The Royal Palace of Falkland, set in the heart of a unique medieval village, was the country residence and hunting lodge of eight Stuart monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots. Built between 1501 and 1541, the palace is an extremely fine example of Renaissance architecture. It includes the exceptionally beautiful Chapel Royal, and is surrounded by internationally renowned gardens, built in the 1950s. The Royal Tennis Court, reputedly the world’s oldest, is still in use today.
The Original Botanic Garden was founded by the University of St. Andrews in 1889 in the precincts of St. Mary's College by a group of enthusiasts led by Dr John Wilson. The original garden was about 0.1ha (0.25 acres) in size and consisted of 78 regularly-shaped beds laid out according to the Bentham and Hooker plant classification.
By 1960 the garden covered 2.8ha (7.8 acres). In addition, plants were grown in a variety of soil and climatic conditions in other parts of the University.The Present Botanic Garden of 7.5ha (18.5 acres) was created from two fields in the early 1960s to cater for expansion of the collection and release the town centre lands for other purposes.
In 1987, the Garden was leased to the Local Authority, then N E Fife District Council, now Fife Council which has been responsible for management ever since. The Hon.
Curator is Bob Mitchell (formerly Curator) who, together with Jim Mackie, the present Head Gardener, has designed and developed the Garden since 1962.
Worldwide contact with other specialist gardens is maintained, for example, through seed exchanges. The Garden is recognised and registered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and botanical and horticultural research is carried out there.
St Andrews Cathedral
Entry to the cathedral grounds is free, though access to the visitors' museum and St. Rule's Tower requires a fee or membership in Historic Scotland.
The visitors' centre houses the famous St. Andrews Sarcophagus, perhaps the finest example of Pictish carving in existence.
Today the cathedral grounds are an interesting and peaceful environment in which to contemplate the events of the last millenium. Grave stones of many prominent local people, statesmen, clerics and golfers are to be found there. There is also a haunted tower in which it is alleged the "White Lady of St. Andrews" was buried.
Only a ten minute drive from St Andrews, hidden beneath a Scottish farmhouse, a tunnel leads to Scotland’s secret bunker. 24,000 square feet of secret accommodation on two levels, 100 feet underground. This was where the government and military commanders would have run the country should we have been attacked during the cold war.
A fascinating day out for old and young alike.
Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther
This award-winning National Museum tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry from the earliest times to the present. With many model and actual boats, fishing gear, photographs, paintings and tableaux on display, as well as a new 'Zulu' gallery just open, a visit to the Museum makes for an exceptional day out.
Hill of Tarvit Mansion House and Garden, Cupar
The present house was virtually rebuilt in 1906 by Sir Robert Lorimer for Mr F B Sharp to form a suitable setting for his notable collection which includes French, Chippendale-style and vernacular furniture, Dutch paintings and pictures by Raeburn and Ramsay, Flemish tapestries and Chinese porcelain and bronzes. The interior is very much in the Edwardian fashion. The formal gardens to the south were also designed by Lorimer to form an appropriate setting for the house. Restored Edwardian laundry. Regular exhibitions of local artists' work, path to hilltop panoramic indicator.