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The quiet waterfront villages of Limekilns and Charlestown are a far cry from the industrial might of neighbouring Rosyth. Limekilns and Charlestown each have their own unique charm and both share fabulous views of the river and, in the early hours of the day, the sun rising over the three Forth bridges.

Historic Limekilns perches on a narrow stretch of land between the cliffs and the River Forth. A row of traditional fishermen’s cottages lines the tranquil waterfront while small boats gently bob about in Bruce Haven, Limekiln’s harbour.

In the 14th century, Limekilns was the main port for Scotland’s capital, Dunfermline, with ships constantly delivering goods for the King and his court. In fact, Limekilns’ oldest surviving building is The King’s Cellar where, apparently, Scotland’s sovereigns kept their wine.  

Making lime was one of Limekiln’s main industries but, in the 18th century, production moved to the still-visible giant lime kilns quarried into the cliffs near the new town of Charlestown. Charlestown was built in the 1750s by Charles Bruce, Earl of Elgin, who named the town after himself and even planned its layout in the shape of a C (Charles) and an E (Elgin).

Once dominated by lime production and mining, today Charlestown is peaceful and offers a good choice of refreshment stops, as does Limekilns.

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