Fife Attractions in Scotland
Fife is a council area as well as a historic county of Scotland. It is a peninsula in eastern Scotland bordered on the north by the Firth of Tay, on the east by the North Sea and by the Firth of Forth to the south. Fife is Scotland's third largest local authority area if determined by population.
There are a wide selection of visitor attractions in Fife ranging from ecclesiastical sites including churches and abbeys of historical interest to a number of restored / preserved castles and notable historical buildings. Events of national cultural importance such as the Stanza Poetry Festival, Pittenweem Arts Festival, and the East Neuk Festival, along with smaller festivals occur throughout the year. There are theatrical touring companies along with the Fife Opera. The Fife Craft Association organizes art and craft events throughout the year in various venues throughout Fife. If you play golf you will not want to miss a visit to St Andrews where the Royal and Ancient Golf Club still is responsible for overseeing the rules of the game today. Walking tours, animal parks, sports, museums, along with more unusual attractions such as Scotland’s Secret Bunker and the Logannet Power Station draw visitors to Fife year round.
You can choose from a wide range of high quality Fife attractions that are suitable for the whole family and open all year round.
Fife, Scotland Attractions
See 1000 years of history revealed in this award winning journey from the birth of a nation to the 1960’s. Enjoy our house video “The Spirit in the Stones”.
Enjoy the refurbished Palace that dates from 1597 with its medieval garden. See the Town House exhibition and video presentation outlining the burgh’s 400 years of history and sample the atmosphere of bygone times in the picturesque study beside the ancient Mercat Cross.
The Royal Palace built between 1501 and 1541, was the country residence of eight Stuart monarchs; including Mary, Queen of Scots. The renaissance building includes the beautiful Chapel Royal surrounded by internationally renowned gardens. The Royal Tennis Court, reputedly the worlds oldest, is still used today. Shop in Town Hall.
Hill of Tarvit
Built in 1906 by Sir Robert Lorimer for a Dundee industrialist, Mr F. B. Shoop; this fine Edwardian mansionhouse still presents a perfect setting for Mr. Shoop’s notable collection of French, Chippendale and vernaculos furniture, Chinese porcelain and bronzes, and paintings by Raeburn, Ramsay and eminent Dutch artists.
Castle is a fine example of domestic architecture of lowland Scotland; it contains magnificent plaster ceilings, painted panels & furniture designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. The organic walled garden is late Victorian and has a collection of old fashioned roses & herbaceous plants.
A 13th century castle built by the Douglas family. The gallery on the first floor gives an idea of how it was furnished at the time. The castle has a delightful walled garden dovecote.
Dunfermline Abbey & Palace
The remains of the great Benedictine abbey founded by Queen Margaret. The foundations of her church are under the superb 12th century Romanesque style nave. The Palace is the birthplace of Charles I, the last monarch born in Scotland
St. Andrews Castle
The castle of the Archbishops of St. Andrews. See the fascinating mine and counter-mine - rare examples of medieval siege techniques - and the bottle dungeon hollowed out of solid rock - from which death was the only release. A fascinating exhibition in the visitor centre brings the history of the castle to life.
St. Andrews Cathedral
The remains still give a vivid impression of the scale of what was once the largest cathedral in Scotland. Climb St Rule’s Tower for a magnificent view of the town and visit the cathedral’s collection of Celtic and medieval carved stones.
Walks & Trips
Anstruther Pleasure Trips
The May Princess sails from Anstruther harbour to the Isle of May from May to October. The May Princess is licensed to carry 100 passengers with saloon, upper viewing deck, snack bar and toilets. There are impressive vertical cliffs all along the west coast teeming with seabirds in early summer. The island is treeless and rugged, but there are parts without difficulty. There is a small information centre and toilets on the island.
British Golf Museum
New for 2002 - The 18th Hole A visit to the British Golf Museum will transport you down a pathway of surprising facts and striking feats from 500 years of golf history. Using diverse displays and exciting exhibits, the museum traces the history of the game in Britain from the middle ages to present day.
A small local history museum run entirely by volunteers. It provides an insight into the past life of this ancient royal burgh, its Kirk, seafaring tradition, 200 year-old golf club and airfield history (HMS Jackdaw, Fleet Air Arm station, HMS Bruce Boys Training School & JSSL)
The museum and art gallery houses an outstanding collection of 18th - 21st century Scottish paintings. It boasts the best public collection of work by S J Peploe and William McTaggart, outside the National Galleries of Scotland.
A 17th century private mansion converted to a public space in 1911. The beautiful plaster ceiling designed by Robert Lorimer is worth a visit in itself. Exhibitions change every 6 weeks or so.
Scottish Fisheries Museum
The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust is an award- winning National museum which tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry from the earliest times to present. With 10 galleries,2 boatyards, and a replica fisherman's cottage to see, the Museum makes for an exceptional day out. ACCOMPANIED CHILDREN FREE(UP TO 5 CHILDREN FREE.)
Scottish Vintage Bus Museum
Possibly Britain’s largest collection of historic buses, dating from 1920’s to the 1980’s. See beautifully restored buses in the main exhibition hall and others under restoration in the large workshops. Visit the museum shop and snack bar. * Steam Railway Locomotive Site Now Open - Take the guided bus trip round the site on Sundays
St. Andrews Museum
St Andrews Museum is situated in a beautiful Victorian mansion within the grounds of Kinburn Park. The long term display, St Andrews A-Z, is housed in the downstairs gallery. This tells the story of the history of St Andrews through star objects and images from the Museum's collections. The upstairs Kinburn Gallery features a programme of changing temporary exhibitions on a wide variety of topics.There is a programme of events and activities throughout the year
Sports & Leisure
International shooting and entertainment centre offering all disciplines of clay-pigeon shooting and archery for novices and experts, individuals or groups. Excellent facilities, both indoors and outdoors; also offering air-rifle shooting, off-roading, and indoor funfair games. New golf course and driving range opening in 2002. Childrens activities and playpark: something for everyone!
East Neuk Outdoor Cent.
Based at Cellardyke Park, Anstruther, East Neuk Outdoors was established in 1986. It is run and personally managed by Crispin Heath, professional teacher and outdoor instructor with over 30 years of experience, who holds the following National Governing Body Qualifications : Coach Level 3 Inland and Sea Kayaking Coach level 2 Open Canadian Canoeing, Summer and Winter Moutain Leader, Alpine Ski Leader
Knockhill Racing Circuit
Scotlands National Motorsport Centre, open all year round, features major international and national motorsport events for both cars and bikes most Sundays from April to October. Also Knockhill is a major venue for corporate activity driving days with group bookings. Gift driving experiences such as race and rally, plus a 4x4 and bike school is also available.
Kingdom of Fife Millennium Cycleways
Fife, Scotland’s Cycling County, has one of the UK’s most comprehensive signed cycle networks. The 300 miles (500km) of cycle network includes a variety of leisure routes which vary from off road disused railway tracks to forest routes, from networks in towns to quiet country lanes.
Newton hill Country Sports
Quads, clays, off-road driving and fly fishing; all in great natural surroundings. Warm welcome to all - beginners to advanced. Group sizes 1 > 100+ (Tuition provided if required). Tay Bridge 10 minutes, St. Andrews 20 minutes and Forth Bridges 50 minutes.
We have an extremely mad and totally outrageous off road driving experience using the wild and wicked tracks at the Scottish Off Road Driving Centre. If you are visiting Central Scotland, Perthshire or Fife and want a really good all weather activity to supercharge your day then try our "mad4x4it", simply call us to book your session. If you are staying in the area and don't have a car with you give us a call and we will collect you.
Food & Crafts
Crail Pottery, a family run business set in the heart of Crail produces a diverse range of stonewave and brightly coloured earthenware. Visit our pottery, see the workshops, browse in the showroom and relax in our secluded yard under the fruit trees.
Griselda Hill Pottery
Since 1985, the Griselda Hill Pottery has revived in Fife. The production of Wemyss Ware, probably the most sought after Scottish pottery. All our products are made and hand painted at our factory showroom in Ceres, where visitors are always welcome.
200 year old converted farm steading. Michelin Guide Accredited Scottish Restaurant and Food Shop. Simple but excellent cooking by one of Scotland’s top chefs. Food served all day with special dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Special cookery demonstrations and classes for small or large groups tailored to your requirements.
Unique attraction offering the very best in Scottish food and crafts. They offer regular events, exhibitions and demonstrations. Located in a superb courtyard setting with panoramic views. Our restaurant is Taste of Scotland recommended.
Other Visitor Attractions
Deep Sea World
The wonders of the world beneath the waves comes to life at the triple award winning National aquarium of Scotland. The longest underwater tunnel in the world will convey you through Scotlands million gallon indoor ocean. You'll be just inches away from possibly the biggest sharks you'll ever see. Glide along the moving safari watching divers feed the largest collection of sharks and temperate fish in the world. Reptile handling and behind the scenes tours are also available.
Fife Animal Park
Scotland's Secret Bunker
Hidden beneath a Scottish farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland’s Secret Bunker. 24, 000 sq ft of secret accommodation on two floors, 100 ft underground. This amazing complex is encased in 15 feet of reinforced concrete, and is where central government and our military commanders would have run the country had the UK been attacked and nuclear war broken out. The innocent looking farmhouse conceals the entrance to Scotland’s Secret Bunker
Logannet Power Station Visitor Centre
Longannet Power Station at Kincardine-on-Forth, is one of the largest coal-fired power stations in Europe. It has four 600 megawatt (MW) units and burns coal which come mainly from Scottish Coal's Longannet deep mine complex close to the station.
Scottish Deer Centre
The Scottish Deer Centre combines an exciting wildlife park with an excellent selection of quality shopping, ensuring a fun day for all the family. Many species of deer from around the world Dramatic falconry displays Ranger guided tours Indoor & outdoor playground, treetop walkway & scenic walks
St. Andrews Sea Life Aquarium
The refurbished and continually expanding St. Andrews Aquarium welcomes you to the wonderful world of the sea and its inhabitants - from shrimp to sharks, octopus to eels, rams to seals - and now our fascinating diving ducks. Never has discovery & enjoyment gone so well together!
Known as the “Iona of the East”. The abbey was founded in the 12th century by Alexander I. The island is also famed for its seals, wildlife and coastal defenses for two world wars.
Parks & Gardens
Cambo Estates Gardens
Romantic Victorian walled garden designed around the Cambo burn with willow, waterfall and charming wrought-iron bridges. Ornamental potager, breathtaking snowdrops (mail order in the green), massed spring bulbs, a lilac walk, herbaceous borders, 250 named roses in summer, colchicum meadow and September borders lovely in autumn. “Taken back a century. Quite wonderful”.
Craigtoun Country Park
A country park which caters for all ages - both young and old. Facilities include Rio Grande Railway, Boating Lake, Crazy Golf, Putting & Bouncy Castles along with Cafeteria, Pets Corner, Bowls, Countryside Centre and Adventure Play Area. Colourful glasshouses along with special events are also available.
Lochure Meadows Country Park
The Country Park comprises 1200 acres of rolling grassland and woods, including a 260 acre loch. The area was reclaimed from coal mining waste in the 1970’s and is one of the best examples of land reclamation in the country. The Country Park is a major centre for outdoor and environmental education and countryside recreation.
St. Andrews Botanic Garden
There qre 18 acres of impressively landscaped gardens which has won international recognition for its design and wide range of plants. There are extensive rock and peat gardens and ornamental lake. Extensive glasshouses containing tropical and temperature plants. Carti house which boasts 250 species of carti and succulents and also and orchid house.
The Byre Theatre
Opening May 2001, the superbly designed Byre Theatre will offer varied and exciting programme of contemporary and classic drama, dance, concerts, opera, comedy and film. Added attractions to the new building are a lively cafe bar, restaurant and conference facilities. The new Byre Theatre has something for everyone.
Getting from place to place in Fife is a simple task. With an intricate road network and reliable bus and train services you can take in the splendour of Fife’s beautiful countryside and coastal scenery as you move around.
Complimented by a number of car hire firms, taxi hire, chauffeur services and specialist tours, there really is no excuse not to visit all the places you wanted too see before you arrived.
For details of bus and rail services throughout the Kingdom, call Fife Council's Public Transport Information Line on +44 (0) 1592 416060 (9am -4pm, Mon -Fri).
For more information on bus and rail services within Fife, pick up a free copy of Fife Council's 'Getting Around Fife Public Transport Map' from any Tourist Information Centre, Bus Station or local Council Office: http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/community/comm_pti.htm
ST. Andrews Park & Ride - A free Park & Ride service operates into St. Andrews town centre from June to September. The service runs from 9am - 5pm from the Petherum Bridge Car Park on the A91 west of the town.
National Rail Enquiry Line 0345 484950 (24 hours) or visit www.railtrack.co.uk
ScotRail Telesales 0345 55 00 33 (Credit/Debit card bookings) Trains from Edinburgh - Aberdeen: Stations at: Inverkeithing, Kirkcaldy, Markinch, Ladybank, Cupar, Leuchars (for St Andrews) Fife Circle Trains: Stations at: North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Rosyth, Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, Cardenden, Dalgety Bay, Aberdour, Burntisland, Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes with Thornton, Markinch
A number taxi services have contact details posted in public payphones as well as hotels and tourist attractions. Many can provide both 4 and 7 seater vehicles. You will find a number of taxis on location to meet trains, buses and planes, most are happy to give tours around the area.
For air services to Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports please visit www.baa.co.uk
Air services to Dundee airport are offered by numerous airlines.
If Fife is a popular vacation place for golfers and nature lovers, it's definitely a paradise for cyclists. Many of Fife's top attractions can be seen along its beautiful cycling routes.
The longest cycle route or way as the Scots refer to them, is the Kingdom Route in Howe of Fife, which connects St Andrews, Ceres, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Burntisland, Aberdour, Inverkeithing, Dunfermline, Kinross, Newburgh, Tayport, and Leuchars. Popular attractions along this cycle way are St Andrews Aquarium with more than 100 fish species; Fife Folk Museum in Ceres; Ravenscraig Castle east of Kirkcaldy; Black Sands - a small and quiet beach on the south side of Aberdour; Abbot House in Dunfermline - one of the oldest houses in the ancient capital of Scotland.
Another interesting cycle route goes through East Neuk between Anstruther, Pittenweem, and Troywood. The main attractions along this cycle way are the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther - award winning museum which tells the history of Scottish fishing; the Secret Bunker - a former nuclear bunker hidden 100 feet below a farmhouse at Troywood; Kellie Castle northwest of Pittenweem - former home of the Earls of Kellie which today also is known for its beautiful garden with fruit trees, roses, and herbaceous plants.
Cycle routes can also be used to reach tourist attractions such as Falkland Palace in Howe of Fife; Culross Palace in West Fife; Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve northeast of Crail - one of the most popular nature reserves in Fife with species such as cormorants, eiders, gannets, oystercatchers, and stonechats.
Fife is well connected to the rest of Scotland by road and rail. The nearest international airport is at Edinburgh. It's also possible to travel by express ferry between Zeebrugge in Belgium and Rosyth in Fife.