After spending a good six years studying in Fife, I’ve come to call this area of Scotland my second home. I mean, who wouldn’t? Unlike the vast mountain ranges of the Scottish Highlands, Fife is much more easterly meaning a little less rain and a lot more of those gorgeous rolling hills. Now, over my six years in the area, I was able to scout out a whole load of the best things to do in Fife that I hope you’ll love!
Okay, so before I start rambling on like literally hundreds of little spots you should visit, I wanted to show you some of my very favourites. Some, you can explore within a few hours… others, you’ll need a little more time.
But the best thing about Fife is the fact you can get a little taste of the ancient Pictish Kingdom even if you’re stopping by for a day.
However long you choose to spend, take a look at some of the best things to do in Fife, below. 🏴
1.) Explore St. Andrews
Yup, I’m totally biased and I can’t apologise for it! I spent around 6 years (give or take a few months) in St Andrews and it’s one lovely town you shouldn’t miss! Of course, there’s the Old Course if you fancy a few rounds but there’s so much more to see in St Andrews.
Make sure to visit the Castle, explore the ruins of the Abbey and wander across West Sands which is just stunning.
2.) Grab some fish and chips in Anstruther
Anstruther is a historic fishing village that’s perched on the coastline of the Firth of Forth.
Now, one of my favourite pastimes (and something you should definitely do) is head into the Anstruther Fish Bar where they serve up the best freshly caught fish and chips in all of Scotland! It is rumoured that even some members of the royal family have even grabbed a bag to go! 🐟
3.) Find the secrets of Crail
Crail is another of Fife’s lovely fishing villages that sits on the coast just east of Anstruther and looking towards the Isle of May. Just outside of Crail is a little farmhouse that is all very unassuming. Until you go inside. Instead of a normal farmhouse, a huge fortified tunnel takes you deep underground into (what was) a top-secret nuclear bunker until a few decades ago.
Inside, you’ll be able to explore the mini town, command centre, chapel and broadcasting studios that were to be used in the case of nuclear war. Open from March (each year), the Secret Bunker is one of best things to do in Fife and possibly the most unique!
4.) Wander around St. Monans
South-west of Anstruther is the small fishing village of St. Monans – a stunning little spot that can be seen on a road trip around the Fife coastline.
Once there, wander around the narrow little streets and explore some of the quaint Scottish buildings that make this area so beautiful.
5.) See quaint Culross
Situated much closer ‘inland’ within the Firth of Forth, Culross is a small little village that’s a gorgeous stopping point on your way through Fife. If you’re travelling from the south, you’ll want to cross the Kincardine Bridge and head east for about 5 km to get to the village.
Once you’re there, park your car and set off on foot to explore the little nooks and crannies that this village has. Culross might be small, but it’s lovely to see and one of the best things to do in Fife whilst starting your trip further inland.
6.) Wander the harbour at Pittenweem
Pittenweem is another coastal gem that’s situated on the Forth directly north of North Berwick. Now, the village might be a small little spot but it’s certainly a quintessential Scottish fishing village that you should visit.
After exploring some of the best things to do in Fife, you’ll no doubt have worked up a hefty appetite. For some proper Scottish cuisine, all homemade, pop into The Larachmohr Tavern that’s right on the Harbourfront. You can’t miss it.
7.) Find the lighthouse at Elie and Earlsferry
Yup, I’m aware that I’m harping on about lots of coastal towns but honestly, they’re too good to miss. Elie and Earlsferry are one of these places! Now, once you’re there, hop in to see ‘Elie Castle, find the town’s lighthouse and Earlsferry High Street with all its little fisherman cottages.
8.) Start your Fife exploration at Aberdour
After crossing the Forth Bridge by train (or the other car bridges), you’ll quickly see a few signs for the historic village of Aberdour. Here, is definitely a great place to start your exploration east across the Fife coastline (before heading inland).
9.) Ramble through the Lomond Hills
Officially the highest point in Fife, the Lomond Hills (and West Lomond peak) is one place you should definitely visit if you fancy a ramble around the scenery of this ancient kingdom. Once here, you’ll be able to wander around the many trails and routes that are spread across the 65 km squared park.
10.) Experience the Highland Games at Burntisland
The Royal Burgh of Burntisland is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but particularly in summer. After exploring Rossend Castle you might want to plan a little more time to watch the Highland Games that happen once a year (in the Summer). The whole village comes out and it’s a proper event that’s great to experience.
Oh yeah… although you won’t miss it, keep your eyes peeled for The Binn that’s a mountain just outside the town itself. It’s a very old Volcanic Plug (similar to that on which Edinburgh Castle sits upon).
11.) See the ruins at Incholm Island
Remember I mentioned about visiting Aberdour? Well, once you’re there make sure to hop over to the stunning Incholm Island. Here, you can explore the ruins of Inchcolm Abbey that’s perched on the island of Inchcolm (about 1/4 mile from Aberdour’s shores).
If you’re coming from Edinburgh, hope over to Hawes Pier (in South Queensferry) and take the Maid of the Forth for a day visit to the island. It has some gorgeous beaches too (they really are some of the best things to do in Fife, well… relax on at least).