Tips from the Locals: Fife

Fife – a region known for its golf courses, its spectacular long distance walking trail (the Fife Coastal Path) and the picturesque villages that huddle into its beautiful coastline.  Make yourself at home in a Fife holiday cottage and explore this lovely part of the country.  If you want to step off the more beaten tourist track on your next visit, here are a few suggestions from local self-catering owners.

Kingarrock Golf Course

With 45 golf courses in the region, and the world famous Old Course at St Andrews, Fife is a top destination for golf enthusiasts.  Of course you should visit St Andrews, The Home of Golf, but why not also try something completely different?  For a truly special Scottish golf experience, head 10 miles down the road from the Old Course to Kingarrock Golf Course.  Located in Hill of Tarvit, near Cupar, Kingarrock is a hickory golf course, open from Easter until October.  Be transported back to the early 20th century with a round on this 9 hole course, using original hickory clubs – all players are provided with the clubs, an old golf bag, plus balls and tees.  (I’ve heard that you can also enjoy a good old-fashioned ginger beer after your round!).

MUSA (The Museum of the University of St Andrews)

There are a number of fantastic visitor attractions in beautiful and historic St Andrews, such as the Castle, Cathedral and Blackfriars Abbey.  But make sure you also take a trip to MUSA – a real gem of a museum.  The university museum houses a fascinating collection of objects, and has four galleries packed full of treasures.

As well as delving into the history of the university and the town, you can enjoy panoramic views of St Andrews Bay from a viewing terrace.  It’s a great family-friendly attraction – and it’s free!

WEST SANDS SUMMER 2009

Wildlife watching around the Firth of Forth

The Moray Firth is a popular place for dolphin spotting, but did you know that these bottlenose dolphins can also be seen in the Firth of Forth during the summer months?  Keep an eye out when you’re exploring the Fife coastline; St Andrews and Elie are said to be good places to spot them as they gather in the bays.

If it’s birdwatching you’re interested in, the Isle of May is a must-see.  Just off the East Neuk (five miles from the coast), this National Nature Reserve is known for its wildlife and sea birds, as well as its stunning views and fascinating history.  Visit in June or July to see breeding sea birds (and in late March/early April if it’s the puffins you want to see).

Cambo Estate

A beautiful Victorian walled garden, woodland walks and flower festivals – Cambo Estate is a lovely place to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of nature.  Walk along the burn through the woodland to the sea (ideal for a spot of wildlife watching) and wind back round for a cup of tea and cake at The Snowdrop Tea Room.  As well as stunning floral displays throughout the year, you can enjoy seasonal celebrations; with the Rose Festival later this month (21st June – 7th July), a Snowdrop Festival beginning in February and a Tulip Festival in May.

Roses at Cambo Estate

Other summer events at Cambo Estate include Nordic walking and the East Neuk Festival Family Day.

Do you have any tips for things to do or places to visit?  What do you love the most about Fife?  Leave any comments or questions below.

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