Driving Tour: The Fife Coast

  • Start Stirling
  • End St Andrews
  • Length 76 miles; one day

This tour links two of the most popular tourist towns in Central Scotland via the scenic delights of the Fife coast.

Head south from Stirling on the M9 and at Junction 7 turn east towards Kincardine Bridge. As you approach the bridge, follow signs for Kincardine and Kirkcaldy; then once across the Firth of Forth, follow the Fife Coastal Tourist Rte signposts to the historic village of Culross. Spend an hour or so exploring the medieval buildings of Culross before continuing via the A994 to Dunfermline, for a look at its fine abbey and palace ruins.

From Dunfermline take the M90 towards the Forth Road Bridge, but leave at Junction 1 (signposted A921 Dalgety Bay) and continue to the attractive seaside village of Aberdour for lunch at the Aberdour Hotel or the Room with a View restaurant. Stay on the A921 as far as Kirkcaldy, then take the faster A915 (signposted St Andrews) as far as Upper Largo, where you'll follow the A917 towards Elie; from here on, you will be following the brown Fife Coastal Tourist Rte signs.

Elie, with its sandy beaches and coastal footpaths, is a great place to stretch your legs and take in some bracing sea air before driving just a couple of miles further on to explore the neighbouring fishing villages of St Monans and Pittenweem. Just 1 mile beyond Pittenweem, Anstruther deserves a slightly longer stop for a visit to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, a stroll by the harbour and an ice cream. If time allows, you may want to detour inland a couple of miles to visit Kellie Castle or Scotland's Secret Bunker.

The final stop before St Andrews is the pretty fishing village of Crail, where the late-afternoon or early-evening light will provide ideal conditions for capturing one of Scotland's most photographed harbours. A brisk hike along the coastal path towards Fife Ness, keeping an eye out for seals and seabirds, will round off the day before you drive the last 10 miles into St Andrews.