Totalling 77 miles in length (124km), Scotland’s Fife Coastal Route takes in the historic Kingdom of Fife. It runs almost entirely along the North Sea coastline, and starts and ends on two bridges that cross Scotland’s greatest rivers: the Kincardine bridge over the Firth of Forth, and the Tay bridge over the Tay. Along the drive, you’ll see ancient forests, seal colonies, fantastical castles, and get a taste for the historical legacies left along this wild, sparkling stretch of the Scottish coast.
The joy of road tripping in a motorhome definitely comes with being able to stop wherever you want and for as long as you like, depending on what grabs your attention. That being said, when you’re doing the Fife Coastal Route drive, there are some must-sees and do’s. So, we’ve compiled them into a handy itinerary with a map so that you can plan your trip up Scotland’s east coast!
The map of Fife’s Coastal path includes a few great motorhome-friendly campsites at ideal spots along the route. The best thing about these sites is they’re open all year round. This is a road trip that’s doable any time of year, though locals say that around mid-April is usually the best time to visit. You’ll beat the summer’s touristy crowds, and all the main attractions open up as the landscape springs back to life after a long Winter.
Day 1: Devilla Forest and the Royal Burgh of Culcross
The Fife Coastal Route route passes Devilla Forest early on, which provides a good chance of spotting red squirrels flashing through tall Scots Pines. Follow the Red Squirrel Trail, or roam the forest’s 700 hectares, which harbour a range of historic sites and their stories. There are four lochs, an abandoned church, and a WWII research station to explore.
Stop at the former Royal Burgh of Culross 2 miles from Devilla Forest. Its cobbled streets and mustard-coloured buildings have changed little over the centuries. Outlander fans will recognise many features of the 15th-century Culross palace and gardens!
The Woods Caravan Park is a great base from which to start your Fife Coastal Route drive. It’s set across 14 acres of tranquil, landscaped grounds with wonderful views of the Ochil Hills. There are grass and tent pitches with and without electric hook up, and hardstanding motorhome pitches available. The facilities include two modern, heated sanitary blocks with disabled and baby changing facilities, dishwashing and laundry areas. WiFi is available, as is a dog walk area and gas bottle exchange.
Price: Standard pitches with 10A electric range from £21.60 in low season to £27.10 in the high season.
Location: The Woods Caravan Park, Diverswell Farm, Fishcross, Alloa, Stirling and Forth Valley, FK10 3AN
Day 2: From Dumferline Abbey to Leven
As the Fife Coastal Route map shows, there are many touristy stops along this leg of the drive. If you have time, detour to Dunfermline Palace & Abbey. The towering buildings in the Abbey complex, as well as the Romanesque architecture in the nave are all impressive, and it’s the place where King Robert the Bruce’s body is buried (his heart is buried at Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders). For a more adrenaline-fuelled stop, you can learn water skiing and wakeboarding skills at the nearby Scottish National Water Ski Centre.
Stop at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry. It’s home to hundreds of animals and sea creatures, including sea horses, seals, and Europe’s largest collection of sharks. There’s a walk-through underwater tunnel – one of the longest in the world – and daily feeding demonstrations and talks. You can see species from the Amazon River and Lake Malawi, and meet Red-Bellied Piranhas (one of the world’s most deadly piranhas), up close.
Forth Bridge, Queensferry
A little further along the Fife Coastal Route drive is Aberdour Castle. Built in the 1100s, it’s thought to be the oldest standing castle in Scotland. Enjoy a wander in the tranquil gardens and take a short stroll to the beautiful Aberdour Silver Sands beach.
The much-celebrated artist John Vettriano hails from Fife, and the nearby Galleries at Kirkcaldy showcase his work along with an excellent collection by other artists. The museums also house the excellent Moments in Time exhibition, which whisks viewers from 300 million years ago to today.
Stay at Silverburn Park Campsite, just west of Leven. It’s open all year round, run and owned by the Fife Employment Access Trust. This local charity supports people with mental health difficulties to find work. The site has easy access to a beach and Leven town centre. There are spectacular views to be soaked up from the 27-acre site, across the Firth of Forth to East Lothian in the distance. The pitches are set on the grounds of Silverburn Park, and all the surrounding area offers a range of coastal and woodland walks.
There are grass and gravel pitches with electric hook ups, toilets and hot showers. Barbeques are allowed off the grass (full fire packs are available to buy for £10), and there’s a Cafe in the park, too, which offers plenty of baked goods, hot drinks and lunch. Campers can pre-order breakfast for the following day. Several pubs and restaurants are within easy reach of the site, like the Agenda and the Crown, so you’re sure to head onwards with your boots filled!
Price: Grass pitches are £12 a night, and hard-standing pitches with electric are £22 a night.
Location: Silverburn Park Campsite, 3 Silverburn Cottages, Largo Road, Leven, Fife KY8 5PU
Day 3: From Leven through East Neuk
Driving through East Neuk, you’ll come across gorgeous villages such as Elie, Crail and Pittenweem which hark back to their fishing histories. Along this stretch of the Fife Coastal route, stop to admire the boats and fishing cottages. Don’t miss the Scottish Fisheries museum at Anstruther, which has over 66,000 objects from the region’s fishing history.
No Scottish road trip would be complete without tasting a wee dram of the “water of life”. This very important marker on the map of the Fife Coastal path passes by the Kingsbarns Distillery. Although modern, their distillery creates whiskies just as it has been done for centuries.
There’s also the opportunity to gain an insight into Scotland’s regal sport of falconry, at Inspired Falconry, and try your hand (or arm) at archery, too.
Stay at the Forth House Caravan Site. It’s a great place to pitch up if you want to hit pause on the drive and take on parts of the scenic Coastal Path by foot. Open from March to November, it’s an elevated, small scale rural camping and caravanning site with glittering coastal views. It’s surrounded by countryside and active farmland. There are generously sized, serviced hard-standing pitches that provide 10A electric hook up, a private spring water supply and grey waste drain.
It’s also conveniently located just 200m from the main Upper Largo to St Andrews road, for when you’re ready to make the final leg of the trip.
Price: from £14 per night
Location: Forth House Caravan Site, Forth House, Newburn, Upper Largo, Leven, Fife, KY8 6JE
Day 4: St Andrews and Tentsmuir Forest
St Andrews is a gorgeous city, with impressive botanical gardens and endless sandy beaches. One of which, West Sands, was the filming location in Chariots of Fire. After a day in the city, drive on to the last stop on the Fife coastal route map. Tentsmuir Forest is also home to red squirrels, plus there’s red deer and a colony of seals that bask on the sands at the forest’s eastern end. After exploring this expansive reserve, you’ve reached your final destination: the Tay bridge to Dundee. It might be time to head home, or hand around and explore Dundee’s treasure trove of attractions and urban delights.
Hopefully, this Fife coastal route map helps you plot out your itinerary for your next adventure to Scotland’s east coast. Still need a ride? Check out our motorhome hire in Scotland!