Fife Coastal Route

Fife Coastal Route

Length 77 miles / 124 km

With the Kincardine Bridge and the Tay Bridge at either end, the Fife Coastal Route traces a meandering path along the glittering Firth of Forth coastline, passing places such as the Royal Burgh of Culross, the beautiful fishing towns in the East Neuk and historic St Andrews.

Highlights

DEVILLA FOREST

Keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels and find historic sites.

Perfect for walking and cycling, this rustling forest is also one of the best places in central Scotland to see elusive red squirrels. Filled with towering Scots pines, Devilla Forest is the ideal habitat for these iconic, but rapidly declining, animals. Follow the red squirrel trail and keep your eyes peeled for the quick flash of red fur. Elsewhere, the forest’s 700 hectares hide a range of historic sites and stories to uncover. Look out for four lochs, an abandoned church and a WWII explosives research station as you wander.

ROYAL BURGH OF CULROSS

Wander around the cobbled streets and visit the palace.

The former Royal Burgh of Culross is steeped in history and its traditional buildings and cobbled streets have changed little over the centuries. Built in the 1500s by the wealthy coal merchant George Bruce, mustard-coloured Culross Palace and Gardens boast plenty of stories and interesting objects to discover. Fans of Outlander will recognise many places in Culross as settings from the TV series, including Mercat Cross, the historic herb garden and rooms in the palace itself. Don’t miss the famous dumpy hens roaming freely in the palace garden.

DUNFERMLINE PALACE & ABBEY

Admire the architecture and see where Robert the Bruce’s body is buried.

Make a slight detour to Dunfermline Palace & Abbey for a wander around the towering historic buildings in the Abbey complex. Pause to admire the impressive Romanesque architecture of the nave before paying a visit to the place where King Robert the Bruce’s body is buried (his heart is buried at Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders). You’ll also see his name, ‘King Robert the Bruce’, carved in stone on the tower of the church. Close to the town, enjoy a round of golf at Dunfermline Golf Club or learn water skiing and wakeboarding skills at the Scottish National Water Ski Centre.

DEEP SEA WORLD

Marvel at sea creatures in the walk-through underwater tunnel.

This fantastic aquarium is home to hundreds of animals and sea creatures, including sea horses, seals, colourful fish and Europe’s largest collection of sharks. Visit the aquarium of Deep Sea World to see these animals and more in the walk-through underwater tunnel – one of the longest in the world – and enjoy watching daily feeding demonstrations and talks. See species from the Amazon River and Lake Malawi, meet the seals and watch them being fed and peer into the piranha tank to see the Red Bellied Piranha, one of the world’s most deadly piranhas, up close.

ABERDOUR CASTLE

Visit what is thought to be the oldest standing castle in Scotland.

Visit Aberdour Castle, thought to be the oldest standing castle in Scotland. The hall-house is the oldest part (it was built in the 1100s) and you can see where the building has been extended with later additions. Though the west side of the castle is ruined, the east range is remarkably intact, boasting features such as a painted ceiling from the 1600s.

Enjoy a wander in the tranquil gardens and look out for the impressive beehive shaped dovecot. From the castle it’s just a short stroll to St Fillan’s Church (also built in the 1100s) as well as the beautiful Aberdour Silver Sands beach. Aberdour Golf Club is close by if you fancy a game too.

KIRKCALDY GALLERIES

Look out for paintings by the celebrated Scottish artist Jack Vettriano.

Stop off at Kirkcaldy Galleries and explore the museum and art galleries. Soak up the information in the Moments in Time exhibition in the museum, which brings to life 24 moments in Kirkcaldy’s history, from 300 million years ago to the present day. In the art galleries you can spend a quiet moment studying the impressive range of artwork, including paintings by the celebrated Scottish artist Jack Vettriano who was born in Fife. Also in Kirkcaldy, why not stretch your legs in tranquil Beveridge Park or see a show or a film at the Adam Smith Theatre?

SCOTTISH FISHERIES MUSEUM

Find out how fishing has developed from the earliest times to present.

With crystal clear waters, Scotland is famous for the quality of its seafood. Fish, crabs, lobsters and much more are caught and brought to shore, providing food and jobs for many generations of hardworking families. Discover how fishing has evolved from the earliest times to the present at this innovative museum, located in the charming village of Anstruther. The Scottish Fisheries Museum boasts historic photos and paintings of fishing in days gone by, as well as fascinating objects, such as clothes, equipment and a fleet of 22 historic boats. Other gorgeous East Neuk villages you’ll pass on the route include; Crail, Elie, Earlsferry, Kingsbarns, Pittenweem and St Monans.

KINGSBARNS DISTILLERY

Take a tour and discover the craft that goes into making whisky.

Take a tour of this stylish whisky distillery and see the traditional craft that goes into making Scotland’s national drink. Opened in 2015, discover the story of how the traditional farm buildings were converted into the modern Kingsbarns Distillery, see the huge copper stills that distil the spirit and challenge your sense of smell to see what scents you can pick out from your complementary sample at the end of the tour. Nearby, book a bird of prey experience with Inspired Falconry and learn all about the impressive birds you’re handling, including owls and falcons.

BRITISH GOLF MUSEUM

Explore golf’s history from the 1600s to the present day.

A visit to St Andrews is the perfect opportunity to learn about golf’s rich history. Located just a short walk from the world-famous Old Course, the British Golf Museum is packed with stories and fascinating exhibits that chart golf’s history from the 1600s to the present day. While you’re in St Andrews you could also take a stroll along West Sands, a filming location in Chariots of Fire, visit the stunning St Andrews Botanic Gardens to see the exotic plants in the hot houses or pop into St Andrews Aquarium to watch colourful fish and underwater animals up close.

TENTSMUIR FOREST

Smell the fresh scent of pine and explore the nearby sand dunes.

Before you reach the Tay Bridge and Dundee, stop off at Tentsmuir Forest to stretch your legs on a magical woodland walk. Enjoy the fresh scent from the pine trees and keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels and roe deer as you wander. The east side of the forest opens out onto sand dunes and sweeping views of the sea and you might spot seals basking on the dunes. You could also book an experience day or lesson at the Scottish Clay Shooting Centre to try your hand at clay shooting.

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