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Your guide to family friendly fun in Fife

Janice Hopper from Scots2Travel.com took her boys (aged 6 and 8) on two adventures to Fife in an attempt to cover the vast array of child friendly activities on offer. One visit isn’t enough! 

02 February


1 .

Scottish Deer Centre, near Cupar

The Scottish Deer Centre is a fantastic outdoor attraction that kept us occupied for hours. Naturally there are a LOT of deer to meet, from reindeer to the very velvety Pere David’s Deer. Our kids loved hand-feeding the animals, with bags of feed costing £2.50. The deer come running across the fields calling out in a high-pitched bleat when they see you. 

But it’s not just about deer. Visitors will also spot wolves, otters, Highland Cattle, birds of prey, and, if you’re lucky, Scottish wildcats and brown bears. Plus there are several indoor and outdoor play areas, from bouncy pillows to climbing apparatus. We picked up lunch at the outdoor crepe shack located near the playground too.  

Open all year round. 
Price - A family ticket costs £35.00

2 .

St Andrews Aquarium, St Andrews

A fantastic rainy day option, the mid-sized St Andrews Aquarium is home to mesmerising underwater creatures and other creatures too, from marmosets to meerkats. I loved the calming moon jellyfish, seahorses and curious skate birthing pouches. My children made a beeline for the penguins, snapping turtle and piranhas. Of course, we found Nemo and Dory too.  

Try to catch a feeding session and keeper talk to get added value from your ticket. Entry tickets last all day, so a wee tip is to visit the aquarium first, then explore the rest of St Andrews, then revisit the aquarium at the end of the day. For our kids, two visits were essential! 

Open all year round. 
Price - £42 for a family ticket. 

3 .

Fife Zoo, near Cupar

Fife Zoo is a teensy weensy zoo - we’re talking around 15 species, including some curious reptiles, a family of monkeys, lemurs, meercats, and Azara’s Agouti. There’s also a cafe onsite, a gift shop and play area. Additional animal attractions in Fife include Claireville Alpaca Farm, and Deep Sea World with its epic underwater tunnel. 

Open all year round. 
Price - £15 for family entry. 


4 .

Localmotion Land Train, St Andrews

This fab wee train is a great way to explore the town of St Andrews. The team hasn’t decided if it’s able to open for the 2022 season so check their website or Facebook page for updates. When we jumped onboard there were as many adults along for the ride as children, so it’s St Andrews equivalent of a hop on/hop off bus, and excellent for those with mobility issues. The train takes in sights such as St Andrews Cathedral, the castle, the harbour and the town’s renowned university, with commentary sharing tales of horrible histories and royal romance. 

Departure points start at the Bruce Embankment near the Golf Museum.

Seasonal Attraction.
Price: Adults £7.50, Under 16s £3.50, Under 2 - Free. 

5 .

Muddy Boots Farm Shop, Cafe & Kids Adventure Play, near Cupar

If you want to let the kids run off some steam Muddy Boots offers indoor and outdoor play. Expect lots of climbing, bouncing and even grass sledging. Ride-on-tractors and go-karts fulfil kids’ need for speed. Meanwhile, adults can browse the farm and gift shop, and the whole family can dine in the café. 

Open all year round. 
A family ticket for indoor and outdoor play is £14.00. For indoor play only it’s £8.00 for a family ticket. (Winter prices.) 

Also consider Cairnie Fruit Farm, north of Cupar, for play time, a maze and pick your own fruit. 

6 .

R&A World Golf Museum, St Andrews

St Andrews is synonymous with golf, so we trotted along to the Golf Museum not really knowing how interesting it would be for non-golfers or how family friendly it was. We were impressed. The history is told verbally/visually rather than simply reading display boards. The stories are conveyed through people and characters, through conflict, resolution and stories, so it captures your imagination. The kids got to dress up, whack a golf ball around and there’s a new learning room for them to craft and take a break. Plus there’s a cafe, gift shop, and the venue is right next to the famous Old Course and beach, so a great location too. 

Open all year round. 
Price - Adults £10, Children (aged 5-15) £6, Children 4 and Under - Free. 

7 .

St Andrews Cathedral

Whilst in St Andrews, definitely take time to stop by the ruins of the cathedral. It’s currently closed for maintenance but you can view the sleek silhouette from the roadside. Explaining its beautiful but ruinous state to kids is a dramatic chapter of Scotland’s history. Basically, Protestant Reformer John Knox was a rousing speaker, and he inspired his followers to tear down the cathedral due to its Catholic idolatry! Climbing to the top of the tower is another temptation. Naturally there are great views of the ruins, over the town and out to sea, and it’s good exercise for wee ones.  

Currently closed for site inspections. 
Price - Family Ticket £14, but free to Historic Scotland Members. 

8 .

St Andrews Castle

Taking a walk around St Andrews is worthwhile for all ages as it’s a picturesque and historic town. The ruinous castle is currently closed for masonry inspections, so we took in the views from the roadside. My six year old son was intrigued by the horrible history of George Wishart (explained on a nearby plaque). After Wishart was imprisoned and burned for his Protestant beliefs by Cardinal Beaton, Wishart’s friends sought revenge. They captured the cardinal, executing him and dangling his body from the battlements. How’s that for a wide-eyed story for wee ones?! 

Price - The visitor centre, toilets and exhibition are open and free to visit. When the castle reopens it will be free to Historic Scotland members. 

9 .

Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries

As Scotland’s ancient capital, Dunfermline offers a lot of history. Despite its serious name, the  Carnegie Library and Galleries were really colourful and fun. Under ‘Leisure’ you’re introduced to stars from Dunfermline - including Barbara Dickson and Big Country. ‘Industry’ covers the 6000 weavers that used to work in the area’s linen trade. ‘Home Life’ showcases three different kitchens from different eras - my kids really like that stuff. But our favourite was the ‘Royalty’ section that covers Dunfermline’s kings and queens including Queen Margaret of Scotland, King David the First, Queen Anne of Denmark, King Charles I and King Robert the Bruce. When we visited our kids dressed up in regal outfits of the day, and looked gorgeously ridiculous. 

The library itself is modern, cosy and super welcoming, so we read a few books too. Plus, there are hopes to reopen the café soon. 

Open all year round. 

Price - Free, simply pre-book a time slot. 

The Library and Galleries are situated in a wonderful location, as they’re in close proximity to Dunfermline Abbey (see below) and the peachy pink Abbot House next door and its Walled Garden so you can make a day of it. 

10 .

Dunfermline Abbey

Right next to the library and galleries is the Abbey itself. This elegant site has been welcoming worshippers since 1072. They abbey and palace are run by Historic Scotland, and the abbey church is Church of Scotland. Items of beauty and historic significance include the tomb of Robert the Bruce, and the Carnegie Tiffany Window.  

Open all year round, but specific days of the week. 
Price - Free. 

After visiting Dunfermline’s historic buildings I’d recommend letting the kids run around in Pittencrieff Park. There are 75 acres to explore including the Laird’s Garden and Kitchen Garden, plus play areas, a lily pond, glasshouses and a host of peacocks strutting around. 

Other historic attractions I’m looking forward to include Scotland’s Secret Bunker (my lads will love this place), Falkland Palace, and the Scottish Fisheries Museum . 

11 .


Many families are drawn to the remarkable beaches in Fife. The area boasts scotland's highest number of award-winning beaches! From the iconic West Sands beach in St Andrews (where they shot that Chariots of Fire scene) to the expansive Burntisland beach, or Elie with its cute beach huts. Make time to escape to the seaside. 

Price - Free 

12 .

Parks & Walks

The Fife Coastal Path is a stunner, linking up 81 miles of hiking into manageable chunks, starting in Kincardine and ending in Newburgh.  

Alternatively, head inland. Craigtoun Country Park near St Andrews offers up acres to explore, cool outdoor trampolines all year round, and a tiny train runs in high season.  

For a mini walk, park at the National Trust for Scotland’s Hill of Tarvit mansion house and walk up to the hilltop viewpoint behind the house. Or explore Cambo Estate, renowned for its snowdrops. 

There are a host of parks and gardens to mull over - next on our list is St Andrews Botanic Gardens and Teasses Estate. Also consider Lochore Meadows Country Park, Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve or Letham Glen. 

Price - Most parks and gardens are free. Cambo’s garden tickets are £6.50 for adults, under 16s are free. St Andrews Botanic Garden is £5.45 for adults, under 18s are free. Teasses gardens tickets are £6.50, under 16s are free. 

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