Tucked to the north of the River Forth, Fife is a charming and picturesque county in the lowlands of Scotland, widely known for its remarkable coastal line and rich history.

In this area guide, we delve into the heart of Fife, a region famous for its quaint towns like St. Andrews - the renowned home of golf, Dunfermline - a historic capital of Scotland, and many coastal villages brimming with Scots charm. We provide pragmatic information such as available housing, schools, key landmarks, and transport links in Fife, designed to assist those considering to move and live within its captivating scenery.

History of Fife

The history of Fife is shrouded in a mix of folklore and factual narratives. Known as the 'Kingdom of Fife,' it's believed to have been a significant Pictish kingdom in the early Middle Ages. The region carries the weight of many historical firsts, from being the birthplace of Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in Dunfermline to St. Andrews’ claim of hosting the first-ever game of golf. Fife's historical heritage is evident, with its beautifully preserved buildings and landmarks shaping its unique character today.


The Kingdom of Fife boasts incredible landmarks ranging from educational hubs, imposing castles to fantastic golfs courses. Key among them are; St. Andrews University, proudly holding the title of the oldest university in Scotland. There's also the 12th-century Dunfermline Abbey home to the mausoleum of Scottish Kings, and lastly, the world-renowned Old Course – the very birthplace of golf.

Landmarks we love

  • Blackness Castle: Located on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, this ship-like fortress offers a unique, immersive historical experience coupled with stunning coastal views.
  • Lochore Meadows Country Park: This expansive park in the heart of Fife offers a plethora of outdoor activities from sailing, fishing to birdwatching.
  • Kingsbarns Distillery: It's an essential visit for those interested in learning about Scotland's whisky-making heritage with a chance to enjoy some expertly crafted drinks.
  • Deep Sea World: Based in the town of North Queensferry, it is Scotland's national aquarium, home to a variety of marine species including sharks.
  • Tentsmuir Forest: This lush forest reserve is a haven for nature lovers offering marked trails that lead to a picturesque beach.

Top 10 things to do in Fife

  • Visit St. Andrews: Explore the vibrant town, go kite-flying on the beach, or play a round of golf on the iconic golf courses.
  • Walking the Fife Coastal Path: Walk this 117-mile-long trail offering spectacular views.
  • Fife Folk Museum: Discover the traditional way of life in Fife from the 19th century onwards.
  • Dunfermline Palace and Abbey: Visit the spectacular palace ruins and learn about its historical significance.
  • Explore Kirkcaldy: Venture into this sprawling town and explore Ravenscraig Castle and the charming Pathhead Sands.
  • Visit Cupar: A market town known for its boutique shops, cafes, and art scene.
  • Falkland: Visit the Royal Palace and revel in the quaint village atmosphere.
  • Silver Sands Beach: Enjoy a relaxing beach day at these crystal clear shores.
  • Scottish Off Road Driving Centre: Try off-road driving and quad biking in this challenging landscape.
  • Scotland's Secret Bunker: Explore the underground bunker hidden beneath a farmhouse.

Our recommended areas to live in Fife

  • Dunfermline: As the ancient capital of Scotland, it offers well-priced housing, great schools, and access to parks.
  • Elie: A quaint, seaside town perfect for families with its clean beaches and safe, quiet streets.
  • Kirkcaldy: Known as the 'lang toun,' it offers a mix of city amenities and a relaxed pace of life with stunning coastline views.
  • Auchtermuchty: A charming village with a strong sense of community. Its high street offers all the must-have amenities.
  • Crail: Living here offers a picturesque ocean-side lifestyle with its colourful houses, lobster pots, and peaceful harbour.

Best schools in Fife

Fife is abundant with great schools, nurseries, colleges, and universities. Reputable primary and secondary schools include the likes of Madras College, Bell Baxter High School, and Kilmaron School. Further education opportunities are offered by Fife College, providing a wide range of vocational and academic courses. For higher education, St. Andrews University, one of the top-ranking universities in the world, is located right in the heart of Fife, offering excellent educational opportunities.

Transport links in Fife

Fife benefits from an extensive network of public transport systems. Fife is well covered by buses, with the main provider, Stagecoach, operating routes to various destinations and smaller towns. Furthermore, with nine train stations including Leuchars, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Glenrothes, commuting by rail is convenient. The county is well linked to the rest of Scotland via major roads like the A91, A92, and A914. Moreover, the iconic Forth bridges enable smooth travel to and from Edinburgh, making the county ideal for commuting. Additionally, the Fife Airport serves general aviation flights.

To conclude, Fife offers a unique combination of history, outstanding landscapes, and an array of activities for every resident. The superbly maintained historical structures alongside the well-established communities make Fife an inviting location to settle in. Whether you prefer quiet coastal towns, vibrant student cities, or historical hotspots, Fife has it all. High-quality schooling, convenient transport links, the charming locales, and a strong sense of community make Fife a promising choice for those considering moving here.

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