Fife is often looked upon by outsiders as little more than the university town of St. Andrews and a gateway from Edinburgh to the Highlands. But don’t tell the natives that. They’re fiercely proud of their heritage and ancestry and so they should be!
Fife has a history steeped in economic achievement – from it’s founder father, Adam Smith, born in Kirkcaldy, to one of the world’s greatest philanthropists – Dunfermline’s favourite son – Andrew Carnegie. This tradition continues to be upheld by former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and author Ian Rankin. There are many others of course and they’d be delighted if you took the time to explore their ‘Kingdom’.
Plan your adventure in a luxury motorhome
If you travel in one of our luxurious motorhomes you and your family can enjoy the beautiful countryside of Fife either on its own, or as part of a wider tour of the east coast of Scotland. Whether you’re visiting Dunfermline Abbey, golfing at Elie, or eating fish and chips in Anstruther, you’re sure of a warm and hospitable welcome. And when you travel in a luxurious motorhome, you’re very much your own boss. Following a fascinating day’s exploring, park up for the night in one of many campsites and plan your next day’s adventure. Simple.
Fabulous Fife – five fantastic things to see and do
Ask most people what the top five attractions in Fife are and you can expect a range of different answers. There is in fact so much to see and do in the Kingdom that you need to prioritise and plan carefully. For a start, its many rustic villages and charming towns combine to give the region a homely feel. While St Andrews is undoubtedly the brightest jewel in Fife’s crown, there’s so much more to Fife that will spoil urban travellers, explorers, cyclists, museum-goers and foodies alike. So let’s find out a wee bit more.
Who’s the King of the Castle?
As a former Pictish stronghold from the 6th century, Fife has long been the home of royalty, hence the name ‘Kingdom of Fife’. It’s history is rich and vitally important to the rest of the country. The Kingdom title emanates from Malcolm III, who settled in Dunfermline in 1058.
Castles are found in abundance in Fife. Balconie Castle in Markinch, for example, has a long and rough history dating back to the 14th century. After years of neglect restoration work finally started in the 1970’s and today it appeals to many visitors, not least because the first series of Outlander was partly filmed there. Then there’s Aberdour Castle which is one of the oldest in Scotland. Like Balconie, Aberdour fell into disrepair during the Jacobite rising. Today you can walk in the grounds, inspect the Doocot, the manicured gardens and admire the views of the Queensferry Crossing in the distance.
On the other hand, Culross Palace is actually a Grand House with its distinctive original mustard yellow and dark wooden shuttered windows which render it a must see, and it’s been lovingly restored, as has the entire village, by the National Trust for Scotland. There are several more castles such as St Andrews, Kellie and Ravenscraig scattered throughout the region, each being unique in their own way.
St Andrews – The Home of Golf and much more besides
In a single visit to this beautiful North Fife town you’ll be mesmerised by the sandy beaches and rugged coastline, as well as several golf courses ranked amongst the finest in the world. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! St Andrews roots date back to medieval times. The 12th century to be precise. St Andrews Cathedral was once the largest church on Scotland and is in fact one of the country’s leading tourist attractions, with many visitors exploring the remains, examining the sculptures and relics as well as climbing St Rule’s Tower for an amazing view over, not only the town, but the stunning Fife coastline.
If you suffer from vertigo, be transported instead into an underwater world of adventure and comes face to face with fascinating creatures at St Andrews Aquarium. See animals including British sharks, piranhas, seals and even meerkats! You can also get up close and personal with animals at various interactive demonstrations held every day. Your kids will love The St Andrews Spy Mission Treasure Trail. Follow the self-guided trail to solve tricky clues and crack the code. And it’s educational too. While looking for answers you’ll learn all about the town including its historical buildings, signs and statues.
If your brave and curious enough the St Andrews Ghost Tours will also introduce you to many haunted locations and residents from years gone by. And once you catch your breath, call in at the museum which houses a permanent exhibition ‘St Andrews A – Z’ as well as a series of temporary exhibitions and a regular programme of talks, concerts and workshops. And finally, with a history spanning 450 years, St Andrews Castle has been a bishop’s palace, a fortress and a state prison. Learn all about the castle’s rich past when you explore today. Discover the 16th century underground mine and the ‘bottle dungeon’, a prison cut out of solid rock.
Discover coastal treasures
This is where the beauty of Fife comes into its own. It’s towns and villages may be small and perfectly formed, but they’re full of so much character. Discover them all and soak up the astonishing views as you follow the Fife Coastal Path right around the coastline. From the cosmopolitan atmosphere of St Andrews to the quaint fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife such as Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans, Elie and beyond, the region is peppered with incredibly picturesque places, many great outdoor activities and amazing wildlife, not to mention welcoming locals.
Scotland’s secret bunker
Let’s be honest, did you know there was such a place? Well there is, and it’s one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. Lying just six miles from St Andrews, Scotland’s secret bunker is a relic from the Cold War. It’s one of several in the UK designed at the time to be a safe haven in the event of nuclear fallout. RAF Troywood was built in 1953, is 100 feet underground and is a sizeable 24,000 ft of command centre with radar technology a dormitory, a kitchen and specific plotting rooms. Well worth a visit.
Enjoy Fife’s sumptuous larder
When it comes to dining in Fife, you’ll find yourself wondering how to make the most of the buzzing restaurants and lip-smacking enjoyments! You can savour craft beers, gins and whiskies directly at source, pick your own berries, or have locally produced stock served up in cafés, pubs and award-winning restaurants. Or why not stop at some of the region’s many bustling farmers’ markets and stock up on local ingredients, from freshly caught seafood to flavoursome cheeses and succulent meats? The choice is entirely yours!
Explore Fife and Beyond With a Luxury Motorhome Hire
With thousands of tourists and just as many locals now choosing to holiday at home for a variety of reasons, Scotland remains one of the most popular go to destinations in the world. And what better way to do than taking charge of your trip and travelling the country in a luxury motorhome hire?
Our motorhome rentals can provide you with unforgettable holidays on the road. So whether you’re from the U.K, or indeed, from farther afield, motorhome rentals are a great way to get the full cultural experience that Scotland has to offer. We’ve a range of different sized motorhomes to suit the numbers in your travelling group, so why not contact us today and you can start planning your next adventure.