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 long day-trip from Edinburgh or a series of more leisurely excursions… It's a fabulous area for holidays and we've added some tips for buses, bikes and places to stay at the end.
1. Train over the Forth to Dunfermline
- 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.
- 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. Bus 8 from here runs 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. Its 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 Bessies 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 more great cafés to choose from near the Mercat Cross like cosy Biscuit Café, next to Culross Pottery, with changing exhibitions of local crafts.