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The local area guide to living in Dunfermline

Dunfermline in Fife might be best known for its proximity to Edinburgh, but it has plenty of its own attractions to offer. Some notable examples include Dunfermline Abbey, Guildhall, and Pitfirrane Castle, which dates all the way back to the 16th Century. Other notable landmarks include Carnegie Hall theatre, the Carnegie Cricket Ground and the Andrew Carnegie Museum, all of which are named after the famous philanthropist.

The town has long been an important one, actually serving as the Royal Capital of the nation until the 17th century. Its abbey still serves as the mausoleum of Scotland’s kings and queens of old, and the town was first recorded in history when it hosted the wedding of King Malcolm III and Saint Margaret.

Its attractive town centre and the lush Pittencrieff Park draw in many visitors, while the healthy economy, high employment levels, and picturesque houses, built from dark stone found in Southwest Scotland, make it a popular place to settle down. Pittencrieff, and the town itself, is quite famous for its population of peacocks. Considered the unofficial local mascots, free-range peacocks and peahens have roamed the park for more than 100 years.

Information about the local residents

Dunfermline has one of the largest populations in Fife, currently standing at approximately 50,000. It’s also an economic centre, with big employers such as the Shepherd Offshore Group and Amazon present in the area, and a low unemployment level of roughly 4%. However, the average salary is slightly below the national average.

The median age in the town is about 37 years old, and 96.9% of the residents are UK natives, with 88% of these hailing from Scotland. Many of the residents commute to nearby Edinburgh, which is roughly an hour away by car. Dunfermline is also considered a dormitory town for the nearby capital.

Nearby schools

There is a wide range of schools to choose from in Dunfermline, with around 14 primary schools and four secondary schools – two of which are Roman Catholic high schools. The other secondary schools include the well-regarded Queen Anne High School, and Dunfermline High School, which recently unveiled a new £40million campus.

Queen Anne High School currently has 1,537 pupils enrolled, and boasts student achievement statistics that are above the national average for Scotland. Roughly 65% of school leavers manage to gain five or more SQA accredited awards at SCQF level 5 or better. This is in comparison to the national average of 55%.

Students at Dunfermline High School also perform relatively well when compared to nationwide achievement figures. Around 67% of school leavers gain five or more SQA accredited awards at SCQF level 5 or above. Again, as with Queen Anne High School, this figure is above the national average.

Nearby Edinburgh is home to the eponymous University, a globally renowned institution, as well as several other well regarded colleges.

Getting around

Dunfermline is home to two train stations, and offers a quick and easy direct route to Edinburgh in just 40 minutes. There are also indirect routes to London available, which take around four to five hours.

When travelling by car, the easiest route is via the A907, which joins motorways that lead to Perth in the North, and Edinburgh in the South. For international travel, the closest airport is Edinburgh Airport, which flies to destinations in the UK, Europe, and the US.

Local shops

Dunfermline is a popular shopping destination, thanks to a pedestrianised high street that combines popular chain stores with independent boutiques. The Kingsgate Centre houses many of the bigger shops, while two retail parks attract high volumes of visitors.

Leisure pursuits include the Fife Leisure Park, which features a cinema and multiple eateries, as well as two theatres and the Carnegie Leisure Centre, where you’ll find a state-of-the-art gym and a recently renovated swimming pool. This focus on sports has helped the town develop its professional football, rugby and cricket teams.

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.