Fife

 

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Fife: 56.208208, -3.149518

Fife (Scottish Gaelic: Fìobha) is a historic county, council area and lieutenancy area of Scotland, a coastal region between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth and bounded by Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire to the west. The main towns are Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, but St Andrews may be the county's most famous attraction.

The history of Fife begins early, with legend identifying it as one of the provinces of the Pictish Kingdom from about 600. Carved stones left by the Picts can be viewed in various locations in the county, as well as the hillfort of Clatchard Craig . In the eleventh century, Fife became a major royal and political centre under Malcolm III, the monarch upon which Shakespeare’s Macbeth is based. From this time, the Earls of Fife remain responsible for crowning Scottish kings. By the sixteenth century, the area’s fishing and trading ports had established links around Britain. This part of its history is told in the Scottish Fisheries Museum at St Ayles. The nineteenth century brought further change, as industrialisation resulted in a ten-fold increase in Fife’s coal pits.

The county is full of historic attractions including castles, churches, cathedrals and historic buildings. There are 4,961 listed buildings and 48 conservation areas, including for example St Andrews Cathedral and Castle, Falkland Palace with the oldest royal tennis court in Britain, as well as the medieval abbeys of Lindores, Balmerino and Culross.

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