Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Car-free adventures aroundCoastal FifeFife
Medieval villages, royal palaces, woods, hills and harbours, seaside walks past ruined castles and ancient dovecots… there are so many treasures to find in coastal Fife. St Andrews is famous as the home of Britain’s third oldest university and birthplace of the game of golf, but some less well-known destinations in the area are definitely worth visiting too. Here's a car-free itinerary through some of the hidden gems that might make a fabulous long day-trip from Edinburgh or a series of more leisurely excursions…
1. Train over the Forth to Dunfermline
Hop on a train from Edinburgh’s Waverley station and you can be in Dunfermline in half an hour, enjoying spectacular views from the Forth Bridge on the way. Return tickets currently cost £6.70 – worth it just for the views!
- Ten minutes walk from Dunfermline Town railway station is the modest 19th-century birthplace of Andrew Carnegie, who emigrated to America and became the world’s richest man, giving his name to the Carnegie Hall in New York. The museum is free and open daily (afternoons only on Sunday for most of the year).
- Just beyond the museum is Pittencrieff Park, or “The Glen” as it’s known locally. Here you’ll find a ruined abbey, another museum and a peacock sanctuary.
2. Bus to Culross
Come out of Pittencrieff Park near the Art Deco Glen Pavilion, turn right up Coal Road, left on the main road to find a bus stop by Urquhart Crescent. The 8/8A buses from here run every hour to Culross (pronounced “Cooross”), a picturesque medieval village of cobbles and cottages, overlooking the Firth of Forth.
- Culross Palace, a magnificent former merchant’s mansion (open from Easter), is the village’s main landmark. It’s ochre walls and crow-stepped-gabled roof stand opposite the bus stop. The terraced garden above the palace has views across the Forth, as well as fruit and veg, fragrant herbs and flowers; there’s even a tiny orchard with mulberry, quince and fig trees and chickens ranging free and the cafe serves garden produce.
- Turn left up the flagged causeway to find the old Mercat (market) Cross at the heart of Culross, standing among gabled cottages and cobbled streets. There are also the ruins of a 12th-century abbey at the top of Kirk Street above the village.
- There are plenty of great cafés to choose from. Visit Jenny’s Café, with its view of the Mercat Cross; or the equally cosy Biscuit Café, next to Culross Pottery, with changing exhibitions of local crafts.