It would be incredibly foolish to cross the Firth of Forth and not stop for this unmissable photo opportunity. And not only for the spectacular views, as the location also provides the perfect vantage point into the industrial history of Scotland. The three bridges, Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing, span across three different centuries; and their styles greatly reflect the era in which they were constructed.
So have your cameras at the ready, you won’t want to miss this!
Falkland Palace was a favourite destination of the Scottish royals for centuries, and we know you’re going to fall in love with its intrigue and beauty too! 12th Century hunting lodge turned castle turned royal palace, the design of Falkland is an intelligent take on a combination of Scottish and French Renaissance architecture. Between 1501 and 1541, King James IV and James V transformed the palace, adding additional towers, spires and carvings to its exterior appearance. They also employed famed landscape architect William Barclay to redesign the palace gardens; much of which survives to this day. When James V died at the palace in December 1542, Falkland became a popular retreat for the following Stuart monarchs. Mary, Queen of Scots used to roam around the palace gardens, perhaps practising falconry, or testing her tennis skills at Britain’s oldest tennis court, which has remained intact since 1539!
As one of the most famous royal retreats in Scotland, Falkland Palace and its gardens retain many of their original features; including Britain’s oldest tennis court!
No tour of the Kingdom of Fife would ever be complete without a visit to its undisputed jewel; St Andrews. A port town on Scotland’s east coast, St Andrews remains renowned for the beauty of its medieval streets, traditional buildings and of course, its university; where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first met in 2001. However, if you’re a golf enthusiast, you’d probably better recognise St Andrews as the home of the famous Old Course; the oldest golf course in the world, and also believed to be the birthplace of the sport itself! We’ll also explore the historic Home of the King’s; St Andrews Castle. James III of Scotland was born in this notorious fortress, and it is where his grandfather, James I was educated in 1401, by Bishop Henry Wardlaw; the founder of St Andrews University. And of course, we couldn’t take a trip to the east coast without including a walk along its stunning beaches. St Andrews West Sands beach is by far the pinnacle of our selection, and don’t worry you’ll have plenty of opportunity to recreate the opening scene from ‘Chariots of Fire’; in the location where the sequence was actually filmed! There is so much that St Andrews has to offer, and we can’t wait to share the very best of it with you.
As the undisputed jewel of Fife, exploring the stunning port of St Andrews is an experience that will undoubtedly last a lifetime!
Next on our St Andrews & Kingdom of Fife day trip, we head to Kingsbarns Distillery. Founded by William and Isabella Wemyss in 2014, the comparatively young Kingsbarns Distillery is located just a short drive east from our previous stop at St Andrews. All set under the roof of former Georgian outhouses, home to the painstakingly preserved ‘doocot’, the distillery produces 33 casks of Single Malt Whisky a week, fed by an on-site natural aquifer which lies 100 meters beneath its floors. We’ll have the opportunity to tour the distillery, learning more about the 3 year and 1 day journey behind every bottle. Kingsbarns Distillery also serves as the fortunate home of Darnley’s Gin production; an equally satisfying creation of the Wemyss family. There’ll be a chance to learn about the Botanicals that form the basis of Darnley’s, and of course to try a sample or two. They usually don’t recommend mixing spirits, but you’re not in Fife every day!
Welcome to the home of Kingsbarns Whisky and Darnley’s Gin; where we’ll be discovering more about the 3 year and 1 day production process in one unbelievable tour!
This historic fishing village on the East Neuk of Fife wouldn’t fall short if described as a secret gem in the chain of ports that line the north shore of the Firth of Forth. Its narrow medieval streets have long stood testament to traditional Scottish living and trade since the 800’s; with much of the surviving architecture dating back to the reign of David II in 1362. Due to its high coastal location, St Monans offers breathtaking views across the bay, North Berwick and Bass Rock from its viewpoint. And whilst we’re up there, we’ll also be paying the 13th-century church of Monans Kirk a visit; it’s cliffhanging location hailing as the closest church to the sea in the whole of Scotland! Join us, as Newark Castle, the famous St Monans Windmill and the West End are all waiting to be discovered!
It really doesn’t get any more picturesque than the quaint fishing village of St Monans, which is famed as one of the most well preserved 14th century villages in Scotland!