Area guide

The Kingdom of Fife fuses a maze of history with a treasure trail of hidden delights.


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Fife is a surprisingly compact region located between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth on the east coast of Scotland. Despite its size - barely 50 miles at its widest point - Fife encompasses several different parts with a marked difference between the semi-industrial south and the rural north, and boasts a coastline of 117 miles.

Things to do in Fife

Explore the Kingdom of Fife by bicycle; take advantage of over 300 miles of dedicated cycle paths throughout the region linking historic towns with the rolling countryside, majestic forests and golden beaches.

The heather-clad Lomond Hills are a beacon in this area. These are highly popular with hill walkers, and paragliders can be seen up there on windy days.

With so many fantastic beaches, Fife is the ideal place to get out on the water. There are several activity centres in the area which have sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving and canoeing facilities.

The historic village of Falkland with its former royal palace of the Scottish Kings, is today in the care of the National Trust for Scotland and is a popular visitor attraction.

Take a walk on the wild side at the Scottish Deer Centre, set in 55 acres and host to 14 species of deer, Fife's only wolf pack, otters, birds of prey and other rare Scottish species including the wildcat.

Visit Tentsmuir Forest where you can explore the pine forest and use the marked trails to discover all there is to see. The Seashell Walk will take you to Tentsmuir Point, where you can often see seals basking on the sand bars.

Why we love Fife

The coastline is a very special environment which has distinctive rock formations, delicate flora and a varied wildlife. The Fife Coastal Path stretches for 117 miles across sandy shores and coastal pathways and is enjoyed by recreational and serious walkers. Look out for grey seals and, in summer, basking sharks and dolphins. The offshore islands of Inchcolm and Inchkeith are home to thousands of seabirds, with vast numbers of puffins found on the Isle of May.

Fife is well known for its good quality, fresh, local produce. Straight from the field or sea to the kitchen, there is no better place to see what Fife has to offer than by visiting a Farmers' Market. With everything from freshly caught seafood to locally farmed water buffalo, haggis to black pudding and cheese to home baking, you will delight at the array of foods on offer from Fife’s larder.

Annual events such as the Anstruther Muster, a festival focused around the harbour with visiting yachts joining the local fleet and the Pittenween Arts Festival, a celebration of visual arts taking place in galleries, homes, studios and public venues throughout the village. The Fife Show is a traditional agricultural show which aims to give the public an opportunity to find out more about the local agricultural scene and is a great day for all the family.

When eating out in Fife, you are spoiled for choice at the range of inns and restaurants on offer. While in Anstruther, head to the famous Fish Bar for delicious fish and chips - you’ll have to queue but it’s well worth the wait. For a lovely country pub meal, head to Meldrums Hotel, Ceres, famed for its signature dish Pata Negra [Black Pig]. If you want to really treat yourself, why not indulge in a spot of fine dining. Fife is home to two restaurants - The Peat Inn by St Andrews and Sangster’s in Elie - that enjoy the coveted Michelin-star status.

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Properties for sale in Fife

Properties to rent in Fife

Key villages & towns in Fife

Schools in the area

St Andrews has four primary schools and one secondary; Madras College.

St Leonards, a mixed private school teaches primary through to secondary.

There are five primary schools in and around Cupar with Bell Baxter High School in the town.

In and around Dalgety Bay, there are four primary schools with secondary schooling at Inverkeithing High School.

Saline has a good primary school and there are four high schools inDunfermline.

For a more comprehensive list of schools in the area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.

Transport links

By train

ScotRail operates most local train services in Fife. The East Coast railway line runs through Fife north to Aberdeen (2.5 hours from Inverkeithing) and south to London in 5.5 hours.

By train

If travelling by car, the M90 provides fast access from Edinburgh, over the Forth Road Bridge, into Fife and heads north to Perth. From there the A9 heads onto Perthshire and Inverness-shire. Stirling and central Scotland, to the west, can be reached via the Kincardine Bridge. The best route to Dundee is via the A92 over the Tay Road Bridge; you can then continue north to Aberdeen via the A90, approximately 1.5 hours’ drive.

Fife is a great destination to visit with vibrant towns and picturesque villages offering plenty to see and do.