The Kingdom of Fife

The Kingdom of Fife

 

Fife is a surprisingly compact region of remarkable variety which is located between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth on the east coast of Scotland. This charming region will greet you with colourful fishing villages framed by glorious beaches and miles of countryside nestled inland.

 

The stunning nature and geography of this region is woven with a rich history, visible in the atmospheric ruins dotted across the region. Explore the charming towns and villages, look out for the local wildlife, take in some arts and culture and sample some of the finest food and drink in award-winning restaurants and local produce from farm shops - Fife offers a host of possibilities to make each day a new experience.

 

History

 

From Dunfermline, the former capital of Scotland, to St Andrews, which boasts a fascinating history, this wonderful region is steeped in tales gone by and filled with stunning castles, cathedrals, historic towns and sites. The Kingdom of Fife’s royal connections await your discovery.

 

Fife’s second largest town, Dunfermline is simply a must-see. A former capital of Scotland, it was established by Malcolm III as a new seat for royal power in the mid 11th century and this beautiful town is blessed with a number of historical venues that cannot be missed. The palace ruins still stand near Abbot House as a reminder of Dunfermline’s royal heritage, and are one of the most visually stunning examples of Romanesque architecture in Scotland. Bursting with fascinating history, explore the majestic abbey, palace and Abbot House in Dunfermline for a magnificent glimpse into the past.

 

Discover the rest of the Kingdom of Fife’s royal connections by first visiting Falkland Palace, an impressive Renaissance building in the heart of the town. Built in 1500 and frequently visited by Mary Queen of Scots, you can follow in her footsteps by wandering around the courtyard and impressive rooms to soak up the history and head through the lush green lawns and colourful herbaceous borders.

 

Another must visit is the Royal Burgh of Culross, home to an ochre-coloured palace, an extremely grand and impressive house built in the 16th century. Take a tour around this truly magnificent building to discover a range of beautiful small rooms and connecting passageways, and the study, which offers breath-taking views of the Firth of Forth. Make sure you leave time to wander around the streets of this beautiful Fife town.

 

Last but by no means least, head to the historic town of St Andrews, undoubtedly the best known jewel in the Fife’s crown. A simply stunning venue for an afternoon stroll, the fascinating history of this picture perfect town is illustrated in the medieval centre with its narrow alleys and cobbled streets. Pay a visit to the remains of what was once Scotland’s largest and most magnificent church, climb to the top of the 33 m high St Rule’s Tower for wonderful views of the town and learn more in the Cathedral Museum.

 

Arts and Culture

 

Explore the creative and artistic side of Fife in art galleries, museums and at events. There are many ways to enjoy art and culture in Fife - experience music, dance, theatre or admire the architecture of some of the region’s greatest towns.

 

In Fife, visitors can choose from an array of excellent arts and culture attractions. The Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery reopens in June 2013 and features work by famous Scottish artists including William McTaggart, the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists. In nearby Dunfermline, learn about philanthropist Andrew Carnegie at his Birthplace Museum and discover how he became the richest man in the world and the father of modern philanthropy.

 

Nature and Geography

 

Fife boasts a wonderful mix of stunning scenery, where you’ll find a wealth of flora and fauna whatever the season.

 

Walk or cycle through the lanes and past the sandy dunes to uncover a region that is filled with outdoor pursuits and activities. Follow the Fife Coastal Path and Cycle Ways to guarantee a great adventure.

 

The superb Fife Coastal Path is a clearly waymarked route that stretches 117 miles (188 km) from the Forth Estuary in the south to the Tay Estuary in north and takes in wildlife, historic sites and stunning scenery.

 

Uncover numerous trails in the Lomond Hills Regional Park that take in geological marvels such as the bizarrely shaped Bonnet Stane and Carlin Maggie’s Stane. The park contains the highest hills in Fife that offer spectacular views.

 

Fife also boasts 300 miles of dedicated cycle routes through pretty seaside villages and along country lanes and disused railway lines. The beauty of the Kingdom of Fife Millennium Cycle Ways is the variety of terrain which allows you to choose between family-friendly trails and tougher, more challenging, off-road treks.

 

Fife is home to all three of Scotland's Blue Flag award-winning beaches: Elie Ruby Bay, Aberdour Silver Sands and Burntisland, alongside several other award-winning beaches.

 

In the sandy curve of Elie Ruby Bay, try a range of sports in the sheltered waters, or head out beyond the bay where the open sea offers a challenge to the more experienced.

 

Food and drink

 

Sample delicious food and drink in the Kingdom of Fife. The region boasts a wide variety of mouth-watering local produce from tasty seafood to succulent meats. Discover award-winning fish and chips, dine in a Michelin-star restaurant, sample freshly caught seafood in quaint fishing villages or find a cosy traditional pub in the countryside. Whatever you choose, you'll discover the unique flavours of the region.

 

From the East Neuk villages to the heart of St Andrews, there are excellent eateries where you can indulge in Fife's excellent local produce.

 

Tantalise your taste buds at one of the region’s farmers’ markets. Held every Saturday in either Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, St Andrews or Cupar - browse a wide range of products from water buffalo, Aberdeen Angus beef, a selection of cheeses, home baking and the region’s tasty strawberries and gooseberries.

 

Of course, no trip to Scotland would be complete without sampling the national drink, whisky. Fife has a long association with Scotland’s most famous export and Luvian’s Bottle Shops in St Andrews and Cupar stock over 800 varieties of single malt. Whether you prefer to buy the wonderful local produce at a farmers’ market or have it served up in the cafés, pubs or award-winning restaurants, the delicious food and drink in Fife will leave you wanting more.

 

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