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ANN RAGG looks from her native Mid­lothian over the Firth of Forth to the County of Fife. She describes the county for caravanners in readiness for the opening of the Forth bridge later this year.

tabTHE COUNTY OF FIFE, more picturesquely known by the older title of Kingdom of Fife, is a corner of Scotland which may be overlooked by caravanners passing to and from the better known beauty spots. Lying between the Forth arid Tay estuaries with water forming three sides of the county, Fife has, until now, been easiest to reach from the Kincardine Bridge in the south-west or Perth to the north-west, The opening of the Forth road bridge, now scheduled for autumn this year, should alter this situation considerably. For one thing the bridge itself is a sight not to be missed, and once there the urge to cross and explore should not be resisted. it seems likely that the toll charge will be 2s. 64. per vehicle, which is not excessive. That is the figure currently proposed by the Forth Road Bridge Joint Board.

tabBetween Kincardine and the northern end of the Forth road bridge lies the lovely old Royal Burgh of Culross , pronounced Cooross . Here are numerous old 16th and 17th century buildings, many restored by the National Trust for Scotland, forming a delightful picture of Scottish architecture of that period. Nearby, Dunfermline is a linen manufacturing town noted as the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie and for its Abbey Church, burial place of Robert the Bruce.
tabThere is no very high ground in Fife but the Lomond Hills on the border of Kinross are landmarks from afar. A coalfield stretches from the Lomonds to the coast around Kirkcaldy, home of the linoleum industry, and mars this area for the tourist.

tabThe northern and eastern parts of the county are fertile agricultural land, particularly the 'Howe of Fife', lying between Auchtermuchty and the county town of Cupar . A few miles south of Auchtermuchty is another Royal Burgh, Falkland, where there are many picturesque old houses and, of especial interest, the 16th century Falkland Palace, once seat of the Scottish Court. St. Andrews, on the coast east of Cupar has several claims to fame; the University, the oldest in Scotland, was founded in 1412, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is the ruling authority on the game and there are many ecclesiastical remains and fine old houses-to say nothing of extensive beaches to attract tourists.
tabFrom Fife Ness, the most easterly point of the county, the coastline turns south-west into the Firth of Forth and here, in the East Neuk of Fife, lie a series of exceptionally attractive fishing villages with fascinating old harbours and houses. Further west is the holiday resort of Elie , boasting good sands.
tabThere are two pleasant farm sites at Gairney Bridge Farm and Hawthorn Vale Farm just inside Kinross-shire, on the A90 Kinross-Forth Bridge road, which would be suitable spots for a night or two while visiting the Culross , Dunfermline area or Auchter­muchty , Falkland and the Lomonds . A filling station site at Arlary , about four miles farther north, is situated on a busy junction and really only suitable for a night halt.

South bank of the Fourth, facing the road and railway bridges beten wich uns the erry.
tabImmediately to the south of the Lomond Hills there is a small, quiet, municipal site forming part of a recreation ground on the Back Braes, Leslie ; see signs off A911. Apart from these and the municipal site at Haugh Road, Burntisland , the majority of sites, quite naturally, are grouped round or near the coast from Leven northwards to St Andrews. Leven itself has a large, municipal site well placed immediately adjacent to the beach at Shepherds Knowe , and there is another a few miles east at Lower Largo Harbour .
tabThe municipal site at Crail , at the east end of the town off Balcomie road, also stretches along the shore. There is another attractive looking site on the shore at Kilrenny Mill, Kil­renny , just east of Anstruther . An­struther has a large, holiday-camp type of site catering largely for static vans; it is on the edge of the town, not far from the sea, tidy and well kept, and offers such attractions as recrea­tion rooms, TV. The big municipal site at Kinkell Braes, about ~ mile south of St Andrews, is also primarily for static vans and has a lovely situation on sloping ground overlooking the sea.
tabOther coastal sites are at St Monance , on A9l 7, between Elie and Anstruther , the Crail Caravan Motel, in a walled garden opposite the railway station, and the municipal site at East Com­mon, Tayport . A few miles inland from St Andrews are three more sites, Bogward farm, near B939, Cairnsmill Dairy Farm a sunny, open site catering for eighty vans, on A915, and Wind­ward Farm, a quiet, secluded site in pleasant parkland, up a rough road off B939.
tabAnother parkland site is at Largo House, overlooking Largo Bay, for which you turn inland off A915 at the War Memorial. At Pitmilly Hotel midway between St Andrews and Crail on A918, there is a very pleasant small site where the vans are attractively placed between woodland and lawns where putting, swings, etc., are available. Any of these sites would provide a good base from which to explore the surrounding coast and country. The fishing villages, incidentally, are best visited by car or on foot as the streets are narrow and steep in places. There is a large parking area by the harbour at Anstruther and another at Elie .
tabFinally, in common with the East Lothian and Moray coasts, the East Neuk of Fife is blessed with rather better than average figures for sunshine and dry weather, surely a prime attraction for any caravanner .
Pictures taken by Ann on her tour

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