5 Best Day Trips from Dunfermline

You’ve explored the city of Dunfermline, now it’s time to see what lies ahead in the Kingdom of Fife. With a range of bus and train routes available to and from the city, you’ll never be short of things to do. Make the most of the longer days and check out our best day trips from Dunfermline. 

  1. Falkland Falkland

    East Lomond by Falkland

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Via bus: 2 hours; Stagecoach 31 bus towards Glenrothes (1 change at St Columba’s Church for Stagecoach 36 bus)

    Fans of the hit TV series Outlander, will have no doubt heard of Falkland. The picturesque town in Fife stars as Inverness in the 1940s where Claire and Frank arrive there on their second Honeymoon in season one. Pop into The Covenanter Hotel which acts as Mrs Baird’s guesthouse, a great place to stop for lunch where you’ll find fish and chips, burgers, macaroni and other homely favourites on the menu. A trip here wouldn’t be complete without visiting Falkland Palace. This fine renaissance palace was a firm favourite with Mary, Queen of Scots and is home to one of Britain’s oldest surviving real tennis courts. Soak up the fresh air and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the palace garden and explore the wildflower meadow and orchard.  

    If you’re looking to explore more on foot, the East Lomond circuit is a great way to discover the history and wildlife of the area. The 7 km walk takes around 3.5 hours to complete where you’ll be rewarded with views over East Fife and the Forth Estuary. 

  2. Aberdour Aberdour

    Aberdour, Fife

    © Fife Council / Chris Watt

    Via bus: 45 mins

    Via train: 35 mins (1 change at Inverkeithing)

    Coastal wonders await you in the historic village of Aberdour. Enjoy a beach day with the whole family at Aberdour Silver Sands. There is plenty of parking available and an onsite café. Adults can soak up the Scottish sunshine while the kids will no doubt make a beeline for the bouncy castle and putting green nearby. Dogs are also welcome, so be prepared for plenty of ball games.

    Step back in time and discover Aberdour Castle and Gardens. Known as one of the oldest standing castles in Scotland, take a guided tour where you’ll see the long gallery and the 17th century painted ceiling decorated with fruit, foliage and heraldic emblems. Check out the perfectly manicured walled garden too. You’ll find lots of scented flowers and a beehive-shaped doocot, with views overlooking the Firth of Forth. Experience golf with a view at Aberdour Golf Club, the 18-hole parkland golf course is the perfect place for golfers of all abilities. Good news, you don’t need to be a member to play but make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. 

  3. Burntisland Burntisland

    Burntisland, Fife

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Via bus: 1 hour (St Leonard’s Bus Depot, Dunfermline – Allan Court, Burntisland)

    Via train: 50 mins (1 change at Inverkeithing)

    The seaside town is a hub of activity during the summer months when it welcomes the Burntisland Highland Games in July. Held annually at Burntisland Links, expect lots of Highland dancing, running, cycling and heavy events to keep you entertained. If you’re looking to treat yourself to something nice, take a wander along Burntisland High Street and peruse around some of the goodies on offer where you’ll find many independent and family-run shops. 

    The town is naturally blessed with an abundance of scenic walking routes too. Lace up your walking boots and explore Burntisland and The Binn. The 6 km circular walking trail takes just under two hours to complete and is open all-year round. Climb up The Binn and be treated to panoramic views across the Forth. Burntisland is also situated along the Fife Coastal Path where you can also take on the Burntisland to Buckhaven section if you’re not too strapped for time.

  4. Cupar Cupar

    Strawberry picking at Cairnie Fruit Farm

    © VisitScotland / Graeme MacDonald

    Via bus: 50 mins

    Via train: 1 hr 25 mins (1 change at Inverkeithing)

    Cupar is a fantastic place for a family day out, especially if you love animals. Make a new fluffy friend at Bowbridge Alpacas. Choose from a one or two-hour alpaca experience where you’ll meet the herd, get hands on during feeding times, walk your very own alpaca and have plenty of selfie opportunities to fill your camera roll. Head to The Scottish Deer Centre, home to 13 species of deer and other animals, including the European Brown Bear, Harris Hawk, Eurasian Lynx and Scottish Wildcat. Take a trailer ride round the park to see these beautiful creatures first hand. On a hot day, seek some shade and enjoy a woodland walk. The kids can blow off some steam at the indoor play area, adventure playground or get behind the wheel with go karting.

    The warmer weather calls for a refreshing fruity snack. From June to September, you’ll find juicy strawberries ready to be picked at Cairnie Fruit Farm. You can also pick raspberries, redcurrants, cherries, gooseberries, blackcurrants and sunflowers over summer and go pumpkin picking in autumn.

  5. Leven Leven

    Leven Links Golf Course in Fife

    © Fife Council / Airborne Lens

    Via bus: 1 hr 10 mins

    Via train: 1 hour 5 mins (1 change at Inverkeithing)

    With the launch of the new Levenmouth rail link, it’s never been a better time to visit the seaside town of Leven on the east coast of Fife. Close to the town centre is Leven beach where you’ll be treated to views across the Firth of Forth. If you’re heading into the water, you’ll be in safe hands with lifeguards on patrol during the summer holidays. Afterwards, enjoy a lovely walk along the promenade and work up an appetite for a delicious picnic. Mad about golf? Enjoy a game at Leven Links Golf Course. Dating back to the mid 1800’s, it is one of the oldest link courses in Scotland offering golfers traditional links with rolling fairways, fast putting surfaces, burns and pot bunkers. Discover railway history at Fife Heritage Railway. Open Tuesdays and Sundays, the attraction helps restore steam and diesel locomotives for visitors on special days throughout the year.  

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