St Andrews, The Fife Coast & Dunfermline
St Andrews, The Fife Coast & Dunfermline Day Tour
Leaving Edinburgh we travel north to South Queensferry. The town is named after the 11th century Queen
Margaret who dedicated her life to the people, and particularly the church, earning her the name ‘Saint Margaret.’
From South Queensferry we drive over the Forth Road Bridge, giving us a spectacular view of one of Scotland’s greatest man-made landmarks – the Forth Rail Bridge. At over a mile and a half long, the bridge was until recently the longest Cantilever bridge in the world. Once over the bridge, we enter into the Kingdom of Fife.
We now head towards one of Scotland’s ancient Capitals, Dunfermline. Here we visit the ancient ruins of Dunfermline Abbey, the burial place of (amongst others) ‘St Margaret,’ her husband King Malcolm Canmore and King Robert ‘The’ Bruce. Central Fife was very poor until the discovery of coal, while the towns and villages along its coastline were rich from all the trade across the North sea, causing King James VI to describe the area as a ‘Beggar’s mantle fringed with gold’. The golden fringe he referred to was the East Neuk, Fife’s easternmost stretch of coastline and home to a string of picturesque villages, each with its own distinctive character and charm. One of these is Lower Largo and best known as the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, the real-life Robinson Crusoe. Our next stop in the little fishing village of Anstruther, where you can check out its old cobbled streets, take a walk along the seafront to the harbour or try the award winning ‘best fish & chips in Britain’.
From Anstruther we continue north to the medieval town of St Andrews. St Andrew is the patron Saint of Scotland, and legend has it that some of his bones were washed up on the Fife coast. The shrine became a place of worship for Christian pilgrims from far and wide and the town developed into the religious capital of Scotland, complete with the largest cathedral in Scotland. Founded in 1160, the cathedral was devastated by fire and later by religious reformers but the ruins provide a fascinating insight into what it once must have been like.
Today St Andrews attracts another type of pilgrim, as the home of golf and the Mecca for all golfers – the ‘Old Course’. The course was founded in 1754. And we don’t forget St Andrews University, which is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world (following Oxford and Cambridge). St Andrews was founded between 1410 and 1413, when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy. Also dating from this period is the once mighty castle perched on its rocky headland overhanging the sea. We have around 2.5 hours to explore this amazing little town.
Leaving St Andrews behind us, we return to Edinburgh passing Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned by her Protestant nobility.
Full Day Sightseeing £550
*Price is for hire of minibus, not per person. Minibus will seat a group of up to 8 people.
Additional hourly rate £45.
PLEASE NOTE: The hire cost charged is for the exclusive use of the vehicle and my personal guiding services. It does not include any entrances for optional visits, boat trip charges or meals etc.