Lucky enough to be coming to this part of the world for a whole week or more?
Here’s our pick of some of the best ways to spend your time.
Start your break with a visit to the world-famous ‘Home of Golf’, St Andrews.
Ancient castle and cathedral ruins, numerous unspoilt beaches, bars and restaurants aplenty.
For something a little different to the quintessential attractions in town, try the St Andrews Botanical Gardens. Their Alpine and Mediterranean houses are now open for the season. Entrance is free on the first Friday of every month.
A little further out of town you will find the stunning Cambo Gardens on the Cambo Estate. In lovely contrast to the rugged Fife Coastal Path walks, Cambo offers gorgeous horticultural displays, woodland walks, trails to a wooden play area, a recently revamped cafe and shop.
Elie makes a wonderful day trip once you have found your bearings and seen the sights in the main town of St Andrews. You can try every watersport under the sun here if the conditions allow. See our full visitor guide to Elie here.
Elie Sports Club is at the heart of Elie life. You can play their 9 hole golf course, play tennis, practice your putting…even try French Boules on their bowling green. There’s a driving range, play park and The Pavillion serves great daytime meals, coffees, afternoon teas and coffee. All just moments from the golden sands of Elie beach.
Dundee is home to the V&A Dundee, RSS Discovery, McManus Galleries, Dundee Science Centre not to mention Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan cartoon characters! Dundee is also the UK’s only UNESCO designated City of Design. Dundee is twenty or so minutes from St Andrews. As you cross the spectacular River Tay via the Tay Bridge and into the city, you will see the impressive process of redevelopment that is ongoing on the waterside.
For somewhere to eat while you’re there, try St Andrews Brewing Co’s new venue in Downtown Dundee, with views over Slessor Gardens, the V&A and the £1bn Waterfront project. The modern bar and restaurant features huge south facing windows, offering a fantastic space with loads of light and room to relax. With their locally brewed beer and contemporary Scottish food on the menu, it is a great way to recharge your batteries after a busy morning sightseeing. Plus it has parking right outside the door for ease if you have the car.
Loch Leven is a wonderful introduction to the beautiful, and historical lochs of Scotland. It is just under an hour’s drive from St Andrews. Cycle or walk round the whole loch in a few hours and take in the scenery, history and wildlife in this national nature reserve. Spokes cycle shop on South Street in central St Andrews offers hybrid or all-terrain bikes to rent from £20 for day hire. Locks and helmets can be supplied (free of charge) if required, and booking ahead is recommended.
Reward yourself with food and shopping at the superb Loch Leven’s Larder at the end of the walk. It is the best way to commence or end your trip. It has ample parking to leave the car while you walk the loch, an extensive Food Hall, farm shop and stylish gift shop. All with spectacular views of stunning Loch Leven, Perth and Kinross.
Cupar is located alongside the small River Eden, 10 miles from St Andrews on the coast and surrounded by gentle hills. This medieval town was once a bustling market centre. Today, it retains much of that character and has plenty of unique shops to stroll around. Cupar has some fantastic places to visit right outside it.
Visit the house and gardens at the Hill of Tarvit estate 2 miles out of town. The entire estate was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1949. A tour of the house will show off an impressive collection of Chippendale and French furniture, Dutch paintings, Chinese porcelain and a restored Edwardian laundry.
For kids, or the young at heart, Cairnie Farm has everything little people will love. Full scale jumping pillows, mini race track, play park and slides… Plus pick you own pumpkins or strawberries depending on the time of year. They have jaw dropping homemade cakes and traybakes to accompany teas and coffees, as well as light lunches and soups. Their well-stocked shop and deli are well worth a browse too.
Muddy Boots is a brilliant family run kids’ adventure play centre situated next to their excellent Farm Shop and Cafe. They have a great range of activities for all ages including pottery painting and a soft play barn if the weather isn’t good enough to be outside. It also has a huge jumping pillow, grass sledging, zorbing, pig racing, a quad train, duck racing, a huge sand pit as well as hand diggers and ride on bikes outside.
Picturesque Falkland is worth the 40 minute drive from St Andrews. The pretty town is centred on a spectacular Palace built by the Stuart kings. It’s a picture postcard Scottish town and is packed with fascinating and scenic historical buildings. It also has great tea-rooms for after the walk!
The East Lomond circuit walk is suitable for children aged 5 and up and takes around two hours depending on your pace. Enjoy extensive 360 degree views at the top, over Falkland and to The Highlands beyond. (if you want to significantly shorten the walk but still get the windswept summit experience, start at Craigmead Car park.)
The Isle of May is a national nature treasure that can be seen over the water from many of the villages along the East Neuk coast. Daytrippers can take the ferry from Anstruther to admire the puffin colonies, or if you prefer a more high octane ride, you can take an exhilarating boat trip around the island on a RIB with Osprey. You can spot seals in the summer months, although the island is closed October-Easter to protect the many fluffy grey seal pups who call the island home.
Browse our guides to each of the outstanding fishing villages that pepper the coastline along from St Andrews here. Make a day of it and enjoy touring down the coast, sampling what each of them has to offer.
The East Neuk is a real foodies paradise so be sure to plot your day around our restuarant recommendations and book in advance to avoid disappointment. In-the-know Scots travel from the capital Edinburgh and beyond to enjoy the fresh, lovingly prepared seafood offered in these villages. Plus the obligatory sea view is never far away!
We hope these near and farther-afield ideas help you to have a truly memorable stay with Premier Stays Fife.
Simona, Marius and our award-winning, friendly team look forward to welcoming you to one of our hand-selected local properties – so you can enjoy all the East Neuk of Fife has to offer.
See you here soon…