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Birthplace of golf, home to one of the world’s oldest universities and former seat of the Scottish monarchy, Fife is a historic peninsula that just so happens to be a hiker’s delight. Walks in Fife have a little bit of everything; there’s hiking in the Lomond Hills, gentle strolls in country parks, ambles through wooded nature reserves and mile-upon-mile of terrific coastline.
A gorgeous land bounded by the Firth of Forth in the south, the North Sea to the east and the Firth of Tay in the north, Fife boasts Scotland’s longest continuous coastal path. Experience some absolutely breathtaking sea views as you explore the coast’s rocky bays, rugged cliffs and sandy beaches.Hikes in Fife’sLomond Hills are just as invigorating as those found by the sea. This compact range of sandstone and limestone hills is home to staggering rock formations and many wonderful panoramas.
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Dominating Fife’s heartland, the Lomond Hills Regional Park offers superb hillwalking with a plethora of delights. Some of the best hiking trails in Fife rise from the surrounding farmland to conquer West and East Lomond, the principle peaks on the 6-mile (10 km) escarpment. West Lomond, at 1,713 feet (522 m) is the highest hill in the county and rewards your efforts with spectacular views.
Slightly smaller at 1,470 feet (448 m), East Lomond’s steep, domed summit is well loved by those in the know and was once the chief fortress of the ancient Celtic Venicones tribe. There’s plenty more to discover, including several striking rocky outcrops. The Bunnet Stone, a great mushroom of eroded sandstone, is a beguiling objective, especially if you love an interesting photo opportunity.
There are so many great walks around Fife’s scenic interior. Lochore Meadows offer 1,200 acres (486 ha) of woodland, paths and pastures. Accessible trails offer great circular routes around Loch Ore, the park’s glistening centrepiece.
Hikes in Fife don’t get much better than those found on its dynamic coastline. The industrial south, where cross the iconic Forth Bridges, gets more rural the further east you tread. In the far east are gorgeous trails that take you to charming fishing villages and quaint stone harbours. Famous golf courses abound as you draw closer to the ancient university town of St Andrews.
Further north is the wildest stretch of coast, with rocky headlands and windswept beaches. Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve boasts forest trails that undulate and weave through towering woodland, wildlife-rich wetland and out onto constantly shifting sand dunes. Roe deer roam beneath the trees and grey seals sun themselves on the beaches, an animal lover’s heaven.
Regardless of the season, Fife is a compelling place to ramble. Spring brings vibrant colour to the dune heathlands and the lochside meadows. In summer, the days are long and the breeze delightful on the coast. If you’re lucky enough you might spot dolphins or a basking shark breaking the waves. The Lomond Hills are modest enough that only the most severe of winter conditions keep hikers from their trails and they look absolutely sublime under a blanket of snow.
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