Fife is the land lying along the northern shore of the Firth of Forth, between the Firth and the Tay. Fife is a modest sized shire but claims for itself the title, or nickname “The Kingdom of Fife”.
Fife is at its most urban at its southerly pointing corner, at the Forth Bridges, on which the major roads and rail lines converge. Dunfermline, the largest town, is in this area, as is the Royal Navy’s major base and dockyard at Rosyth. Further up the coast in the waist of the shire is Kirkcaldy, an ancient trading port and the home town of the father of modern economics, Adam Smith.
At Fife’s eastern edge, as it projects into the North Sea, is St Andrews, a former monastic and archiepiscopal centre. It is also the seat of one of Britain’s oldest universities. St Andrews is also the home of golf; the games was invented or here or took its shape here, at the Royal and Ancient. Fife’s southern shore is rocky, but along the north-eastern shore towards St Andrews it becomes a large plain, the East Neuk of Fife, going into the sea in a long, flat, sandy beach.
County Town: Cupar
Main Towns: Anstruther, Auchtermuchty, Culross, Cupar, Dunfermline, Freuchie, Leven, Kincardine, Kirkcaldy, Rosyth, St Andrews, Glenrothes, Cowdenbeath, Burntisland
Main Rivers: Eden, Leven, Den.
Highlights: Forth Bridge; Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews; Hill of Tarvit, Cupar; Pittencrieff House, Dunfermline; Ravenscraig Castle.
Highest Point: West Lomond, 1,712 feet.
Area: 504 sq miles
County Flower: Coralroot Orchid