Awash with wildflowers and surrounded by bucolic bliss, the village of Markle sits on the outskirts of Edinburgh near East Linton within the beautiful East Lothian countryside. A cluster of farm cottages known as the Steading join the other rose-trimmed homes to make up the picturesque hamlet, which hosts no more than 100 residents.
Just a stone’s throw away is the derelict Markle Castle, a pile of mysterious old ruins that rest on a rocky outcrop near where the army of Pictish King Angus defeated the forces of King Athel and his Saxon warriors around 832 AD. According to legend, King Angus feared defeat so prayed that the battle would work in his favour. While doing so, the clouds parted and formed into a white Saltire cross projected upon a bright blue sky. The victorious battle outcome was proclaimed a miracle and the site was crowned ‘Merkill’, the loosely translated Scots word for ‘miracle’, which later evolved into Markle.
As for the festivities, what better excuse to throw the mother of all parties than sharing a name with the new Duchess of Sussex (or Countess of Dumbarton as she’s known in Scotland)? The celebration was embraced with open arms, particularly after the long snowy winter, courtesy of beast from the east!
Decorated with welcoming hearts, ribbons and bunting, the town sign showcased an extra splash of joy. A feast for the eyes, the central green transformed into a party hub complete with gazebo, BBQ, paper chains, pom poms and bunting galore! Festoons of flowers to rival St George’s Chapel added that finishing touch, while British fare included lashings of strawberries and cream and of course, Pimm’s cocktails.
A testament to Markle’s strong sense of community spirit, all the residents pitched in and helped with decorating and preparing the refreshments. There was even a crown or two in sight!
The local fishery went the extra mile and created a Meghan Markle fishing fly, which showcased red, white and blue hues in honour of the Royals.
Resident Ciara Vance told The Scotsman, ‘It’s very exciting that our small hamlet of Markle shares its name with Prince Harry’s fiancée. Markle is a magical place to live, it’s beautiful, the people here are friendly and we have tremendous community spirit.’
She then went on to add that the stunning and romantic East Lothian countryside is ‘the ideal location for a quiet, peaceful honeymoon.’
Since the Royal nuptials, Markle has witnessed an influx of visitors eager to snap an Instagramable shot or two next to the Markle sign. Who knows, the idyllic low-key setting could spur the newlyweds to extend their honeymoon and enjoy the unrivalled tranquility of this Scottish hidden gem! One can only hope.