St Andrews and Fife

Overview

Introduction

Revered in the world of golf, St. Andrews is one of the most historic towns in Scotland. In addition to being the cradle of the Scottish Reformation, the town has Scotland’s oldest university, one of the oldest golf courses in the world (appropriately named Old Course) and the ruins of the oldest cathedral in Scotland. The town, where Prince William chose to study art history at the university, lies 35 mi/55 km north of Edinburgh, across the Firth of Forth.

To the south, at Troywood, is one of Scotland's more unusual visitor attractions, the Secret Bunker, a subterranean base built in the 1950s and intended to be a command center in the event of nuclear war. http://www.secretbunker.co.uk.

In nearby Fife and the vicinity are outstanding monuments in stone such as Falkland Palace (http://www.nts.org.uk/Learn/virtual_falkland.php), Dunfermline Abbey (http://www.dunfermlineabbey.co.uk ) and Leuchars Church (http://www.leucharsstathernase.org.uk). Culross is a splendid small Scottish town, and the coast road of the East Neuk of Fife between Elie and Crail presents a lovely procession of tidy fishing ports. Pittenweem is a traditional Fife fishing village. http://www.eastneukwide.co.uk.

When in Dunfermline, visit the birthplace of U.S. millionaire and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and Pittencrieff Glen, a large ornamental estate with superb gardens. As a child, Carnegie couldn't see the estate except through its great gates. When he grew up, he bought the estate and presented it to the town (in 1903) so that it could be enjoyed by the children of the area (http://www.carnegiebirthplace.com). Several Scottish monarchs are buried in Dunfermline, including Robert the Bruce, whose remains (except for his heart) lie in the abbey. The cave where St. Margaret secretly prayed is near Dunfermline's High Street and is accessible to the public.

Walkers might want to take the Fife Coastal Path, which leads from Crail all the way to the Victorian Forth Rail Bridge at North Queensferry. http://www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk.

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