Castle itinerary for Fife

Follow this two day itinerary around six castles that you can visit in Fife to discover more about the history of this region or tailor our suggestions to suit your day out.

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  • The ruins of Aberdour Castle, Fife
    The ruins of Aberdour Castle, Fife
  • Looking across the wrought iron gate to Culross Palace
    Culross Palace
  • Looking across to the entrance of Falkland Palace
    Falkland Palace
  • Looking onto the front of Kellie Castle
    Kellie Castle
  • St Andrews Castle at sunset
    St Andrews Castle at sunset

Begin your day in the historic village of St Andrews on the stunning Fife coastline, with a visit to St Andrews Castle.  The ruins of this Category A, listed castle are situated on a cliff-top to the north of the town. The castle was first erected around 1200 as the residence, prison and fortress of the bishops of the diocese. Explore the underground 16th-century siege and the 'bottle dungeon', one of the most infamous prisons in medieval Britain.

Continue south on a short drive to Kellie Castle, just 2 miles north of Pittenweem. The earliest records of this castle date back to 1150 and the first known owner was Robert of London, the illegitimate son of King William the Lion. Admire the library ceiling, one of the oldest ornamental plaster ceilings in Scotland, or marvel at the painted panelling in the Dining Room, painted by Dutch artists in the 17th century. Take a stroll through the beautiful gardens and enjoy the roses, fruit trees and herbaceous plants. Finish your visit with a visit to the splendid tea room with a selection of light lunches, dinners, cakes and tray bakes.

The ochre-coloured Culross Palace was constructed by Sir George Bruce who adorned the interiors with Baltic pine and Dutch floor tiles and is also credited with constructing the first coal mine to extend under the sea. Take a tour of the palace in Culross to discover the small rooms and connecting passageways with wonderful painted ceilings, pine panelling, antique furniture and ornaments.

Continue on the coastal A815 to the town of Kirkcaldy, where you will find the stronghold of Ravenscraig Castle. One of the earliest artillery forts in Scotland, Ravenscraig was built for King James II to be a stronghold against weaponry of the age. One of the quieter castles in Scotland, it is easy to imagine life as it was in the 15th century, on a visit to this magnificent castle.

A short drive away is the splendid Falkland Palace, the country residence of the Stuart monarchs and a favourite place of Mary Queen of Scots. Set in the heartland of Falkland Conservation Village and surrounded by extensive gardens, this restored Renaissance palace is the perfect place to spend a few hours. A tour of the palace will take you to the Keeper's Bedroom with the elaborately carved four poster bed of James VI, the 16th century Chapel Royal with its painted ceiling, the Tapestry Gallery and many other beautiful rooms. The magnificent gardens are home to Scotland’s oldest Royal Tennis Court and plenty of attractive features.

Continue down the coastal road to the village of Aberdour. Here you will find the historic ruin of Aberdour Castle, one of the oldest standing castles in Scotland.  Built around 1200, the castle has served as a residence for three noble families, over a period of 500 years. Take a guided tour of the castle and discover the fascinating history and extensive complex of buildings. Finish with a stroll around the stunning grounds and walled gardens and pay a visit to the beautiful beehive shaped dovecot.