Fife & the North East

This route takes you by the sheltered east coast, home to beautiful fishing villages, and then turns inland through Royal Deeside.

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Day 1

Leaving Peebles drive north towards Edinburgh, then skirt around the city following the by-pass and continue north, crossing the bridge over the Firth of Forth to Fife.

Take the scenic route around the East Neuk (neuk is the Scots word for ‘corner’). This takes you by the coast and through some lovely small towns and fishing villages. Highlights here include Anstruther, Pittenweem and Crail where you can wander along the harbours and explore the small galleries and shops. The fish and chip shop in Anstruther has won many awards if you fancy stopping here for a snack, or pick up a crab sandwich from the hut on the pier at Crail.

Also at Anstruther you can take a boat trip out onto the Forth to visit the Isle of May, where you can see puffins (usually April to mid – August), other seabirds such as guillemots and kittiwakes, seals and dolphins and porpoises if you’re lucky.

Continue round the coast, passing Kingsbarns where you might stop to visit the malt whisky distillery, then on to St Andrews. Known the world over as the home of golf, here you can visit the famous Old Course or the British Golf Museum. This university town is also home to the (ruined) St. Andrews Castle and the ancient St. Andrews Cathedral, once the largest in Scotland.

Overnight in the St Andrews area

Day 2

Leaving St Andrews drive north, crossing the Tay Bridge to Dundee. There’s lots to see here, including the RSS Discovery, the ship built in Dundee that took Scott to the Antarctic on several polar expeditions at the beginning of the 20th century, and also the excellent V&A Museum of Design.

Carry on heading north from Dundee to Glamis, where you can take a tour of Glamis Castle – said to be Scotland’s most haunted!

North again and you reach Stonehaven where you can walk along the beach and perhaps go for a dip in the fabulous open air pool. This huge, Olympic sized pool is filled with seawater and heated to 29c – great fun even in the rain!

Overnight in the Stonehaven area

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Day 3

From Stonehaven head west over the Slug Road to Crathes, where you can visit 16th century Crathes Castle with its beautiful painted ceilings and beautiful walled garden. You continue west by Ballater and Braemar, home of the Highland Games Centre, where you can find out more about this most Scottish of traditions.



You continue on through pine forests through Royal Deeside to Balmoral Castle.  Summer residence of the Queen, it is possible at certain times of year to visit the castle and explore the gardens. From Balmoral the road turns south through Glenshee – this is a spectacular route with great views down the valley – to the pleasant Victorian town of Pitlochry.  If you’re in need of a pick me up there are two whisky distilleries here – Edradour just outside town is one of the smallest in Scotland, or check out Blair Atholl.

Overnight in the Pitlochry area

Day 4

You might start the day heading out towards the Queen’s View, a vantage point with beautiful views over Loch Tummel to the mountain Schiehallion. Head back to the main road and drive south. Chocoholics might fancy a stop at the multi award winning Highland Chocolatier – the signature velvet truffles created here have been voted Best Truffles in the World – twice! Carry on south to the Hermitage where there are some great (easy) walks in the forest to the Black Linn Falls. The Douglas firs here are among the tallest trees in Britain.


At Dunkeld you can visit the ancient cathedral in its beautiful setting by the banks of the River Tay, and wander among the historic “little houses” built shortly after the village was razed to the ground following the Battle of Dunkeld, fought between government troops and Jacobite rebels in 1689. South again to Perth you have the option of a tour of Scone Palace, ancient site of the coronation of Scottish kings and home to a superb collection of porcelain and art works. Then turn west by Dunblane to Stirling.

Overnight in the Stirling area

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Day 5

You have time to see some of the sights of Stirling today – historic Stirling Castle is well worth a visit, as is the (Sir William) Wallace Monument and the Bannockburn Battlefield visitor centre.

Other places to visit in the Stirling area are Linlithgow where you will find Linlithgow Palace (birthplace in 1542 of Mary, Queen of Scots), which is just a 20 minute drive from Falkirk. In Falkirk you might like to take a closer look at the Kelpies, the largest equestrian statues in the world, or perhaps the Falkirk Wheel, an impressive rotating boat lift which links the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

Overnight in the Stirling/Falkirk/Linlithgow area.

Know Before You Go!”

Opening hours: There are lots of suggestions for places to visit on the following pages and, while we absolutely want you to make the most of your trip, it is important to note that many visitor attractions and places of interest now require you to book in advance, or may have restricted opening hours, or may be closed temporarily due to Covid-19. In addition, many places of interest in Scotland have seasonal opening hours and close in the winter months. Please be sure to follow the links to the places of interest mentioned in the suggested routes to check in advance of your visit and avoid disappointment on the day!