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3-day itinerary for a winter getaway to Fife

Fife for the senses by Kathi Kamleitner (Instagram @WatchMeSee)

01 January 24

Things to do

Embrace the elements, indulge your senses and follow this 3-day winter itinerary through Fife.

Brisk walks by the beach, delicious food and drink, and getting your sweat on in a beachside sauna - is there a better way to embrace the short and dark winter days? The coast of Fife offers all this and more - it’s a delightful winter escape that will speak to all your senses. Here is a perfect 3-day itinerary for a winter getaway to Fife.

Day 1: Spark your Sense of Wonder

Morning: North Queensferry and the Forth Bridges

Let’s begin your winter trip to Fife where most journeys to Fife begin: North Queensferry. Before the construction of the Forth Bridge, this little village was the first port of call for anyone travelling to Scotland’s old capital, Dunfermline, or onwards on the pilgrimage to St Andrews.

Today, North Queensferry is a sleepy village in the shadow of the iconic red bridge. Follow the Forth Bridges Trail and visit the North Queensferry Harbour Light Tower. Learn about the construction of the railway bridge at the small museum on the pier and walk along the coast to the eastern side of the bridge. Here, the red steel of the north cantilever is almost close enough to touch.

Of course, there is a lot more to discover in North Queensferry. The trail offers interpretative panels, but nothing beats listening to the fascinating stories from local guides like Andrew Simpson aka The Lucky Sporran Tour Guide.

For lunch, hide away at the cosy Rankin’s Cafe or treat yourself to lunch at The Wee Restaurant.

Afternoon: Wemyss Caves

Your next stop takes you far back in time. The Wemyss Caves in East Wemyss began forming at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago. What makes them even more special though, is the fact that they are home to the highest concentration of Pictish cave carvings in Britain.

The best way to discover these carvings is to join a guided tour. Your guide will tell you all about the symbols you see inside the caves, recent archaeological discoveries and the immense effort to protect this unique Pictish site in Fife.

Evening: The Crusoe, Lower Largo

Bringing your first day on this winter getaway in Fife to a delightful end is The Crusoe in Lower Largo. The small hotel and restaurant is named after the fictional Robinson Crusoe, who was supposedly modelled on the real-life castaway Alexander Selkirk from Lower Largo. If you have daylight left before dinner, walk up the village’s main street to see his statue.

The Crusoe is a real treat for foodies. Relax in the warm environment of the wood-panelled restaurant and indulge in local fare, whether it’s local beef from Fife or lobster landed on the East Neuk coast. Veggie and vegan options are also available.

Day 2: An Adventure for the Soul

Morning: The East Neuk Fishing Villages

It’s time to explore the fishing villages on the East Neuk of Fife. From Elie and Earlsferry to Crail, the picturesque villages on this stretch of coastline exude irresistible charm. Their historic harbours are bustling with creel boats and the cobbled lanes are framed by whitewashed chocolate-box cottages.

Possibly the most photographed among them all is Crail with an enclosed harbour next to golden sands. Spot the 17th century sundial at the top of the tall cliffs, and explore the cafes and shops along the high street. For lunch head to the quirky Beehive Crail, a gift and craft shop with a cafe.

Afternoon: Kingsbarns Beach & Wild Scottish Sauna

Spend the afternoon in Kingsbarns, the northernmost village on the East Neuk of Fife, and the only one that isn’t right by the sea. Make your way down to the long sandy beach and wander down to the rockpools in search of shore and hermit crabs.

If you’re looking to boost your wellbeing, why not book a session at Wild Scottish Sauna? Relax inside the hot cabin by the beach and sweat out your worries as you watch the changing light as it dances across the sea. Cool off with a dip in the water and escape back inside for another hot sweat. If a private session doesn’t suit you, join one of the scheduled shared sessions throughout the week.

Evening: Ardross Farm Shop


For dinner head back to St Monans and drop by the fantastically well-sorted Ardross Farm Shop. The family-run business not only sells their own farm-reared beef and seasonally grown vegetables, the shop also offers a range of Scottish produce from Fife and beyond. Every delicious treat you can find here has been hand-selected by the farm shop team. Pick up a basket of ingredients for a home-made meal or help yourself to a ready-meal from the freezer, which are freshly prepared in the commercial kitchen on site.

Day 3: Heavenly Scents and Indulging Tastes

Morning: Kingsbarns Distillery and Cambo Gardens

It’s day three - the final day of your winter getaway to Fife. What better way to start than by touring the beautiful Kingsbarns Distillery? Located in an old farmstead on the grounds of Cambo Estate, the distillery produces a range of single malt whiskies as well as Darnley’s Gin. For an extra delight to take home, pick up one of their Mulled Gin kits to prepare at home.

Special Offer: Kingsbarns Distillery is currently offering a ‘Pay What You Like’ Tour until the end of February 2024.

After your tour, head over to Cambo Gardens to visit the historic Walled Garden, wander along the woodland trails and warm up at the Stables Cafe. From late January to early March, the garden is one of the leading locations for the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. Here you can find over 200 varieties of snowdrops, lots of workshops and activities.

Afternoon: Bowhouse Market

Once a month from March to December, Bowhouse near St Monans hosts a 2-day market extravaganza with local food traders, hot food trucks, workshops, activities and talks to connect food producers with consumers, and everyday people with the ways their food is produced.

Browse the market stalls, speak directly with traders about their products, and fill your belly with delicious tasters from all over the region.

Note that there are no market weekends in January and February.

If your visit doesn’t coincide with a market weekend at Bowhouse, why not indulge in one of many other things to do in Fife in winter? Head to St Andrews and feast at Balgove Larder. Make your way to Falkland for a walk in the Lomond Hills. Or spend the afternoon in Scotland’s newest city, Dunfermline. Find more inspiration here - 'The Kingdom - Where it all begins'.

Places to stay

Whether you're looking for a hotel or an apartment, there are plenty of accommodation options along the coast of Fife.

Plan your winter getaway!

With this 3-day winter itinerary for Fife in your back pocket, you’ll have renewed your connection with nature and yourself. You’ll be heading home with a renewed sense of wonder and bags full of goodies to enjoy the flavours of Fife for a long time coming.

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