The Big Plan & Visiting Fife & St Andrews – Scotland 2010

The plan for our latest motorhome trip was to travel around Scotland in an anticlockwise fashion, from east to west. We also extended the trip via several (8, in total!) ferries to explore the northern islands – both Orkney and Shetland.

We visited the Scottish Borders briefly last autumn (click here) and we were saving Edinburgh for a visit on the way home, so our goal for the first day was to get somewhere north of Edinburgh, enroute to St Andrews, in Fife. We ended up in a car park in Anstruther, home to East Neuk Campervans (makers of the ingeniously-designed Fifer Touring), and, to our surprise, two award-winning fish and chip shops.

East Neuk Campervans, Anstruther, Fife
The East Neuk Campervans factory in Anstruther, Fife - they make the rather cleverly-designed Fifer Touring model
Anstruther Fish Bar
Anstruther Fish Bar - according to the signs, it has won Best In Scotland and Best In Britain multiple times - too bad we only found it after we'd cooked dinner...

The reason we were surprised is that the rest of the town seemed pretty dead – another east coast town with a fading fishing industry and not much to replace it. That said, it was much better than the southern part of Fife. Towns like Kirkcaldy seemed poor and very short on gainful employment opportunities, with boarded-up businesses a common sight.

One thing that we did discover, though, was the Scottish tendency to use brown (tourist) road signs to signpost scenic drives. This is prevalent throughout most of Scotland and the Fife Coastal Tourist Route was our first taste of this. I also noted this unusual and rather desirable Kaiser Motorhomes conversion:

Kaiser Motorhomes Mercedes Sprinter conversion
A Swiss Kaiser Motorhomes conversion on what looks like a 4x4 Mercedes Sprinter - seen somwhere in Fife

We reached St Andrews on the morning of our second day and discovered that it was graduation day at the university and that preparations for the British Open Championships (the golf equivalent of Wimbledon) were in full swing, with the largest marquees I have ever seen sprouting up in numbers around the Old Course.

St Andrews Old Course - Home of The Open

St Andrews seems to be something of an aberration when compared to much of the rest of Fife – it’s affluent, trendy and full of life. That’s what having a good university and a world-famous golf course does for a town, I suppose…

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