Landmark Visitor's Guide




Around Inverkeithing


Around Kirkcaldy

Largo Bay

East Neuk

St Andrews

The Central Region

Additional Information

Landmark Visitor's Guide

The Kingdom of Fife

During the lead up to 'regionalization' of Scotland's old counties in 1975, the 'Kingdom of Fife' fought hard to avoid being swallowed up by Tayside to the north and Lothian to the south. If anything, this helped to reinforce the area's sense of identity, both to its residents and outsiders. Its geographic position is unique and probably contributes to this character, thrust into the North Sea and detached, north and south, by the rivers Tay and Forth.

With such attractive jewels as St Andrews, the East Neuk and historic Dunfermline, Fife's potential as a tourist destination is now its greatest asset and, as the 'Home of Golf', it has almost mythical status with golfers around the world. Historically, like other parts of the nation, it has held the mantle as hub and focus of political and ecclesiastical life for long periods with Dunfermline and St Andrews being the major historic centres.

Touring through Fife, you will notice a distinctive style to much of the architecture, especially in the charming coastal villages. Their cottages and most of Fife's older buildings reveal strong links with the Low Countries where sixteenth century trade, before links with the Americas were established, was a key element to Scotland's economy. Ships loaded with wool, cloth, timber and fish were sent across the North Sea and often returned with the distinctive red roofing pantiles loaded as ballast.

The views approaching Fife from the road or rail bridges are stirring, particularly looking down on the village of North Queensferry which appears in miniature from the bridge spans passing high above it. To investigate further, leave the motorway at the first exit in Fife or, if you are enjoying a rail excursion from Edinburgh, disembark at North Queensferry. The village was the centuries-old northern terminal for a ferry crossing established by Queen Margaret to carry pilgrims to nearby Dunfermline. With its other landfall at South Queensferry, this service lasted for nearly 800 years until the road bridge was opened in 1964.

Apart from the wonderful views across the Forth and excellent camera angles of the marvellous engineering feat of the Forth Bridge, North Queensferry's latest attraction is Deep Sea World, a giant aquarium complex housing the world's largest underwater viewing tunnel.

Created next to a former quarry, this nautical safari takes you beneath one million gallons of sea water through a sturdy transparent tube to see, at close quarters, most of the creatures you would find in British coastal waters. Wriggling through the rocks and swimming overhead are 100 different species native to Scottish waters including lobster, squid, octopus, eel, salmon and sea trout. A 'people-mover' conveyer belt transports visitors slowly through the main tank while upstairs there are more aquariums, educational exhibitions, a coral reef display and cafe.

Follow the A985 from North Queensferry via Inverkeithing. The sixteenth century burgh of Culross (pronounced Koo-riss) is a medieval hamlet set amongst the industrial Upper Forth Estuary. Antiquated cobbled streets, still used today by its modern residents, climb through the hillside village bordered by excellent examples of terracotta pantile and white-harled cottages.

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

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