The Best Things to Do in Fife, According to Plum
Dungeons, distilleries, and award-winning dining; these are the best things to do in Fife.
Fife might be best known as the home of the coastal town of St Andrews and its historic university, but at Plum Guide we know there’s much more to this region than that. One of the sunniest places in the UK, this ancient kingdom is the birthplace of many of Scotland’s most famous exports; here, Plum helps you discover some of the best things to do in Fife, from royal spirits to raunchily-named parks.
Explore the coastline
Fife has long since been the holiday destination of choice for Edinburghers seeking a break from the city as it’s relatively close to the capital – why not visit Edinburgh for a day while you’re in the area? It’s not hard to see why so many are drawn to this coastline, dotted with tiny little fishing villages and beautiful beaches. Hire a car and see how many of them you can visit. St Andrew’s West Sands (which you might recognise from the opening race scene of Chariots of Fire) is a long stretch of golden sand as far as the eye can see, but if you’re looking for somewhere a little less crowded, we recommend Kingsbairns. It’s only a few miles away but is usually much quieter. For a coastal experience that calls for hiking boots rather than buckets and spades, take on one of the routes along the Fife Coastal Path to ramble over seaside cliffs and tiny inlets. And of course, a day at the seaside wouldn’t be complete without a portion of fish and chips; Tail End and Anstruther Fish Bar both serve up a menu that are fancy enough to feel special, but traditional enough that you won’t feel self-conscious eating with your fingers. Salt and vinegar on ours, please.
Sample some of the area’s award-winning seafood
Of course, it’s not all fish and chips. Establishments like Room with a View and The Seafood Restaurant (bet you can’t guess what they serve) take the catch of the day and elevate it to new heights. Here you’ll find menus crammed with delicacies such as freshly caught lobster stuffed into soft baked rolls, scallops plucked from the surrounding seas that morning, and of course, plenty of Scottish salmon. Anyone else getting hungry?
Of course, the options for birthday celebrations in Edinburgh are endless, but for a special occasion in Fife (invent one if you have to) head to the Peat Inn. A tiny hamlet in the Fife countryside may not seem like the most likely place to discover some of the best cuisine in the country, but this restaurant has held a coveted Michelin star for over a decade and shows no sign of relinquishing it. Modern Scottish cuisine makes use of local ingredients and the finest of produce, and by the time you pay the bill you’ll already be planning a return visit. Our tip? Stay at this scenic Plum home and you can come back the very next night; it’s just a fifteen minute walk from the restaurant.
Take a trip back in time to explore Scottish heritage
Fife is scattered with ancient ruins and magnificent palaces; you can even stay in the turreted castle that wowed even our most discerning of home critics. Plum homes aside, however, probably the best known castle in Fife is St Andrew’s; perched high above the stormy seas, these ruins date back to the 13th century in parts and are well worth a visit. The ghoulish amongst you will particularly enjoy a trip to the infamous bottle dungeon, a prison carved out of solid rock. Unlike the unfortunate prisoners, though, you get to leave at the end of the visit, and head on to another of our favourite things to do in Fife; visit a distillery. Yes, whisky counts as culture, particularly in the land where it’s been brewed for over half a millennium (that we know of). The first written record of the drink describes a monk called Brother John brewing the spirit for King James IV in Fife’s Lindores Abbey, way back in 1494. Today the abbey has revived this ancient tradition, and you can take a tour here to learn exactly how the Scotch is made. Find a sunny seat in the ancient courtyard, order a wee dram alongside your lunch, and raise your glass to Brother John.
Get on the green
Golfers, we hope you’ve brought your clubs. Fife is the home of the illustrious Old Course, which is (as you might have guessed from the name) the oldest golf course in the world, making golfing one of the most popular things to do in Fife. It may have been more than 600 years since club first hit ball on these picture-perfect greens, but thankfully the amenities have been updated; why not take a breather in the clubhouse’s Swilcan Lounge and appreciate the panoramic views with a good malt?
If you don’t know your birdie from your bogey, don’t fret; the courses aren’t the only way to enjoy Fife’s great outdoors. Take a trip to rolling greens of a different kind with a visit to the Lomond Hills regional park. The gentle hills here are known as the “paps of Fife” which, while a bit cheeky, is certainly accurate. There’s a huge variety of walks and trails through the moorlands and lochs; choose between a leisurely afternoon stroll, an exciting exploration through uncharted territory with children, or a challenging hike before heading to the pub.
At Plum, we search for the very best homes in Scotland with all the dedication of Brother John brewing for the king. We’ve found the perfect country getaway for golf fans and a cosy apartment for city breaks, so put your faith in our discerning home critics and start packing for a stay in bonny Scotland.