Explore the Kingdom of Fife

Fife Coastal Path Kinghorn D

Escape the city with a short journey over the Forth Bridge into Fife, where you’ll find quaint fishing villages, rich history, and an unforgettable coastline.

Walk the great outdoors

The Kingdom of Fife was voted 'No 1 outdoor destination' by Scottish Natural Heritage eight years in a row for good reason. The stunning Fife Coastal Path stretches for 117 miles across clifftops, forest, and rocky shores. 

A favourite spot is Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve, a sprawling area covering multiple habitats. You can see everything from shifting sands and basking seals to colourful kingfishers and blooming wildflowers.

Visit Fife Coast and Countryside Trust for details on different sections of the route.

 

Meet Scotland’s wildlife

Scottish Deer Centre

Get close to various species of deer, wolves, lynx, wildcats and bears, all while exploring 55 acres of glorious Fife countryside, at The Scottish Deer Centre. Take a walk on the wild side as you learn about the animals with daily feeding talks, tours and falconry shows.

Deep Sea World Credit Visitscotland Paul Tomkins(Image Credit: Visit Scotland Paul Tomkins)

If the weather’s not on your side, head to Deep Sea World in North Queensferry. Scotland's National Aquarium has an exciting range of sealife, from sharks, seals and piranhas to stingrays, exotic fish and amphibians. And if you’re brave enough, why not book one of their Shark Encounters for an experience like no other!

Play a round of golf

The Kingdom of Fife is known throughout the world as the Home of Golf. Boasting more than 50 courses, from the famed fairways of St Andrews to beautifully landscaped parkland and heathland courses, there’s a course around every corner of this part of Scotland that’s guaranteed to take your breath away.

The Old Course St Andrews 1 Credit Visitscotland Kenny Lam(Image Credit: Visit Scotland Kenny Lam)

Need help choosing? The Old Course in St Andrews is where it all started, and a must-visit for golf fans. The coastal views at Elie Golf House Club are hard to beat, but the rolling fairways at Ladybank Golf Club certainly come close.

For a different experience, Kingarrock Golf Course is the only place in the whole of Europe where you can play hickory golf with old wooden shafted golf clubs. Take a step back to the 1920’s and test your skills on this unique 9-hole, 2022yd course.

For more information on golf in Fife visit Fife Golf >

Escape the mainland

Isle Of May

Fife is home to many charming little fishing villages – Pittenweem, Crail, and Kingsbarns all warrant a visit – but if you can only do one, we recommend heading to Anstruther. The largest village in a string of pretty, old-fashioned fishing villages along the stretch of Fife coast known as the East Neuk, Anstruther offers a charming harbour, a range of independent shops – not to mention top-notch fish and chips, fresh from the local boats.

Anstruther Scottish fisheries Museum Credit Visitscotland Kenny Lam(Image Credit: Visit Scotland Kenny Lam)

It’s also making time to visit The Scottish Fisheries Museum, an award-winning museum which tells the story of Scottish fishing from the earliest times to the present. See over 15 historic boats including and over 66,000 objects from across Scotland including paintings, costumes and photographs which tell the story of the Scottish fishing industry, its boats, harbours and communities.

From here, you can take boat trip to the Isle of May, a national nature reserve where sea birds swarm the cliffs and you can catch regular sightings of puffins and seals. In spring, the island can have up to 250,000 birds at one time!

Delve into Dunfermline

One of the region’s largest towns, and once the capital of Scotland, the 'auld grey toun' of Dunfermline is well-known for its rich history and it’s royal and monastic past dominates the town.

Dunfermline Abbey 40 Credit Fife Council Damian Shields(Image Credit: Fife Council Damian Shields)

Star of the show is certainly the 12th century Dunfermline Abbey, the burial site of Robert the Bruce and 11 other Scottish kings and queens.

The abbey complex encompasses the ruins of a palace built by King James VI in the 16th century. Charles I was born here in 1600, the last monarch to be born in Scotland.

Known locally as the ‘pink hoose’, Abbot House is Dunfermline’s oldest house and has a fascinating history. From iron forge to laird’s mansion, art school, doctor’s surgery to heritage centre, it has played a key role in the town’s past.

Both Abbot House and The Abbey are part of the Dunfermline Heritage Quarter – one of Scotland’s finest surviving medieval townscapes. Here you’ll also find the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum - a traditional weaver’s cottage and exhibition detailing the world-famous philanthropist’s early life. His name also adorns the Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries – an award-winning building which houses an impressive library, café and a museum which displays a wealth of history on the town.

For something more adventurous, head to Scotland’s national motorsport centre, Knockhill Racing Circuit. Either sit back and watch the screeching of tires or get behind the wheel yourself with a range of race and rally car experiences.

Visit the birthplace of whisky

On the banks of the Tay, just outside Newburgh, you’ll find the spiritual birthplace of whisky – at Lindores Abbey Distillery monks distilled scotch as far back as 1494. 

Spirit started to flow again in 2017, after a break of 523 years. The distillery tour gives you a chance to explore this historic site, while the apothecary experience lets you make your own spirit.

Explore St Andrews

Home to Scotland's oldest university and the world-famous Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews is a must-see location for visitors to Fife and there’s plenty of history to uncover in the charming, cobbled streets of this coastal town.

Once the largest church in Scotland, St Andrews Cathedral has an outstanding collection of medieval sculptures and relics – make sure you climb the 156 steps of St Rule’s Tower, which dates from the 12th century, for stunning views across Fife.

St Andrews Castle Credit Visitscotland Kenny Lam(Image Credit: Visit Scotland Kenny Lam)

With a history spanning 450 years, St Andrews Castle has seen a varied history, including a bishop’s palace, fortress and a prison. Perched over the beach and offering panoramic views out to sea, learn about its rich past, including its 16th century underground mine and the ‘bottle dungeon’, a prison cut out of solid rock.

Come face to face with sharks, piranhas, seals and a whole host of fascinating sea creatures at St Andrews Aquarium, or get up close and personal with creatures of the deep at the daily interactive demonstrations.

Fancy a tour of this medieval town? Just pick your topic! Known as one of the most famous golf courses in the world, a Guided Walk of the Old Course will take you around the 1st, 17th and 18th holes, as you follow in the footsteps of golfing legends and learn all about this ancient course. For something on the spooky side, St Andrews Ghost Tours will also introduce you to many of the town’s haunted locations, while Eat Walk St Andrews Food Tour incorporates five locations where you’ll taste a mouth-watering selection of locally sourced food and drink.

Experience incredible seafood

Anstruther Fish Bar 10 Credit Visitscotland Kenny Lam

(Image Credit: Visit Scotland Kenny Lam)

With all that glorious coastline comes seafood of all varieties, from luxury tasting menus to beachside fish and chips. 

Michelin-starred The Cellar in Anstruther offers a nine-course tasting menu of seasonal ingredients, including locally sourced fish. And for the more casual diner, the nearby Anstruther Fish Bar has been named Scotland’s best fish and chip shop numerous times. You’ll know why when you settle down for a fish supper (the Scottish term for ‘fish and chips’) with views over the harbour. 

Travelling from Edinburgh to Fife

The Kingdom of Fife is just 20 minutes away from central Edinburgh by train. You’ll cross the famous Forth Rail Bridge – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – on the way there. It’s easy to move from place to place by train once you reach Fife too. The main stations are: Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes with Thornton, Ladybank and Leuchars (for St Andrews).

For timetables, tickets and further details see ScotRail >

Alternatively, why not navigate Fife by bike? Cyclepath offer a bike rental service, and will even pick your bike up in St Andrews for free before you jump back on the train.

Crail

Plan your trip to the Kingdom of Fife

For more information, visit the Welcome to Fife website and follow and tag them on Facebook @welcometofife, Twitter @welcometofife  and Instagram welcometofife.  #FifeLife #VisitFife #FifeCoastalPath