Spring has arrived and it's the perfect time to explore the region and discover gems along the way. It may not be bikini weather, but the days are getting longer and the colourful spring flowers are in full bloom.
Walk through carpets of snowdrops
One specifically for spring is the spectacular Snowdrop Festival at Cambo Estate in the North East of Fife. For a few weeks each year thousands carpet the forest floor making for an enchanting walk through the woodland. There are over 350 different varieties of this special plant to enjoy and a lovely cafe on-site.
Step back in time and explore Culross
Culross is like a time warp, trapped in the 16th-18th century thanks to the loving care of the National Trust. This walk is peaceful and tranquil and not arduous at only 3km. Beginning at the large (and free!) car park at the east end of the promenade the walk takes in the Palace and the lovely 17th century Jacobite herb garden behind it. Used as Claire's herb garden in the TV series Outlander it really comes to life in the spring and the small climb to the benches at the top of the garden offer superb views of the village and out to the Firth of Forth. From here pass the Town House and turn left up Back Causeway to the Mercat Cross, before heading up Tanhouse Bray and Kirk Street to Culross Abbey.
The path then heads north then left at the footpath, which takes you along the edge of a field to a small sign for West Kirk. Turn right here and explore this fascinating little graveyard, which was also used in the filming of Outlander. If you carry on west past the Kirk to the metal gate, turn left, follow the long straight path to the private Dunimarle Castle to meet the path which leads you back to the village, you'll have walked far enough to warrant a big bowl of soup from the cafe and even one of their homemade cakes.
Discover historic Dunfermline
Start your walk at the stunning City Chambers. This walk takes in Dunfermline's fascinating history by including the Abbey where Robert the Bruce is buried, the Palace where Charles II was born and the salmon coloured 15th century Abbot House and gardens. You can also visit the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, which is free to enter and take a spring stroll through the pretty Pittencrieff Park to see the gorgeous cherry blossom in full bloom at this time of year. There's also a waterfall and if you follow the burn to Pittencrieff House, you're sure to spot plenty of squirrels along the way. This walk is the perfect way to discover Scotland's ancient capital, then round your day off with a picnic in the park or a visit to one of the town's lovely cafes and restaurants.
Tick off a bucket list walk
Every walking enthusiast will have the Fife Coastal Path on their bucket list. Every section of this path, which stretches 117 miles, has something new to discover (as well as stunning views). This East Neuk stretch takes in three cute villages with traditional coloured cottages, beach walks, picturesque harbours and an award-winning chippy at the end, This section begins at the harbour of St Monans (try to find the welly garden on the shore, it’s so pretty when the flowers are in bloom) and passes the old windmill, which used to pump water for the saltpans. You also pass the popular outdoor swimming baths for those brave encugh to take a dip.. The route from here is pretty straightforward and well signposted, just look out for the Fife Coastal Path arrows. Pittenweem is a working harbour and if you ever get there early enough in the morning you can watch the fishermen return with their catch and haggle in the fish market on the seafront. The cute colourful houses that line the waterfront are seriously Instagram-worthy.
Head along to the far end and turn left up Abbey road to reach a lovely walk along the sea cliffs. Skirt the edge of the golf course to reach Anstruther and walk through the High Street before turning right down the winding lanes to reach the seafront. It's here you will find the award-winning chippy and, in my opinion, another two equally good chippies so you can take your pick. There are also loads of quirky little independent shops here for a browse.
Enjoy Fife's beautiful Botanic Gardens
Where else to see spring taking shape than St Andrews Botanic Gardens. 8000 species of plants grow in the sheltered gardens and as you walk the path lined with towering trees you can admire the herbaceous borders, ferns and shrubs that are hardy enough to survive a Fife winter. Inside the many greenhouses are exotic and rare plants and flowers from around the world who maybe aren't so brave! This is a lovely walk; you can head down to see the Kinness Burn and the rock garden, which, in spring, is home to over 2500 different species of alpine plants. If you bring the kids there is a woodland hedgehog trail to keep them busy as you relax in this wonderful haven in the middle of town.