Nestled between the Firths of Forth and Tay, the rolling countryside and picturesque coastline of Fife is a joy to explore as it transitions from summer to autumn and winter, and is ripe with things to see, do, eat and drink, for visitors of all ages.
This beautiful and history-rich region is perfectly placed for an accessible, family-friendly day out or short break during the chillier months. Learn about the region has to offer and start planning your Fife getaway today.
WALK & CYCLE
- Fife Coastal Path. This epic long-distance route stretches for 117 miles but can be tackled in eight individual stages. The gentlest of these is the section at one end of the path which leads 11 miles from Kincardine to Limekilns over flat terrain, cutting through pretty villages like Culross, Charlestown and Limekilns.
- Lomond Hills Regional Park. The Lomonds of Fife, sometimes called the Beacon Hills, form a a stunning upland landscaped formed by ancient volcanic activity. Scale the heights of Benarty Hill and Bishop Hill, both overlooking Loch Leven, East Lomond looming above the village of Falkland, or the highest peak, West Lomond. After something less physically demanding? Try one of the low-level routes like the lovely Glen Vale Circular, which takes in the tranquil glen set against the dramatic backdrop of West Lomond.
- Lochore Meadows Country Park. Spanning 1,200 acres in the heart of Fife, soak up some autumnal colour and crisp winter air at this popular walking, cycling and birdwatching spot. Set around Loch Ore, the park features extensive woodlands as well as a nature reserve and meadow.
- Fife Pilgrim Way. Take a hike on Fife’s answer to the Camino de Santiago, with the ancient 56-mile route followed by pilgrims from Culross to St Andrews Cathedral. Try the section between North Queensferry and Dunfermline for outstanding views of the three bridges spanning the Firth of Forth.
- Inner Forth. The landscape around the Inner Forth is marvellous to explore on foot or bike as the woodlands turn and the air fills with the sound of thousands of wintering geese. Soak it all up on a choice of nine trails created by Inner Forth Landscape, Wanderings and Windings which offer everything from family-friendly strolls to epic cycles.
- Pittencrieff Park. Savour the winter seasons at this glorious woodland spot in the heart of Dunfermline filled with towering conifers including Scots pine and redwoods alongside monkey puzzle trees and other exotic specimens.
Discover more beautiful parks and gardens in Fife this season.
- Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum. Scots-American Andrew Carnegie was an industrialist whose vision and philanthropy shaped the modern world. In the humble Dunfermline cottage where Carnegie was born, visitors of all ages will be engaged by his and his family’s incredible journey from Scotland to the United States. In 2019 the museum was the first Scottish winner of the annual Family Friendly Museum Award, run by the charity, Kids in Museums.
- Dunfermline Heritage Quarter. One of Fife’s best-kept secrets is that Dunfermline has one of the best-preserved medieval townscapes in Scotland. Wander through the pretty district, which is home to the monumental Dunfermline Abbey and Palace alongside hidden gems like the 16th century Abbot House, and the world’s first-ever Carnegie Library, now a free museum, founded by the town’s most famous son, Andrew Carnegie.
- Dunbarnie Links. Seasoned golfers and newcomers to the sport can practice their swing at Scotland’s newest golf course this autumn and winter. The 18-hole course boasts a spectacular location overlooking Largo Bay along a mile and a half of golden sandy beach.
TAKE THE KIDS
- Claireville Alpaca. Head to the working farm Blyth’s of Fife and spend some time with the resident herd of alpacas on walks, meet and greets and even special therapeutic visits. You can also book an experience at Bowbridge Alpacas which involves treks featuring obstacle courses and getting to grips with herding.
- Tentsmuir Forest. Located on the estuary of the River Tay as it flows into the North Sea, this is a heavenly spot for kids to play among the sand dunes and towering pines. Watch for red squirrels harvesting beech nuts and hazelnuts from the feeders placed outside the hide. You might also be lucky enough to see grey seal pups on the beach.
- St Andrews Aquarium. You can’t go wrong with a family visit to this seal sanctuary, which is also home to sharks, an array of tropical fish, alligators, penguins and a family of meerkats.
- Aberdour Castle and Gardens. Play hide and seek among the ruins of this large complex of buildings dating from the 12th and 17th centuries. Download the quiz and explore inside to find amazing features that survive from the castle’s heyday including the 16th century painted ceiling. Advanced booking is required.
- Scotland’s Secret Bunker. Travel back to the days of the Cold War at this subterranean nuclear shelter below the Fife countryside. Kids will delight in exploring the spooky network of tunnels which lead to a radar room, dorms and what was once a film screening room.
- Fife Zoo. Meet a menagerie of exotic creatures including armadillos, lovebirds, lemurs and many more exotic and endangered species while learning about conservation and sustainability. Have a coffee and freshly made lunch, cake or vegan snack in the Africafé.
- Cluny Activities. This former clay shooting centre now offers a range of activities for the whole family, as well as a cosy wee café. Perfect your aim during air rifle or indoor archery sessions, hit the road on a Segway or tee off on the golf driving range. For younger kids, there is an incredible outdoor adventure playground complete with an assault course and two flying foxes, and a 9-hole ‘footgolf’ course.
Top tip: Download the new ‘Follow in the Footsteps of Kings’ AR app. It’s a great interactive way to bring Fife’s rich history to life for kids with fun games and virtual characters. Simply point your device at one of the activation panels displayed at various attractions and locations including Ravenscraig Castle, Aberdour Castle, Macduff’s Castle and others.
EAT, DRINK & SHOP
- Pillars of Hercules. Make a pit-stop at this organic farm shop and vegetarian café following a woodland walk through the neighbouring Falkland Estate. Choose from the tantalising menu featuring creative, internationally inspired dishes and dine al fresco on the wooden decking on sunny days.
- Kingsbarns Distillery & Visitor Centre. This small distillery is set within a beautifully restored 18th century farm steading and dovecot, surrounded by undulating farmland and coastal views. Drop by the visitor centre to browse inside the elegant shop or treat yourself to lunch or afternoon tea in the homey café which offers outdoor seating. You can also book a physically-distanced distillery tour via the website.
- Muddy Boots Farm Shop. This farm shop and café near Cupar is brimming with seasonal fruit and vegetables, free-range eggs and locally reared meats. Have lunch in the café with a wood-burning stove at its heart while the kids enjoy the terrific outdoor play area (pre-booking required).
- Sunrise Bakehouse. Treat yourself to a snack or fresh loaf of sourdough bread at this artisanal bakery in Burntisland. This family-owned business makes its delicious produce from scratch using local ingredients.
- St Andrews Street Market. The historic seaside town welcomes the return of its outdoor market on 6 November. Browse tantalisingly fresh local seasonal produce on display ranging from organic vegetables to heritage pork and farmhouse cheeses, while browsing local crafts, cooking demonstrations, and child-friendly entertainment.
- Townhouse Deli & Bakery. Don’t leave the pretty conservation village of Falkland without stopping by Fife’s newest bakery. Take your pick from a tempting selection of fresh bread, pastries and cakes, as well as delicatessen items and other local produce.
- Balgove Larder. This farm shop is always thinking up new ways to get people to eat and shop locally. Savour Fife’s finest food and drink from the shop, master butchery, café and – from 30 October – the steak barn where you can tuck into succulent steaks as well as the larder’s famous black and white puddings, outstanding sausages, and award-winning haggis. In the past Balgove has also hosted their famous Night Markets, allowing guests to browse the produce offering in the evenings. Stay tuned for upcoming events.
- The Newport Bakery. You can also pick up sourdough bread, crispy pastries and more at the sister bakery of The Newport Restaurant run by Head Chef Jamie Scott, this wee village bakery prides itself on serving authentic homebaking.
Considering an overnight or extended break in Fife? There are heaps of fantastic places you can rest your head at the end of a day. Use our accommodation listings to find the place that’s right for you, from 5-star hotels to unique self-catering properties.
Select the ‘We’re Open’ and ‘Good to Go’ categories from the search filter to return results for properties that have a Covid-19 risk assessment.
Current rules are: one household only in self-catered accommodation (including caravans, flats and holiday cottages) and one room per household for a hotel, B&B or similar.