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The local area guide to living in Cupar

Cupar, Scotland, is a town and civil parish nestled beside the River Eden in the county of Fife, south of Dundee. A former busy market town, it has kept its historic, peaceful beauty and has some beautiful architecture as well as some breathtaking surroundings.

Its origins are not clear, but it is commonly believed that the town sprung up around a local castle, and the seat of the sheriff. It eventually became an important market town for Fife, where local cattle and sheep farmers came to sell their animals.

While its history is hard to decipher precisely, it has made its mark in the form of several beautiful, ancient buildings in the town. The town's Mercat Cross, in the town centre, dates back to 1683 and Preston Lodge, built by the Laird of Airdrie, dates back to 1623. Just two miles south of the town is the Hill of Tarvit, an Edwardian mansion and estate which was given to the National Trust in the 1940s. It contains some stunning examples of 18th century furniture, decorations, paintings and porcelain and the grounds provide space for a relaxing stroll.

The town's economy relies on Fife Council, the largest employer, as well as food and drink producers including Kettle Produce, Fishers Services and Quaker Oats Ltd. There is a golf course just outside the town, unusual in that it uses the old style, hickory for the clubs.

Information about the local residents

Cupar has a population of 9339 according to the 2011 census. 48% of residents are male, 52% female and the median ages are 42 and 46 respectively. This makes the town slightly older, on average, than the rest of Scotland. 21.8% of people will be over the age of 65, while 61% are of working age and 17.2% are under the age of 16. By comparison, 16.8% of people across Scotland are over the age of 65 whole 65.9% are working age and 17.3% are under 16.

The self reported states of health in Cupar are very high. 52.7% of people report their health as 'very good' and 30.9% 'good'. The total, of 83%, reporting their health to be so rosy is above the UK average.

67.7% of households are owned in Cupar, higher than the 62% for Scotland, and just 13.4% are privately rented. 17.6% of households are used as social housing, which compares to 24.3% for Scotland as a whole. 33% of households are detached, 28.8% are semi-detached, 13.3% are terraced and 24.8% are flats.

Education rates, in Cupar, are very high, especially for a rural town. Just 20.4% of people have no qualifications (for Scotland as a whole this figure is 26.8%) and a full third of people have achieved Level 4 qualifications or more. This may well contribute to the relatively low unemployment rate of 4.1%; lower than the rate for the rest of the country at the time.

Nearby schools

Within Cupar are: two primary schools, one secondary school, and one special school, Kilmaron School.

Castlehill Primary School, which opened in 1975, has 420 pupils and is just outside the main part of the town. The other primary is St Columba's RC Primary School.

The secondary school is Bell Baxter High School, which takes children from 11 all the way up to 18 and is a comprehensive. It is non-denominational, has a student population of 1800, and has a good reputation for both academics and sport, especially rugby.

Getting around

Cupar has a bus service running every hour which connects the town to Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews. It also has a regular service running to Dundee.

Just south-east of the centre of the town is the railway station, which is on the East Coast Main Line and runs regular services between Aberdeen and Edinburgh Waverly.

For travel by air, the nearest airport is Edinburgh Airport.

Local shops

Cupar is a small town, and its shopping options reflect this. However, there are some very nice family-owned local stores selling locally produced wares as well as antiques, books and gifts.

In the town centre there are also some recognisable chain outlets, but for major shopping trips local residents tend to go to St Andrews, which is less than 20 minutes away by car.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.