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Cupar and North Fife

Fife’s former county town of Cupar has for centuries been the trade, shopping and administrative centre for a wide rural area, and is still a popular place to stock up on provisions including the bustling monthly farmers’ market.

The surrounding area holds another of the jewels of the National Trust for Scotland at Hill of Tarvit, where you can build up an appetite on the Kingarrock Hickory Golf Course and walking routes around the mansion house. Visitors to the area can also find Balmerino Abbey, the natural delights of Tentsmuir Forest, miles of unspoilt beaches, and Eden Estuary Nature Reserve in the northeast corner of the area beside the sea and the Firth of Tay.

One of the UK’s top restaurants, the Michelin-starred Peat Inn, is run by chef proprietor Geoffrey Smeddle and his wife Katherine. Built in the mid 1700’s, the former coaching inn is now a multi-award-winning restaurant with eight beautifully appointed rooms. The menu, based on classical techniques, showcases the finest modern Scottish cuisine, using seasonal local ingredients.

Fife is renowned for its soft fruit and each year thousands of customers flock to Cairnie Fruit Farm, just north of Cupar, where some of the country’s finest berries, currants and cherries are grown. There’s a café, children’s activities and a seasonal mega-maze which has hugely popular. In Cupar town centre the bakery firm Fisher & Donaldson, a royal warrant holder, runs two shops and five cafes, one of which has a chocolaterie. The town is also home to Luvians, with its award winning ice cream, delicatessen and high quality off-licence with a huge range of wines and whiskies.

Under the shadow of the Lomond Hills lies the pretty village of Falkland and the historic palace. There are number of independent shops here but it’s well worth seeking out the community-run Dunshalt Village Shop, a few miles outside the village. It’s a well-stocked haven for food-lovers with plenty of local produce: from soups and cakes baked on the premises to meat and vegetables from the neighbouring farm and a host of other carefully sourced delicacies.

Further north towards the Tay Bridge is the town of Newport-on-Tay, which boasts stunning views over the river towards Dundee. The KitschnBake Café is one of the perfect places to relax and take in the view with a plate of their famous scones and cakes.

The Tayport Distillery further up the coast is open for tours showing visitors how it produces spirits and liqueurs with local, hand collected Scottish grains and fruit. Those who recognise good drinks will also enjoy a visit to the nearby Eden Mill Brewery and Distillery at Guardbridge, where they produce their famous gin, whisky and beer.

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