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This is an area of dramatic contrasts combining the rich farming patchwork of Fife with the high hills of Perthshire, the city bustle of Dundee and the deafening silence of the Angus Glens.

The rich contrast means that it is easy to spend a day enjoying the fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, the Angus coastline with its rocky bays and red sandstone cliffs or the shops in Perth or Dundee. And yet the lochs and glens of Highland Perthshire are never far away.


The Kingdom of Fife boasts two ancient "capitals" - Dunfermline was the seat of the early Celtic kings while St. Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital. An abbey and royal palace survive in Dunfermline today, while Abbot House, bearing witness to the history of the town, is also nearby. To the west lies Culross with its atmospheric 16th and 17th century architecture and below the shadow of the Forth Bridge is Deep Sea World, the largest aquarium in Britain.

Follow the Fife Tourist Route signs from the Forth Road Bridge through the coastal towns of Fife to Dundee to enjoy spectacular seascapes and views of the Firths of Forth and Tay. This route takes you through coastal towns and villages including Aberdour, Burntisland, Kirkcaldy and Leven before reaching the villages of the East Neuk of Fife. In the East Neuk of Fife (Neuk, by the way is the Scots word for corner), Scotland's European links are recalled by the Dutch influence in the local architecture of a string of attractive fishing villages including Pittenweem and Crail. The Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther explores the long struggle with the sea.

The university town of St Andrews blends religious history with an academic air, though it is certainly better known as the "Home of Golf". St Andrews also offers outstanding shopping, fine beaches, two local history museums and the British Golf Museum, as well as St Andrews Castle, Visitor Centre and the St Andrews Sea Life Centre.


Angus and Dundee make an excellent touring base. Heather covered hills and glens, castles, gardens, beaches and Dundee's visitor centre, Discovery Point, are matched by a wide range of accommodation, places to eat and shopping.

Discovery Point with the famous ship RRS Discovery, Captain Scott's vessel on his Antarctic explorations, berthed alongside, tells the story of the ship and its dramatic voyages. Dundee's heritage is also on view at the McManus Galleries, while the Verdant Works also interprets the past. Formerly, it was just one of many mills processing jute, imported from India. Now, using audiovisual displays this visitor centre tells the tale of how Dundee supplied all the world's demand for jute products.

Northwards lies Angus with its outstanding coastal scenery, including beautiful sandy beaches. Towns such as Arbroath make good bases for shoreline discoveries. Arbroath is also noted for the ruined 12th century abbey, right in the town. Here in 1320 was written perhaps the most famous document in Scottish history - the Declaration of Arbroath, which stated Scotland's case for self-rule. Contrasting with coastal interest are attractive and peaceful glens such as Glen Esk or Glen Clova.

In between mountain and sea are many varied historic towns and places of interest including Brechin Round Tower, the spectacular interior decoration of the House of Dun near Montrose, the formal garden of Edzell Castle and the regal splendour of Glamis Castle, childhood home of HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.


The line of hills, which marks the beginning of the Highlands, is an ever-present feature on Perthshire's northwest horizon. Within easy reach of the area's main town of Perth, lie the lochs and glens of Highland Perthshire and a host of attractive little towns. Blairgowrie makes another excellent choice as a base on the edge of the high hills, with an excellent golf course, held in utmost regard by even the most discerning golfers.

The Queen's View, at the head of Loch Tummel, captures the spirit of Perthshire - a sweeping vista through the gentle glen to the highland ridges beyond. Many delightful walks can be found at nearby Killiecrankie, scene of a Jacobite battle whose story is told at the nearby Visitor Centre. Aberfeldy is also within reach with good shops plus the Aberfeldy Water Mill to visit. Nearby Pitlochry is a popular touring base and is home to the Pitlochry Festival Theatre as well as the smallest whisky distillery in Scotland at Edradour. Crieff, another attractive Perthshire touring base has Glenturret Distillery, Crieff Visitors Centre, with its pottery and paperweight craft and Drummond Castle Gardens, all just minutes from each other.

Perthshire also offers a range of castles to visit, including Blair Castle and Scone Palace, the ancient crowning place of Scottish monarchs. The palace lies on the outskirts of Perth itself, whose other attractions include Caithness Glass and Branklyn Garden.

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