By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
There are so many things to do in Fife and St Andrews, but here are the top 10.
Toast the past
Have a drink in the Jigger Inn overlooking the Old Course. Formerly the stationmaster’s house when the railway ran to St Andrews, the popular pub is rumoured to be haunted! It’s a favourite 19th hole of stars from the world of sport, film and entertainment, especially during the annual Alfred Dunhill Links pro-am.
Visit an ancient monument
Fife has palaces, castles, mansion houses, abbeys and a cathedral, all with fascinating histories. Within those walls life may be peaceful now, but in years gone by, some have witnessed dark deeds and evil plots. Many, like the palace in the picturesque village of Culross, the clifftop Wemyss Castle near Kirkcaldy and Cambo House in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife, have stunning grounds.
Feast on fish
Anstruther’s award-winning Fish Bar on the seafront is a great place to enjoy a traditional sit-in high tea of locally-caught fish and delicious chips. If you prefer, eat them al fresco at the harbour overlooking the Firth of Forth.
Stand in the footsteps of giants
The world-famous Swilcan Bridge, spanning the burn from which it takes its name on the Old Course, has played a key role in many a golf championship. If you’re there on a Sunday when the course is closed, pause for a second on the stone parapet where sporting icons have posed for the world’s media holding the prized Open Championship Claret Jug trophy.
Swim with sharks
Scotland’s National Aquarium, Deep Sea World in North Queensferry, can give you the thrill of a lifetime. In one of the UK’s only guaranteed shark encounters, you’ll come face to face with huge Sand Tiger sharks, conger eels, rays and hundreds of other fish.
Go for a walk
Fife’s way-marked coastal path runs for 117 miles from the Forth Estuary in the south to the Tay Estuary in the north. Tackle it as a long-distance challenge or choose a smaller chunk to explore. Alternatively head for the Lomond Hills, Fife’s highest point and an extinct volcano.
Try a coffee tower
Thousands of people come to St Andrews to find it every year. But any similarity to the little white ball which exerts such a pull to the home of golf ends here. We are talking about the famous Fisher & Donaldson Coffee Tower, a miracle of light choux pastry filled with fresh cream and topped with delicious coffee icing and a giant-sized chocolate button. We’re told it inspired poetry and has been carried in the cockpit of fighter jets.
Visit the islands of the Forth
Inchcolm Island with its historic abbey is described as ‘The Iona of the East’. A boat trip passing under the iconic Forth Rail Bridge will take you there. Watch seals basking on the rocks.
Take the air
You’ll drift to another level when you experience a hot air balloon ride over Fife. Taking off from Falkland Golf Club, at the foot of the Lomond Hills, savour the sight of forests where kings once hunted wild boar, the ingenious layout of the links, historic townscapes, sandy beaches and the mighty Forth and Tay bridges, from above.
Fancy a festival?
Fife offers a feast of festivals throughout the year. From the Fife Jazz Festival to the StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews; from food to historical re-enactments, there are events happening throughout the year. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the Crail Food Festival bringing together local and regional exhibitors, chefs and musicians in a celebration of Fife’s finest food and drink. One of Fife’s oldest festivals, the Pittenween Arts Festival brings together a mix of local and invited artists and attracts around 25,000 visitors each year.
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