely charmed by Anstruther, and from there, the northwestern Scottish highlands.


“There are few places more ruggedly beautiful than the highlands of Scotland.”

Julia London

We spent a month in Scotland, driving to its farthest corners over one-lane roads that often included blind curves. Fortunately we survived the winding roads which were well worth the extra gray hairs. The area is breathtakingly beautiful and deserves the many accolades given it by poets and authors through the years. The light is like no other and the weather every bit as unpredictable and varied as is often said.


“Wherever I visit, wherever I rove; the hills of the highland forever I love.”

Robert Burns

We made so many photography stops during our drive from Anstruther to Ullapool that my husband began to wonder if we’d ever arrive. Along the way we encountered bright sun, cloudy skies, misty rain, and fog. By the end of the drive I was soaking wet with a slightly injured ankle (slipped off a rock – duh) and couldn’t have been happier.


“It (Scotland) is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world.”

J.K. Rowling

One of the benefits of blogging during the pandemic is a return to the Archives and the treasure trove of memories they generate. I’ve included a few additional images from among my favorites of the area.


“Did not strong connections draw me elsewhere, I believe Scotland would be the country I would choose to end my days in.”

Ben Franklin

“I feel a sort of reverence in going over these scenes in this most beautiful country.”

Queen Victoria

β€œGive me but one our of Scotland, let me see it ere I die.” 

William Edmondstoune Aytoun

“Poetry, the reading of it, the writing of it, the saying it out loud, the learning of it off by heart, matters deeply to ordinary Scottish people everywhere.”

Liz Lochland

Sincere thanks for your varied and creative responses to last week’s challenge. It seems most all of our followers enjoyed the freedom to feature their own favorites. Rest assured we’ll be offering the option again in the new year. In the meanwhile, we look forward to seeing your “A” choices. Please be sure to link them to Patti’s post here, and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.

143 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #126 – A is for Anstruther and Archives

  1. Hmm. I could have sworn I commented on your post, with witty repartee about Anstruther and St. Andrews, the first of which I had not heard, the second which I have visited, but that’s the problem with commenting from one’s iPhone. It goes off into ‘the Cloud’, mostly to evaporate and never be heard or seen again. Love your photos. I love Scotland, something about it’s rugged beauty appeals, though I’m pretty sure in a former lifetime I wasn’t one of those stonemasons constructing some of the 2000 in olden times. Looks like difficult and chilling work. I love castles too, and old churches.

    • No worries John – your repartee is ALWAYS witty!! Yes, “rugged beauty” is the perfect description for Scotland. The castles are literally everywhere – it must have been quite something “back in the day”. But you are quite right, not only would it have been chilling work, but living inside those stone walls with no modern conveniences like heat or thermal blankets, would have been fairly gruesome on cold, stormy days. That said, for a photographer they are the cherry on top of a visit to Scotland.

  2. Love the images of Anstruther 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ! The image “After the Storm” especially is noteworthy for me because it looks very gusty, and one can almost hear the choppy waves from the North Sea snapping oh so close against the manmade shoreline.

  3. Beautiful photos of some really lovely scenery. I’ve not been to this part of Scotland but I’ve been elsewhere and I quite agree with you about the light being rather special πŸ™‚

  4. I can’t say I have been to Anstruther – and I have never heard the name. Now I do! I have been to St Andrews though, and you say this little village is close by. Well worth a visit – and now you have showed us the best of it already. Amazingly beautiful – images of Scotland are among the most beautiful you can find in the world. As always So well captured and presented. The Dunnottar Castle is a gem – but there are many fantastic sites and castles in this land of mystery. Of course I have to return again some day – four times is not enough. Isle of Skye is a must next time again! Someday…

  5. You could say Scotland is my second home….. Drama and emotions on every visit. Sadly this year with all the CV19 restrictions no visit has been possible. But that’s the same for everyone. Just glad we have those memories both our own and those shared πŸ™‚

  6. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-126-Action-Award-Avenues – WoollyMuses

    • Thanks Siobhan – the sky drama is Scotland is like no other. It changes minute by minute from dark and stormy to some of the most beautiful light ever. I suppose it’s nature’s way of rewarding the Scots for their tolerance LOL.

    • Oh my – I’m not sure a bicycle trip would be pleasurable in light of the moody, ever-changing weather and the lack of berm to pull out of the way of the occasional cars there I.J. On the other hand I cannot think of a better way to enjoy the meandering countryside if you are open to being doused now and then! Definitely a bucket-list candidate though!

    • Thanks Teresa – it’s a tiny little place that we’d never have found if we hadn’t wanted to see St. Andrews. Apparently though it’s widely known among the Scots because of it’s reputation for amazing fish & chips – which were of course yummy! But the town itself is truly charming and the waterfront is beautiful.

      • Oh that’s good. It was one lucky unexpected surprise then. Scotland is so beautiful and whenever I look back at photos of it, it brings me back to a state of dream and awe. Would love to back one day and see Anstruther. Thanks for sharing Tina!

  7. We’ve never been to Scotland , but your beautiful photos and descriptions make me yearn to go there as soon as it opens up to tourists. Your photos capture so much of the scenery and what we would like to seeβ€” castle remains, idyllic landscapes, and interesting homes of various shapes and colors. One of my favorite β€œA” posts. And deserving of an A for effort and creativity!!

    • Thanks so much Anne – it’s such a beautiful place and so many undeveloped places where nature’s beauty really shines. The occasional crumbling castle thrown in makes it almost like a fairy tale . How fun to have Scottish blood!

  8. It’s wonderful when a place really speaks to you, Tina, isn’t it? I have some lovely memories of Scotland. Long before we traveled abroad it was on our doorstep, and I haven’t forgotten the magic. Your photos are very beautiful. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  9. You make me want to return to Scotland Tina with your beautiful images. It has been a long time since we were there.

    • Thanks GF – eerily beautiful is the perfect description! They do have sun and when they do it is spectacular. But to me it will always be the heavy mist of the highlands that says Scotland to me.

    • Thanks Dianne – we hit it on a typical Scottish day of heavy clouds and mist. As we were leaving the skies opened and a heavy rain followed us home. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

  10. So, so beautiful, Tina. I love Scotland. I was astounded by the light there and the natural beauty. Your images do justice to both those qualities. We only visited Edinburgh (and encountered a ghost) but we’ll definitely go back there. I can only image how great the golf is. Take care and enjoy both golfing and photography this week!

    • Thanks Patti. We too enjoyed Edinburgh but it was the many remote areas of the place that really captured our imagination. When those clouds and mist roll in you can just hear Heathcliff calling (although apparently its setting was actually in England I’ve always pictured it as Scotland πŸ˜€.

  11. Breathtaking scenery, and so beautifully captured. I love the morning light, and the Dunnottar Castle is absolutely stunning.
    Thank you for taking us there, Tina.

    • Thanks Amy – the steep cliffs and the way the castle overlooked the ocean far below were quite beautiful. And to have seen it on such a stormy day with the dark clouds surrounding it was really magical. Glad you enjoyed.

  12. From A to U, your post of Scotland makes me want to go back and revisit but come home to die. Most of us are going back to being architect of our own photography and start digging the archives. Stunning place.

  13. Beautiful, beautiful photos, Tina. I have visited Scotland several times but always with students in tow – and before I had a good camera. I am thinking I need to return to Scotland and Ireland. I would like to drive for the freedom of chasing down nice photographs but not sure my nerves can take the left side of the road driving.

    • LOL, I hear you re the driving Pat! I think I lost 2 years of my life due to the stress of braving the roundabouts heading into Edinbrough! That said, once you get the hang of it, it’s fine. My advice is pay the extra cost and get an automatic car πŸ˜‰

  14. What amazing wonder! When traveling resumes, Scotland may well be my first starting place. My goodness, the beauty is intoxicating! I have wanted to see all of the UK, including Ireland and Wales, and Scotland, as well as London, but we tend to go to Spain or Portugal! Thank you. dear lady, for your willingness and ability to bring beauty, joy, and appreciation for God’s earth to us all.

    • Very much my pleasure, thank you for the lovely comment. My husband and I have put Portugal at the top of our list for travel “when and if”. Fingers crossed for both of us!

  15. Beautiful glimpse of Scotland Tina…(my dream trip – golf and castles, hopefully one day) How’d you do on St. Andrews? Hope you got to play it before the ankle sprain πŸ™‚

    • Hi Andy – many thanks. Interestingly we did NOT play St. Andrews. All of our friends who have visited and/or live there suggested we visit but not play as it is supposedly not much of a course. (In hindsight perhaps a bad decision altho we did walk a bit of the course) We played Alisa at Turnberry, Royal Dornoch, Kingsbarns, and Stonehaven, a local course where the biggest bunker was created by a bomb dropped in WW II now named Hitler’s Bunker 😊. Ours wasn’t really a golf trip, we really wanted to see the country more than anything. The ankle, happily, happened after all of the golf.

      • I would want to balance golf with seeing the country too. Pretty cool idea they had with the bunker. Nice that you were able to play some golf and an eagle makes it even better πŸ™‚

  16. Beautiful images of our wonderful adopted homeland Tina, so glad you enjoyed your visit here despite the weather and injured ankle πŸ’œ xxx

    • Oh Xenia, the weather was actually a treat as the clouds and rain always cleared rather quickly and the light that followed them was incredible. Glad you enjoyed the images of your beautiful now-homeland.

  17. Tina, thanks for taking me to visit Scotland and Anstruther. Your photos are beautiful and inviting. Isn’t it great that we have our images to bring us back to places that we love. Take care.

    • 😊 Thanks Andre – those roads were quite a challenge for an American. To pilot a car from the right, using a stick-shift left-handed, on the left side of the road and through the many roundabouts, was quite an adventure!

  18. You’re making me want to revisit Scotland…those skies, the rugged quality, and to find that brightly colored building tucked between the white ones.

    • Thanks Sharon – while it is indeed a golf mecca, there is so much more to the beautiful countryside. I loved how accessible it is – you can see so much of it in a reasonably short time.

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