The Howff Guidebook

Rob

The Howff Guidebook

Local historical towns
Great days out with cafes,bars and a spot of shopping.
St Andrews is the wee sweetheart of Fife. It’s small, it’s adorable, and it’s known around the world. The town exudes cuteness around every corner, and is perfect for pottering, sightseeing and taste-bud-tickling. There are historic hotspots, independent shops, cute cafes, and glorious beaches.
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St Andrews
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St Andrews is the wee sweetheart of Fife. It’s small, it’s adorable, and it’s known around the world. The town exudes cuteness around every corner, and is perfect for pottering, sightseeing and taste-bud-tickling. There are historic hotspots, independent shops, cute cafes, and glorious beaches.
Formerly the county town of Fife, Cupar has many impressive civic buildings in the centre. Close by are the Scotstarvit Tower and the Hill of Tarvit mansion house which are well worth a visit. Here you can also play golf with original hickory golf clubs, bags and balls at Kingarrock. If you're visiting with the kids, we'd recommend a trip to Cairnie Mega Maze or The Scottish Deer Centre for hours of family fun.
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Cupar
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Formerly the county town of Fife, Cupar has many impressive civic buildings in the centre. Close by are the Scotstarvit Tower and the Hill of Tarvit mansion house which are well worth a visit. Here you can also play golf with original hickory golf clubs, bags and balls at Kingarrock. If you're visiting with the kids, we'd recommend a trip to Cairnie Mega Maze or The Scottish Deer Centre for hours of family fun.
Formerly the capital of Scotland, Dunfermline is steeped in extraordinary history. Take a step back in time and visit Dunfermline's Heritage Quarter which brings the town's fascinating history to life. Dunfermline Abbey is a fascinating place to visit and is the final resting place of King Robert the Bruce as well as 11 other Scottish kings and queens. The Abbey is just a short walk from the beautiful Pittencreiff Park (known locally as The Glen) which was gifted to the town by Andrew Carnegie. It's a real oasis in the middle of the town with tranquil woodland walks which are great for wildlife spotting, beautiful formal gardens, playparks and of course the resident peacocks! Dunfermline is also famous for being the birthplace of world famous philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. You can learn more about his interesting life and work at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum. Don't miss a visit to the award-winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries which tells the history of the town and hosts lots of interesting exhibitions throughout the year, Have a go at bringing Dunfermline's history to life at the Royal Gallery by downloading the new In The Footsteps of Kings augmented reality app which is sure to keep the kids entertained! If you're looking for some evening entartainment the Carnegie Hall and the Alhambra Theatre have a mixed programme of events including traditional favourites like the Christmas panto and big names from the stage, screen and music. There's also a thriving live music scene and the Outwith Festival in September is well worth a visit.
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Dunfermline
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Formerly the capital of Scotland, Dunfermline is steeped in extraordinary history. Take a step back in time and visit Dunfermline's Heritage Quarter which brings the town's fascinating history to life. Dunfermline Abbey is a fascinating place to visit and is the final resting place of King Robert the Bruce as well as 11 other Scottish kings and queens. The Abbey is just a short walk from the beautiful Pittencreiff Park (known locally as The Glen) which was gifted to the town by Andrew Carnegie. It's a real oasis in the middle of the town with tranquil woodland walks which are great for wildlife spotting, beautiful formal gardens, playparks and of course the resident peacocks! Dunfermline is also famous for being the birthplace of world famous philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. You can learn more about his interesting life and work at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum. Don't miss a visit to the award-winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries which tells the history of the town and hosts lots of interesting exhibitions throughout the year, Have a go at bringing Dunfermline's history to life at the Royal Gallery by downloading the new In The Footsteps of Kings augmented reality app which is sure to keep the kids entertained! If you're looking for some evening entartainment the Carnegie Hall and the Alhambra Theatre have a mixed programme of events including traditional favourites like the Christmas panto and big names from the stage, screen and music. There's also a thriving live music scene and the Outwith Festival in September is well worth a visit.
Home of the longest street fair in Europe, Kirkcaldy is a town on the Fife coast. Nowadays the top attraction is Kirkcaldy's Links Market, Europe's longest street fair, with over 200 fairground rides and attractions, held each Easter on the town esplanade. The Kirkcaldy Galleries houses a stunning collection of artworks and artefacts, and the Adam Smith Theatre, just across the road, provides a wide programme of entertainment with everything from pantomime and music to theatre and comedy. There are a number of shops, restaurants, cafés and bars in the centre of town, particularly around the high street and the Kirkcaldy Farmers’ Market is held on the last Saturday of every month. You can take a walk along the beach or enjoy the woodland walks and formal gardens at the Beveridge Park. Ravenscraig Park is located in the east of the town, connects up to the Fife Coastal Path and is home to the ancient Ravenscraig Castle.
Kirkcaldy
Home of the longest street fair in Europe, Kirkcaldy is a town on the Fife coast. Nowadays the top attraction is Kirkcaldy's Links Market, Europe's longest street fair, with over 200 fairground rides and attractions, held each Easter on the town esplanade. The Kirkcaldy Galleries houses a stunning collection of artworks and artefacts, and the Adam Smith Theatre, just across the road, provides a wide programme of entertainment with everything from pantomime and music to theatre and comedy. There are a number of shops, restaurants, cafés and bars in the centre of town, particularly around the high street and the Kirkcaldy Farmers’ Market is held on the last Saturday of every month. You can take a walk along the beach or enjoy the woodland walks and formal gardens at the Beveridge Park. Ravenscraig Park is located in the east of the town, connects up to the Fife Coastal Path and is home to the ancient Ravenscraig Castle.
Culross is Scotland’s most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries. White-harled houses with red-tiled roofs line the steep cobbled streets which run from the market cross to the hilltop abbey. In the centre is the ochre-coloured palace with its beautifully reconstructed period garden, complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens. Get a sense of what it would have been like to live in Culross Palace in its prime, with original painted woodwork and beautifully restored 17th- and 18th-century interiors. It’s little wonder that Culross is acknowledged as one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland - or that it’s so often used as a film and television location.
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Culross
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Culross is Scotland’s most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries. White-harled houses with red-tiled roofs line the steep cobbled streets which run from the market cross to the hilltop abbey. In the centre is the ochre-coloured palace with its beautifully reconstructed period garden, complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens. Get a sense of what it would have been like to live in Culross Palace in its prime, with original painted woodwork and beautifully restored 17th- and 18th-century interiors. It’s little wonder that Culross is acknowledged as one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland - or that it’s so often used as a film and television location.
A small and picturesque village, Falkland retains a traditional charm from its medieval roots. Today Falkland is famous as a filming location for the hugely popular TV series Outlander. Falkland was the first conservation village in Scotland thanks, in part, to its grand past. Falkland Palace was one of Mary Queen of Scots' favourite places to visit and is one of the finest examples of French renaissance architecture in the UK. It's also home to the world's oldest real tennis court. If you love the outdoors, head to Falkland Estate to enjoy some beautiful walks. If you're feeling energetic you can climb East Lomond (also known as Falkland Hill) for some fine views over Fife. Bring history to life with the new augmented reality app 'In the Footsteps of Kings' which can be enjoyed at both Falkland Palace and Falkland Estate.
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Falkland
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A small and picturesque village, Falkland retains a traditional charm from its medieval roots. Today Falkland is famous as a filming location for the hugely popular TV series Outlander. Falkland was the first conservation village in Scotland thanks, in part, to its grand past. Falkland Palace was one of Mary Queen of Scots' favourite places to visit and is one of the finest examples of French renaissance architecture in the UK. It's also home to the world's oldest real tennis court. If you love the outdoors, head to Falkland Estate to enjoy some beautiful walks. If you're feeling energetic you can climb East Lomond (also known as Falkland Hill) for some fine views over Fife. Bring history to life with the new augmented reality app 'In the Footsteps of Kings' which can be enjoyed at both Falkland Palace and Falkland Estate.
The town sits beside Loch Leven, the largest loch of the Scottish Lowlands. Declared a nature reserve in 1964, the loch attracts around 20,000 pink-footed geese every autumn. Sitting peacefully on an islet within the loch itself is the enchanting Lochleven Castle. Between April and September you can take the small ferry to the castle which gained infamy when it acted as a prison to Mary Queen of Scots in 1567. Her dramatic escape by boat is one of Scotland's most romantic tales. Enjoy all or parts of the 16 mile Loch Leven Heritage Trail on the north and east shores of Loch Leven. Nearby, the grassy banks of Kirkgate Park sit on the shores of the loch where there is a great play area for the kids or why not tee-off on one of the golf courses or pop into one of the lovely Hotels or cafes where you can enjoy a bite to eat. There's also a convenience store on the High Street and a number of small shops and banks nearby.
Kinross
The town sits beside Loch Leven, the largest loch of the Scottish Lowlands. Declared a nature reserve in 1964, the loch attracts around 20,000 pink-footed geese every autumn. Sitting peacefully on an islet within the loch itself is the enchanting Lochleven Castle. Between April and September you can take the small ferry to the castle which gained infamy when it acted as a prison to Mary Queen of Scots in 1567. Her dramatic escape by boat is one of Scotland's most romantic tales. Enjoy all or parts of the 16 mile Loch Leven Heritage Trail on the north and east shores of Loch Leven. Nearby, the grassy banks of Kirkgate Park sit on the shores of the loch where there is a great play area for the kids or why not tee-off on one of the golf courses or pop into one of the lovely Hotels or cafes where you can enjoy a bite to eat. There's also a convenience store on the High Street and a number of small shops and banks nearby.
Sightseeing
A short ten minute drive away, this is a great day out for younger family's and nature lovers.
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The Scottish Deer Centre
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A short ten minute drive away, this is a great day out for younger family's and nature lovers.
Scotland’s best kept secret for over 40 years, Hidden beneath an innocent Scottish farmhouse, a tunnel leads to, Scotland’s Secret Bunker. 24,000 square feet of Secret accommodation. The size of two football pitches, one on top of another, On two levels 100 feet underground. Had there been a Nuclear War, this is where Scotland, would have been Governed, from within. Discover the twilight world of the Government Cold War.
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Scotland's Secret Bunker
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Scotland’s best kept secret for over 40 years, Hidden beneath an innocent Scottish farmhouse, a tunnel leads to, Scotland’s Secret Bunker. 24,000 square feet of Secret accommodation. The size of two football pitches, one on top of another, On two levels 100 feet underground. Had there been a Nuclear War, this is where Scotland, would have been Governed, from within. Discover the twilight world of the Government Cold War.
Come face to face with one of Europe's largest collections of sharks in one of the world's longest underwater tunnels at Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium. Located beneath the world-famous Forth Rail Bridge, Deep Sea World is Scotland’s national aquarium. Over 40 displays, including the 4.5-million-litre Underwater Safari with its walkthrough tunnel, are home to hundreds of fascinating creatures, ranging from seals and seahorses to stingrays and giant sand tiger sharks. Discover the mysteries of the deep with a huge selection of creatures to gaze at in the amazing underwater tunnel. At 112 m long, it holds a million gallons of sea water, making it the largest temperate marine exhibit in the UK and one of the longest underwater safaris in the world. See the piranhas and resident seals. Or for something more adventurous, Why not go diving with the sharks?
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Deep Sea World
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Come face to face with one of Europe's largest collections of sharks in one of the world's longest underwater tunnels at Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium. Located beneath the world-famous Forth Rail Bridge, Deep Sea World is Scotland’s national aquarium. Over 40 displays, including the 4.5-million-litre Underwater Safari with its walkthrough tunnel, are home to hundreds of fascinating creatures, ranging from seals and seahorses to stingrays and giant sand tiger sharks. Discover the mysteries of the deep with a huge selection of creatures to gaze at in the amazing underwater tunnel. At 112 m long, it holds a million gallons of sea water, making it the largest temperate marine exhibit in the UK and one of the longest underwater safaris in the world. See the piranhas and resident seals. Or for something more adventurous, Why not go diving with the sharks?
See over 150 buses at the museum, most of Scottish origin, in different levels of condition from some neglected buses to fully restored vehicles. The museum offers a guided tour of the site and storage sheds in a vintage bus, beginning and ending at the Exhibition Hall, where visitors can spend hours exploring vehicles and artefacts. There is also a café and shop. The museum also hosts various transport related events throughout the year (see website for details).
Scottish Vintage Bus Museum
See over 150 buses at the museum, most of Scottish origin, in different levels of condition from some neglected buses to fully restored vehicles. The museum offers a guided tour of the site and storage sheds in a vintage bus, beginning and ending at the Exhibition Hall, where visitors can spend hours exploring vehicles and artefacts. There is also a café and shop. The museum also hosts various transport related events throughout the year (see website for details).
Dunfermline Palace and Abbey are the remains of a great Benedictine abbey founded by Queen Margaret in the 11th century. Dunfermline Abbey Nave is now open and we are delighted to welcome you back. Find out more about our re-opening plans. Free of charge, but you must pre-book. Due to physical distancing and the overall safety of our visitors and staff, Dunfermline Palace remains closed. Beginning as a priory founded by Malcolm’s wife, Queen Margaret, it was re-established as an abbey by her son in 1128 and is the final resting place of King Robert Bruce, notably minus his heart, along with seven other Scottish kings. Substantial parts of the abbey buildings remain, including the vast refectory. The foundations of Queen Margaret’s church are under the present superb nave, built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style. The abbey complex encompasses the ruins of a palace built by King James VI in the 16th century, which became home to his queen, Anna of Denmark. After the couple’s departure for London, royal interest in Dunfermline waned but the ruins of the abbey’s neighbouring palace still make for an interesting discovery. This was the birthplace of Charles I, the last monarch born in Scotland. The refectory floor, kitchen area and lower floor of the palace together with the upper floor and stone display in the gatehouse are not suitable for visitors using wheelchairs and three steps lead to the shop. All paths in the grounds are accessible. They have a gravel surface and there are flagstones within the abbey. Access to the nave is unrestricted. Palace entry is from Pittencrief Park with limited access for visitors using wheelchairs. There are stone carvings in the nave and abbey grounds, along with flowers and plants.
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Dunfermline Abbey
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Dunfermline Palace and Abbey are the remains of a great Benedictine abbey founded by Queen Margaret in the 11th century. Dunfermline Abbey Nave is now open and we are delighted to welcome you back. Find out more about our re-opening plans. Free of charge, but you must pre-book. Due to physical distancing and the overall safety of our visitors and staff, Dunfermline Palace remains closed. Beginning as a priory founded by Malcolm’s wife, Queen Margaret, it was re-established as an abbey by her son in 1128 and is the final resting place of King Robert Bruce, notably minus his heart, along with seven other Scottish kings. Substantial parts of the abbey buildings remain, including the vast refectory. The foundations of Queen Margaret’s church are under the present superb nave, built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style. The abbey complex encompasses the ruins of a palace built by King James VI in the 16th century, which became home to his queen, Anna of Denmark. After the couple’s departure for London, royal interest in Dunfermline waned but the ruins of the abbey’s neighbouring palace still make for an interesting discovery. This was the birthplace of Charles I, the last monarch born in Scotland. The refectory floor, kitchen area and lower floor of the palace together with the upper floor and stone display in the gatehouse are not suitable for visitors using wheelchairs and three steps lead to the shop. All paths in the grounds are accessible. They have a gravel surface and there are flagstones within the abbey. Access to the nave is unrestricted. Palace entry is from Pittencrief Park with limited access for visitors using wheelchairs. There are stone carvings in the nave and abbey grounds, along with flowers and plants.
For keen cyclists and walkers, why not spend a day or two exploring the East Neuk with its picturesque vishing villages, quiet back roads, sea views. Neuk' is the old Scots word for corner, and the East Neuk is the name given to the area of land that runs around the Eastern peninsula of Fife. The delightful East Neuk villages, nestling amongst the natural harbours of the coastline, are testimony to the heritage of sea-fishing that still lives on in the Kingdom of Fife. Crail has one of the prettiest harbours in the area and is well known for shellfish. Dating back to 16th century, the curved breakwater was built to give it protection against the Forth and in 1826 Robert Stevenson built the straight west pier. Coming up from the harbour you find the main street through Crail. Following the road towards the golf course you pass the Crail History Museum. Shortly before the Marketgate there is a road leading down to Crail Pottery. In the school holidays the pottery puts on classes for children. The Marketgate, now lined by trees, was once the largest medieval market places in Europe. Anstruther fifty years ago, this picturesque port was so busy with fishing boats it was possible to walk from one side of the wide harbour to the other by stepping from boat to boat. But the North Sea herring shoals disappeared, taking with them most of the fishing fleet. Today, pleasure craft moor in the harbour where the fishing boats used to unload their catches. Anstruther's association with the fishing industry has not been forgotten. The town is home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum a national museum which tells the story of Scottish fishing from the earliest times to the present day. Housed in a complex of buildings beside the harbour, displays include a cottage belonging to a fishing family as well as the history of the herring industry that was once the mainstay of the local economy. Restored fishing craft stand in the paved courtyard, with a huge anchor alongside. Tableaux, reconstructions, models and paintings are included. Anstruther itself is a charming place. Take a walk along the cobbled streets through a rabbit-warren of little alleyways and wynds and note the dates on the buildings. In High Street many of the shops still display original signs and advertisements for companies long forgotten. There are restaurants serving local seafood specialities and Anstruther Fish Bar by the shore was voted "Scotland's best fish and chips in 2001". There are many interesting buildings in Anstruther - one that stands out is Buckie House. The house was covered in shells by Alex Batchelor last century, who it is said, used to charge a penny to see his coffin which was also covered in shells - presumably it had yet to be occupied. Kellie Castle (National Trust) is a fine example of the domestic architecture of Lowland Scotland. The oldest part is believed to date from 1360, but the building in its present form is mainly 16th and early 17th century. It was completed about 1606. Sympathetically restored by the Lorimer family around 1878, it contains magnificent plaster ceilings, painted panelling and furniture designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. The Secret Bunker, Scotland's best kept secret for over 40 years, hidden beneath a Scottish Farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland's secret bunker. 24,000 square feet of accommodation on two levels, 100 feet underground - a twilight world of the cold war. Take the opportunity to discover how they would have survived, and you wouldn't. Route Description This part of Fife is known as the East Neuk; neuk being the old Scots word for corner. The East Neuk fishing villages are set in the natural harbours along the coast. Fishing boats these days are outnumbered by the yachts but at one time these small harbours were crammed with trawlers. Inland this an area of mixed farm and woodland with sea views and many quiet back roads. The route starts with a linking section from St Andrews. St Andrews has a town cycle network but this is rather complex - the simplest way to get to the start is to follow the A917 to the edge of the town at which point the route is signposted. The back road is wide at first, rising gently with houses on the right. The first two miles are a gentle climb passing strawberry fields after which the road levels off. After three miles you come to a T junction where you turn left, at the time of writing there was no sign but there is no other junction. The next couple of miles to the B9131 are fairly flat. Turn right at this junction. You pass through the tiny hamlet of Dunino. A mile after that you meet a minor road to the left and are on the circular section. Fife Cycleways deem this part to be an orange route and you are following these markers from here to Crail. Turn left to the minor road and follow it for three miles. You start to get sea views, the church spire at Kingsbarns is visible. Near here look out for your right turn which is to a dirt track that once was a railway line. Follow this for two miles. The route leaves the rail line after a mile or so and follows farm tracks then meets the B9171 where you turn left. Turn left again for a very short distance on to the A917 then right off it to a smooth tarmac drive leading to Wormiston House. Beyond the house the surface becomes a bit bumpier, it passes a World War II airfield. Turn right on the public road for Crail. In Crail follow signs for the harbour. Crail has a good choice of places to eat though you might prefer simply to sit by the harbour and eat your sandwiches. There is usually plenty going on and lobsters for sale though these are fairly incompatible with bicycle panniers. The harbour is possibly the prettiest of all the East Neuk harbours. When the time comes to go you have a short distance on the A917 going north west before turning left to the B940 then left to the B9171. This is a blue cycle route in Fife Cycleways terms and these signs will take you from the B940/B9171 junction, through Anstruther and on back to the St Andrews linking section. Don't forget to turn left for Kilrenny before the B9131. The church at Kilrenny is charming and worth looking round. You cross the A917 to Cellardyke passing a caravan site then go on to Anstruther. Cellardyke harbour is very pretty and you should stop and have a look. Between Cellardyke and Anstruther the signed route runs near the shore and you should be sure to go that way to take in the old village houses. Anstruther is the largest of the East Neuk villages. It has a fisheries museum, an excellent choice of eating places, a bike shop and you can visit a restored fishing boat opposite the museum. At one time the harbour was so crammed with fishing boats that you could walk across it without touching the water but the boats have disappeared with the herring. The cobbled streets are bumpy on the bike but worth walking round. Leave Anstruther on the B9131 but turn left off it to farm tracks just beyond the village. This is marked as a cycle route but you should give way to farm traffic. The route climbs gently here giving fine views over the Firth of Forth towards East Lothian. The rolling farmland is attractive and on the way you can visit Kellie Castle (National Trust). This is architecturally very interesting, it also has a beautiful garden and a tea room. There are no refreshment facilities in Arncroach or Carnbee. A more recent military installation, happily redundant, is the Secret Bunker in Redwells Wood. This is concealed underneath an innocent looking farmhouse and was intended to be the underground nuclear headquarters in Scotland. Nowadays it's open to the public - you just follow the signs. The last section back to St Andrews is the way you came. Not too boring I hope, the scenery is always different in the opposite direction. The last part will be fairly quick as it's downhill.
East Neuk
For keen cyclists and walkers, why not spend a day or two exploring the East Neuk with its picturesque vishing villages, quiet back roads, sea views. Neuk' is the old Scots word for corner, and the East Neuk is the name given to the area of land that runs around the Eastern peninsula of Fife. The delightful East Neuk villages, nestling amongst the natural harbours of the coastline, are testimony to the heritage of sea-fishing that still lives on in the Kingdom of Fife. Crail has one of the prettiest harbours in the area and is well known for shellfish. Dating back to 16th century, the curved breakwater was built to give it protection against the Forth and in 1826 Robert Stevenson built the straight west pier. Coming up from the harbour you find the main street through Crail. Following the road towards the golf course you pass the Crail History Museum. Shortly before the Marketgate there is a road leading down to Crail Pottery. In the school holidays the pottery puts on classes for children. The Marketgate, now lined by trees, was once the largest medieval market places in Europe. Anstruther fifty years ago, this picturesque port was so busy with fishing boats it was possible to walk from one side of the wide harbour to the other by stepping from boat to boat. But the North Sea herring shoals disappeared, taking with them most of the fishing fleet. Today, pleasure craft moor in the harbour where the fishing boats used to unload their catches. Anstruther's association with the fishing industry has not been forgotten. The town is home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum a national museum which tells the story of Scottish fishing from the earliest times to the present day. Housed in a complex of buildings beside the harbour, displays include a cottage belonging to a fishing family as well as the history of the herring industry that was once the mainstay of the local economy. Restored fishing craft stand in the paved courtyard, with a huge anchor alongside. Tableaux, reconstructions, models and paintings are included. Anstruther itself is a charming place. Take a walk along the cobbled streets through a rabbit-warren of little alleyways and wynds and note the dates on the buildings. In High Street many of the shops still display original signs and advertisements for companies long forgotten. There are restaurants serving local seafood specialities and Anstruther Fish Bar by the shore was voted "Scotland's best fish and chips in 2001". There are many interesting buildings in Anstruther - one that stands out is Buckie House. The house was covered in shells by Alex Batchelor last century, who it is said, used to charge a penny to see his coffin which was also covered in shells - presumably it had yet to be occupied. Kellie Castle (National Trust) is a fine example of the domestic architecture of Lowland Scotland. The oldest part is believed to date from 1360, but the building in its present form is mainly 16th and early 17th century. It was completed about 1606. Sympathetically restored by the Lorimer family around 1878, it contains magnificent plaster ceilings, painted panelling and furniture designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. The Secret Bunker, Scotland's best kept secret for over 40 years, hidden beneath a Scottish Farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland's secret bunker. 24,000 square feet of accommodation on two levels, 100 feet underground - a twilight world of the cold war. Take the opportunity to discover how they would have survived, and you wouldn't. Route Description This part of Fife is known as the East Neuk; neuk being the old Scots word for corner. The East Neuk fishing villages are set in the natural harbours along the coast. Fishing boats these days are outnumbered by the yachts but at one time these small harbours were crammed with trawlers. Inland this an area of mixed farm and woodland with sea views and many quiet back roads. The route starts with a linking section from St Andrews. St Andrews has a town cycle network but this is rather complex - the simplest way to get to the start is to follow the A917 to the edge of the town at which point the route is signposted. The back road is wide at first, rising gently with houses on the right. The first two miles are a gentle climb passing strawberry fields after which the road levels off. After three miles you come to a T junction where you turn left, at the time of writing there was no sign but there is no other junction. The next couple of miles to the B9131 are fairly flat. Turn right at this junction. You pass through the tiny hamlet of Dunino. A mile after that you meet a minor road to the left and are on the circular section. Fife Cycleways deem this part to be an orange route and you are following these markers from here to Crail. Turn left to the minor road and follow it for three miles. You start to get sea views, the church spire at Kingsbarns is visible. Near here look out for your right turn which is to a dirt track that once was a railway line. Follow this for two miles. The route leaves the rail line after a mile or so and follows farm tracks then meets the B9171 where you turn left. Turn left again for a very short distance on to the A917 then right off it to a smooth tarmac drive leading to Wormiston House. Beyond the house the surface becomes a bit bumpier, it passes a World War II airfield. Turn right on the public road for Crail. In Crail follow signs for the harbour. Crail has a good choice of places to eat though you might prefer simply to sit by the harbour and eat your sandwiches. There is usually plenty going on and lobsters for sale though these are fairly incompatible with bicycle panniers. The harbour is possibly the prettiest of all the East Neuk harbours. When the time comes to go you have a short distance on the A917 going north west before turning left to the B940 then left to the B9171. This is a blue cycle route in Fife Cycleways terms and these signs will take you from the B940/B9171 junction, through Anstruther and on back to the St Andrews linking section. Don't forget to turn left for Kilrenny before the B9131. The church at Kilrenny is charming and worth looking round. You cross the A917 to Cellardyke passing a caravan site then go on to Anstruther. Cellardyke harbour is very pretty and you should stop and have a look. Between Cellardyke and Anstruther the signed route runs near the shore and you should be sure to go that way to take in the old village houses. Anstruther is the largest of the East Neuk villages. It has a fisheries museum, an excellent choice of eating places, a bike shop and you can visit a restored fishing boat opposite the museum. At one time the harbour was so crammed with fishing boats that you could walk across it without touching the water but the boats have disappeared with the herring. The cobbled streets are bumpy on the bike but worth walking round. Leave Anstruther on the B9131 but turn left off it to farm tracks just beyond the village. This is marked as a cycle route but you should give way to farm traffic. The route climbs gently here giving fine views over the Firth of Forth towards East Lothian. The rolling farmland is attractive and on the way you can visit Kellie Castle (National Trust). This is architecturally very interesting, it also has a beautiful garden and a tea room. There are no refreshment facilities in Arncroach or Carnbee. A more recent military installation, happily redundant, is the Secret Bunker in Redwells Wood. This is concealed underneath an innocent looking farmhouse and was intended to be the underground nuclear headquarters in Scotland. Nowadays it's open to the public - you just follow the signs. The last section back to St Andrews is the way you came. Not too boring I hope, the scenery is always different in the opposite direction. The last part will be fairly quick as it's downhill.
Linking the Forth and Tay Estuaries, the Fife Coastal Path runs for over 183km though the varied landscapes of Fife. The route links some of Scotland's most picturesque former fishing villages as well as the home of golf - St Andrews with its ancient University. In between are miles of golden beaches, attractive woods and nature reserves but the route also threads its way through industrial towns such as Kirkcaldy and Leven. History is everywhere, from the winding gear of the former coalyards to ruined castles and the pictish and prehistoric carvings in the Wemyss caves.
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Fife Coastal Path
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Linking the Forth and Tay Estuaries, the Fife Coastal Path runs for over 183km though the varied landscapes of Fife. The route links some of Scotland's most picturesque former fishing villages as well as the home of golf - St Andrews with its ancient University. In between are miles of golden beaches, attractive woods and nature reserves but the route also threads its way through industrial towns such as Kirkcaldy and Leven. History is everywhere, from the winding gear of the former coalyards to ruined castles and the pictish and prehistoric carvings in the Wemyss caves.
Only 15 mins away and pet friendly as well.
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Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze
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Only 15 mins away and pet friendly as well.
Only a 5 minute drive and over 45 animals from more than 15 different species, Fife Zoo is a fantastic place to go nose-to-nose with with some incredible wildlife!
Fife Zoo
Only a 5 minute drive and over 45 animals from more than 15 different species, Fife Zoo is a fantastic place to go nose-to-nose with with some incredible wildlife!
You will be spoiled for choice for Golf Courses. The nearest is 5 Minutes away. Falkland Golf Club can be found situated in the lush farmland region of the Howe of Fife at the foot of the Lomond Hills. This gently undulating parkland golf course was initially opened in 1902, and with its charming persona, golfers will experience the breath-taking views of the Lomond hills and the famous Falkland Palace. Golfers are assured of a warm reception, as well as a recently refurbished clubhouse which provides excellent facilities for visitors. An 18 hole, parkland golf course which will provide a test to all levels with the tree lined fairways and water obstacles. Accuracy and strength in both long and short play are essential for any willing visitors to attempt this course. The visitor can expect to enjoy stunning views from almost all the holes, along with pristinely kept fairways and greens to add to the experience.
Falkland Golf Club
You will be spoiled for choice for Golf Courses. The nearest is 5 Minutes away. Falkland Golf Club can be found situated in the lush farmland region of the Howe of Fife at the foot of the Lomond Hills. This gently undulating parkland golf course was initially opened in 1902, and with its charming persona, golfers will experience the breath-taking views of the Lomond hills and the famous Falkland Palace. Golfers are assured of a warm reception, as well as a recently refurbished clubhouse which provides excellent facilities for visitors. An 18 hole, parkland golf course which will provide a test to all levels with the tree lined fairways and water obstacles. Accuracy and strength in both long and short play are essential for any willing visitors to attempt this course. The visitor can expect to enjoy stunning views from almost all the holes, along with pristinely kept fairways and greens to add to the experience.
Looking for a perfect day out for ALL the family? Then Muddy Boots is a family run kids adventure play centre, situated right next to a fabulously foody Farm Shop and Café in Balmalcolm, right at the heart of Fife. With a whole range of activities that take place both indoors and outdoors, they’re open throughout the year.
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Muddy Boots
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Looking for a perfect day out for ALL the family? Then Muddy Boots is a family run kids adventure play centre, situated right next to a fabulously foody Farm Shop and Café in Balmalcolm, right at the heart of Fife. With a whole range of activities that take place both indoors and outdoors, they’re open throughout the year.
Clay Target Shooting, Segway Driving, Archery, Air-rifle range, 9 hole golf course, golf driving range, outdoor kids play, restaurant and cafe, pro shop
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Cluny Activities
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Clay Target Shooting, Segway Driving, Archery, Air-rifle range, 9 hole golf course, golf driving range, outdoor kids play, restaurant and cafe, pro shop
Dog friendly Distillery Tours are now back up and running! You can find out what goes into producing whisky, and once you’ve learned the ins and outs of distilling, you’ll be able to try two delicious drams for yourself. We even provide little takeaways for the drivers so no need to drink and drive.
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Lindores Abbey Distillery
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Dog friendly Distillery Tours are now back up and running! You can find out what goes into producing whisky, and once you’ve learned the ins and outs of distilling, you’ll be able to try two delicious drams for yourself. We even provide little takeaways for the drivers so no need to drink and drive.
In five minutes you can drive to the top of East Lomond HIll for fantastic views over Fife, Edinburgh and the Highlands. Great place to walk the dogs and enjoy a picnic.
East Lomond Mast Car Park
In five minutes you can drive to the top of East Lomond HIll for fantastic views over Fife, Edinburgh and the Highlands. Great place to walk the dogs and enjoy a picnic.
Set in the heart of Falkland conservation village, and surrounded by extensive gardens, this partly restored Renaissance palace is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Certificate of Excellence 2014 Winner Falkland Palace Part of the Palace is in ruins but the original and reconstructed rooms are packed with 17th-century Flemish tapestries, elaborate painted ceilings and antique furnishings. The beautiful, tranquil grounds are worth a visit alone. They are home to the oldest Real or Royal tennis court in Britain, built for King James the V. The grounds also include ruins of the 12th century Castle of Falkland, extensive gardens designed by Percy Cane and an ancient Orchard with a wild flower meadow. Please note the Palace & Gardens open 1 March to 31 October beach year. The shop is open all year round.
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Falkland Palace & Garden
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Set in the heart of Falkland conservation village, and surrounded by extensive gardens, this partly restored Renaissance palace is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. Certificate of Excellence 2014 Winner Falkland Palace Part of the Palace is in ruins but the original and reconstructed rooms are packed with 17th-century Flemish tapestries, elaborate painted ceilings and antique furnishings. The beautiful, tranquil grounds are worth a visit alone. They are home to the oldest Real or Royal tennis court in Britain, built for King James the V. The grounds also include ruins of the 12th century Castle of Falkland, extensive gardens designed by Percy Cane and an ancient Orchard with a wild flower meadow. Please note the Palace & Gardens open 1 March to 31 October beach year. The shop is open all year round.
Knockhill is a truly versatile venue and the perfect choice for exciting Driving Experiences.
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Knockhill Racing Circuit Ltd
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Knockhill is a truly versatile venue and the perfect choice for exciting Driving Experiences.
A beachside pine forest, with miles of trails and lots of wartime heritage and wildlife to explore. Visit Tentsmuir and you are following in the footsteps of the first people who settled here 8,000 years ago. This mature pine forest is perfect for exploring by foot or bike. You can follow one of the waymarked trails or take the longer circular route. Tentsmuir is also home to a wide range of wonderful wildlife with everything from roe deer to red squirrels. Walk along the beach to Tentsmuir Point and you may see hundreds of seals basking on the sandbars. The western area of Tentsmuir, around Morton Lochs, is one of the oldest occupied sites in Scotland and boasts three small lochs and four wildlife hides.
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Tentsmuir Forest
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A beachside pine forest, with miles of trails and lots of wartime heritage and wildlife to explore. Visit Tentsmuir and you are following in the footsteps of the first people who settled here 8,000 years ago. This mature pine forest is perfect for exploring by foot or bike. You can follow one of the waymarked trails or take the longer circular route. Tentsmuir is also home to a wide range of wonderful wildlife with everything from roe deer to red squirrels. Walk along the beach to Tentsmuir Point and you may see hundreds of seals basking on the sandbars. The western area of Tentsmuir, around Morton Lochs, is one of the oldest occupied sites in Scotland and boasts three small lochs and four wildlife hides.
Lochore Meadows Country Park has over 1,200 acres to explore! It’s a great place to visit with a wide range of leisure and recreational activities that cater for all the family. With a beautiful loch at the heart of the park, you can enjoy spending time walking, bird-watching, cycling, fishing, paddling, playing in the playpark or enjoying a picnic or barbecue with friends and family. We even have a beach! Lochore Meadows boats an incredible variety of habitats including wildflower meadows, park land and ancient woodlands. Much of the park is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies and we also provide all terrain mobility scooters for hire to help you explore. Lots of events take place in the park throughout the year too – check out what’s planned here. Come and see for yourself why we’re Fife’s most popular free outdoor attraction!
Lochore Meadows
Lochore Meadows Country Park has over 1,200 acres to explore! It’s a great place to visit with a wide range of leisure and recreational activities that cater for all the family. With a beautiful loch at the heart of the park, you can enjoy spending time walking, bird-watching, cycling, fishing, paddling, playing in the playpark or enjoying a picnic or barbecue with friends and family. We even have a beach! Lochore Meadows boats an incredible variety of habitats including wildflower meadows, park land and ancient woodlands. Much of the park is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies and we also provide all terrain mobility scooters for hire to help you explore. Lots of events take place in the park throughout the year too – check out what’s planned here. Come and see for yourself why we’re Fife’s most popular free outdoor attraction!
Distillery and visitor centre in the East Neuk of Fife for whisky and gin tours, tastings and delicious local food served in our cafe. We have 3 types of whisky distillery tours suitable for all levels of whisky interest.
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Kingsbarn Distillery
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Distillery and visitor centre in the East Neuk of Fife for whisky and gin tours, tastings and delicious local food served in our cafe. We have 3 types of whisky distillery tours suitable for all levels of whisky interest.
A ten minute walk away, a peaceful haven of tranquility, despite being a popular place with locals. Deer, grouse and lots of lots of red squirrels. The squirrels are all over the place so it's quite common to find yourself up close - though usually only for a fleeting moment. Paths crisscross the forest or you can walk right round the edge.
Pitmedden Forest
A ten minute walk away, a peaceful haven of tranquility, despite being a popular place with locals. Deer, grouse and lots of lots of red squirrels. The squirrels are all over the place so it's quite common to find yourself up close - though usually only for a fleeting moment. Paths crisscross the forest or you can walk right round the edge.
2 mins away, this beautiful wild meadow with natural woodland creeping round the edges. Run by a trust as common land. Small gravel car park tucked away in a corner.
Auchtermuchty Common
2 mins away, this beautiful wild meadow with natural woodland creeping round the edges. Run by a trust as common land. Small gravel car park tucked away in a corner.
This is a great spot to walk your dogs, there is a car park near the summit of West Lomond and the views are spectacular.
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Lomond Hills Regional Park
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This is a great spot to walk your dogs, there is a car park near the summit of West Lomond and the views are spectacular.