St. Andrews Cathedral, St. Andrews, The Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

St. Andrews is one of Scotland’s most well-known destinations. The town has long been a bastion of education — the University of St. Andrews is the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world — and it has become a kind of Mecca for golf enthusiasts, for the game was born here in the 15th century. On the eastern coast of the Kingdom of Fife and near to Edinburgh, it’s only a short train journey or drive to these hallowed grounds. But this post is neither about the university nor golf, it’s about the other compelling reason to visit St. Andrews: St. Andrews Cathedral.

Wedged against the sea…

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Along the coast in Fife's East Neuk

A couple of years ago I rolled out a series of Itinerary Ideas that highlighted different areas of Scotland. When Iā€™d written as many as I could, I noticed there were still some glaring holes on the map. It was this process that kickstarted the planning of my subsequent trips ā€“ I needed to dig into and explore these areas in more depth. Today I’m highlighting the only part of Scotland still claiming to be a kingdom — the Kingdom of Fife — which lies just across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh calling visitors to make the quick journey north.

These Scotland Itinerary Ideas collect many of my previous articles on the selected region into one place… Read more...

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Dunfermline Abbey, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

Just across the Forth Bridge in southwest Fife stands one of Scotland’s most important cultural and historic sites. You’d be forgiven if your first thought was The Little Shop of Heroes, the game store that drew me to the town of Dunfermline in the first place, for it stands near the topic of today’s epistle. No, I’m writing about a special place in the heart of Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter, tight against Pittencrief Park and the Tower Burn: Dunfermline Abbey.

The abbey has its roots in the 11th century and is the final resting place of more Scottish royalty than anywhere else in Scotland barring Iona… Read more...

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The beach at Elie, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

To my mind, there’s no more beautiful part of the Kingdom of Fife than the East Neuk. ‘Neuk’ is the Scots word for ‘nook’ or ‘corner,’ and indeed the East Neuk is the southeast corner of Fife, a span of quiet, historic fishing villages stretching along the coast between Elie and Crail south of St. Andrews. This area deserves attention especially in a place like Fife, which, in many travelers’ minds, is just another name for St. Andrews and golf. If you’re a fan of gentle, coastal scenery, good seafood, seaside walking paths, and picturesque harbors, then Fife’s East Neuk ought to secure a stop on your next trip to Scotland.

Allow me to elaborate.

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Cambo Estate, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland

During my stint in the Kingdom of Fife last spring, I had the opportunity to explore much of eastern Fife from my base in Crail. I love the East Neuk’s cobbled fishing villages for their obvious visual charms but also their strong ties to the area’s past and old way of life. The subject of today’s post shares this in common with its East Neuk neighbors.

The Cambo Estate sits snugly between Crail and St. Andrews in countryside that couldn’t be more desirable. The estate is composed of a grand country home and many acres of wooded and open land. The history of Cambo Estate stretches back to the 12th century, but the estate… Read more...

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