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15 Iconic Buildings to explore in Fife


Fife is a council area, historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries with Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. Fife is Scotland's third largest local authority area by population. It has a resident population of just under 367,000, over a third of whom live in the three principal towns, Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes.

Abbot House
Abbot House11 Maygate, Dunfermline KY12 7NE, UK

Abbot House is a beautiful ‘A’ listed building, dating back to at least the 16th Century. It’s situated within Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter and is steeped in the rich history of Scotland’s ancient capital. The house is instantly recognisable by its colour and is known fondly as the ‘pink hoose’ by locals. As the oldest surviving secular building within Dunfermline town, and a survivor of the Great Fire of Dunfermline in 1624, the building is indicative of the changing styles of Scottish archit

Aberdour Castle
Aberdour CastleAberdour, Burntisland KY3 0SL, UK

Aberdour Castle lies close to Aberdour's railway station. It is a building that over a five hundred year period slowly moved from west to east with the successive building of new stages of accommodation more suited to the needs and aspirations of the owners of the day. The earliest part of the castle was a modest hall house, on a site overlooking the Dour Burn. Over the next 400 years, the castle was successively expanded according to contemporary architectural ideas. The hall house became a tow

Balgonie Castle
Balgonie CastleMarkinch, Glenrothes KY7 6HQ, UK

Balgonie Castle is a 14th century tower-keep and later courtyard built on a river cliff overlooking the River Leven a short distance east of Glenrothes in Fife. It is privately owned and has been partially restored, and is open to visitors by appointment. Balgonie has a special place in my heart because it was where my wife and I were married in 2006.

Crawford Priory
Crawford Priory5 Crawford Priory Courtyard, Cupar KY15 5RA, UK

Crawford Priory is an impressive, Gothic mansion, started in 1809 and extended a few years later, but now a derelict and deteriorating shell. The present building replaced an earlier house that dated from the middle of the 18th century, and had a sumptuous interior. There are no significant remains of the internal gothic design save a cast iron balustrade in the D-shaped main stairhall in the east side of the building.

Culross Palace - The National Trust for Scotland
Culross Palace - The National Trust for ScotlandBlair Castle, Culross, Dunfermline KY12 8JH, UK

Culross Palace is a late 16th - early 17th century merchant's house in Culross, Fife, Scotland. The palace is now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland who have restored a model seventeenth-century garden, complete with raised beds, a covered walkway and crushed shell paths. The herbs, vegetables and fruit trees planted in the garden are types that were used in the early seventeenth century.

Dairsie Castle
Dairsie CastleBy Cupar, Fife KY15 4RL, UK

Dairsie Castle is a restored tower house located 1.3 kilometres south of Dairsie in north-east Fife, Scotland. The castle overlooks the River Eden. Dairsie has been the location of secret Scottish parliaments, military sieges, and safe haven for escapee monarchs. After a long period of housing the local Archbishops of St. Andrews, and passing through the hands of various Scottish peerage, it became a ruin in the 19th Century.It is a Category B listed building, and was formerly a Scheduled Ancie

Falkland Palace & Garden
Falkland Palace & GardenEast Port, Falkland, Cupar KY15 7BY, UK

Falkland Palace, in Falkland, Fife, Scotland, is a royal palace of the Scottish Kings. It was one of the favourite places of Mary, Queen of Scots, providing an escape from political and religious turmoil. There are a profusion of flowering shrubs and trees in the Spring and the adjoining orchard is full of apple blossom - just ideal for a picnic. There is a peaceful pool garden where you can sit and take in the magnificent scenery.

Hill of Tarvit Mansion House
Hill of Tarvit Mansion HouseHill of Tarvit Mansion House, Cupar KY15 5PB, UK

The Hill of Tarvit is a 20th-century mansion house and gardens in Fife, Scotland. They were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer and are today owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The house is situated on a hillside a mile and a half south of Cupar, Fife. It is set in 40 acres of garden and 279 acres of open estate. This includes woodland, parkland, farmland and open heath, with extensive views. The house today and wider estates are owned and operated by the National Trust for Scotland.

MacDuff Castle
MacDuff CastleEast Wemyss, Kirkcaldy KY1 4RT, UK

A ruined castle standing on cliffs immediately to the east of East Wemyss in Fife, MacDuff's Castle is said to have been originally constructed by the MacDuff Earls of Fife in the 11th Century. The surrounding estates passed to the Wemyss family and the present structure was built in the 15th Century as their seat. The castle was abandoned by the mid-17th C. when the family moved to Wemyss Castle, lying 2 miles to the southwest. There was once a passage which descended into the Well Cave below,

Newark Castle
Newark CastleUK, Anstruther KY10 2DB, UK

Newark Castle is a ruin located just outside the town of St Monans, on the east coast of Fife, Scotland. Building on the site probably dates back to the 13th century at which time the Scottish king Alexander III spent some of his childhood there. The castle has been known by several names, including Inverie, St Monans and St Monance. It has been designated by Historic Environment Scotland, together with its associated dovecote, as a scheduled monument.

Ravenscraig Castle
Ravenscraig CastleKirkcaldy KY1 2QG, UK

Ravenscraig Castle is one of the earliest artillery forts in Scotland and has two round towers linked by a cross range. This was later granted to William Sinclair in exchange for the Earldom of Orkney. Its defences were upgraded to support artillery in the mid-sixteenth century but it saw no action until 1651 when it was attacked and badly damaged by Oliver Cromwell.

Scotland's Secret Bunker
Scotland's Secret BunkerCrown Buildings Troywood, St Andrews KY16 8QH, UK

Scotland’s Secret Bunker was built at the start of the Cold War in 1951 underneath an innocent-looking “farmhouse” near St. Andrews, Fife, as part of the British response to the Cold War. Now a tourist attraction, the Bunker gives a unique opportunity to understand what life would have been like during and after a nuclear attack.

Scotstarvit Tower
Scotstarvit TowerCupar KY15 5PA, UK

Scotstarvit Tower is a tower house in Fife, Scotland. It is situated 2 miles south of Cupar, between Tarvit Hill and Walton Hill, south of the River Eden, near the A916 road. The six-storey L-plan tower, still largely intact, was built in the third quarter of the 16th century by the Inglis family. It was bought, in 1611, by Sir John Scot, author of the satirical The Staggering State of the Scots' Statesmen.

St Andrews Castle
St Andrews CastleThe Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AR, UK

St Andrews Castle is a ruin located in the coastal Royal Burgh of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. The castle sits on a rocky promontory overlooking a small beach called Castle Sands and the adjoining North Sea. It housed the burgh’s wealthy and powerful bishops while St Andrews served as the ecclesiastical centre of Scotland during the years before the Protestant Reformation. In their Latin charters, the Archbishops of St Andrews wrote of the castle as their palace, signing, "apud Palatium nostrum

Wemyss Castle
Wemyss CastleEast Wemyss, Kirkcaldy KY1 4RT, UK

Wemyss Castle is an old castle and mansion, long held by the Wemyss family, on cliffs above the sea on the north shore of the Firth of Forth. After the second world war the walled garden at Wemyss Castle became largely redundant. Since 1993 it has been lovingly overhauled and redesigned by Charlotte Wemyss. The six-acre walled garden has become a symphony of spring and summer flowers. Clematis, roses and ornamental trees are the stars of the show supported by herbaceous planting.

Map of Iconic Buildings to explore in Fife