Fife: Picturesque castles in graceful landscape


Tucked away on an island: Loch Leven Castle

Tucked away on an island: Loch Leven Castle

Picturesque castles in graceful landscape

The peninsula between Edinburgh and Perth is characterised by its graceful landscape, picturesque castles and historic villages. Particularly beautiful is Culross, a picture-book town dating from between 1600 and 1800. From St. Monans, a former fishing village with a Gothic church, an artists' village has developed. Loch Leven is also remarkable. On an island stands Loch Leven Castle, where Mary Stuart was held for a year. Sir Walter Scott describes the dramatic circumstances of her nighttime escape in his romantic novel “The Abbot”. In 2008 Loch Leven Heritage Trail was founded, a hiking trail around the lake and through the nature reserve.

Attractions Fife

A loop trail through East Lomond

From a historic village to a scenic, windswept summit

This hike offers something for everyone. It starts in the historic town of Falkland and then heads uphill to a windswept summit where you can enjoy a sweeping view of the County of Fife. You will pass through a romantic gorge on your way back down. (round trip: 3:00 hrs, 8.4 km, elevation change: 370 m)


Historic town on the northern bank of the Firth of Forth

This historic town on the northern bank of the Firth of Forth is one of the loveliest towns in Scotland. It experienced its heyday during the 16th and 17th centuries thanks to the flourishing trade with the Dutch. The town features a magnificent town hall rising up over the “little houses”. It still has its remarkable ceiling paintings from the year 1597. A covered walkway will lead you through a 17th-century modular garden with raised flower beds in a wetland meadow. The town's medieval ambiance was the reason why parts of the “Outlander” fantasy series were filmed here.

Included in:
Scottish Heritage Pass (Culross Palace & Garden)

Dollar Glen

Via a romantic gorge to Castle Campbell

The romantic beauty of the narrow gorge north of Dollar became known at the time of Queen Victoria already. Several bridges and beautiful vantage points lead to the impressive Castle Campbell. Today the hike is easy and well secured – with planks and plank paths. (Return 1:30 hours, 2,8 kilometers, up and down 150 meters)

Kinnoull Hill

Scottish Rhine Romanticism

A nature trail leads up to the 222 metre high rock from where you have a beautiful view over the River Tay and the railway line along the river. Only a few hundred metres away stands the neo-Gothic Kinnoull Tower, which Lord Grey of Kinfauns had built in 1829 after returning from a journey to the Rhine. In fact, the scenery is very similar to the Middle Rhine castle landscape.

St. John's Kirk

Pulpit of the preacher of penance John Knox

The church from the 12th century was consecrated to John the Baptist and gave its name to the town, which used to be called Saint John's Toun. John was also called the most famous preacher at the church, the Calvinist penitential preacher John Knox. After a stay in Geneva and Frankfurt am Main, the reformer of Scotland returned to Perth in 1559. When after one of his fiery sermons against the worship of pictures a Catholic priest immediately read the mass, the fanatical crowd destroyed altars, pictures and relics, but not the church bells, so that St John's still has the largest collection of church bells in Britain.

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