St Andrews – Bay of Fundy
Green Fingers at The Kingsbrae Garden
Opened in 1998, The Kingsbrae Garden in St Andrews defies its fifteen years’ youth. A horticultural show of excellence that has been described as a ‘garden for all seasons’, Kingsbrae is a home from home for English green fingers. Visitors are welcomed in to the twenty-seven acre garden by their mascot, a giant ladybird, who will direct you to the rose garden where one thousand aphid-munching ladybirds are released every morning during the summer months.
Further along the path I spy an English knot garden, a perennial garden, then on to the Heritage orchard, thyme labyrinth, children’s fantasy garden including a teapot tree, a pen of adorable bleating alpacas.
The borders are packed with herbaceous prima-donnas and the whole garden is a kaleidoscope of colour. The Kingsbrae Garden would definitely give any English garden a run for its money and is definitely worth an hour or two.
A day of whale-watching on the Zodiac with Fundy Tide Runners
Back in St Andrews harbour and dressed in luminous orange Mustang survival floatation suits, we awaited the super sized Zodiac which will whisk us out to sea for some whale-watching. “Round and round they go, where they pop up only they will know”, hollows our skipper. In reality, we smelled the whales before we saw them; the stench of rotten fish emanating from their blow-holes gave away their location.
This was followed by a burst of shiny black skin, that broke the surface for seconds, then dipped away again to leave a smooth and circular ripple; ‘round and round they go’, just like our skipper said.
A ten foot Minke whale was making merry in its feeding ground of herring. The smallest of the great whales, the Minke still weighs in at a massive two tonnes. We watched a sixty foot finback whale cruise casually past us – a mere 20 feet away. Two bald eagles stand pillion as we watch the tide ripping along the shoreline and a seal pops his head above the waves to check out his nosey visitors.
The scenery itself is reward enough for going out into open water; the pretty Quoddy lighthouse, summer home to the late President Roosevelt, stands majestically on a headland of Campobello Island. A bridge connects it to the USA, even though it is a Canadian island, and our skipper warned us that he had to be vigilant about remaining in Canadian waters.
“You can look, but don’t touch” warns the skipper; the numerous porpoise, minke whales and finback whales here in Canadian waters are quite enough for me!
Where to Stay
We spent overnight at Canada’s first Autograph property by Marriott, the newly-renovated Algonquin Resort which is the perfect family resort.
If you are travelling a deux, I’d recommend the Kingsbrae Arms, which is the Relais and Chateaux property down the road from the Algonquin, and is smaller and a little more personal.
St Andrews can be likened to America’s Cape Cod; full of quirky shops, bars and restaurants, fun whale watching excursions and lovely clapboard homes. We left with wistful dreams of living here.