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The local area guide to living in Fife

Fife is located between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, and is a council area of Scotland, having previously been a county until 1975. It has often been dubbed the 'Kingdom of Fife' as it was once a part of the Pictish Kingdom.

There are four main towns in Fife, with Glenrothes being the administrative centre. There are some truly gorgeous parks and views to be seen in Glenrothes, so much so it has received awards from both Beautiful Scotland and Britain in Bloom.

Kirkcaldy boasts an incredibly long high street (0.9 miles), which was an extremely rare feature in 17th century Scotland. Dunfermline is home to the Dunfermline City Chambers, a historic building, influenced by French and Gothic architecture and features a stunning four-face clock tower. St. Andrews is the fourth town, which is where the University of St. Andrews is situated. It is also a big golfing destination for locals and tourists.

Information about the local residents

The population of Fife stands at 367,300, with a mere 1% of the population being foreign born. Roughly 8% of people in Fife are over the age of 75, making it a tranquil place to spend your retirement. In terms of employment, 77.2% of people are registered as being in a job of some kind, which is slightly higher than the 77% figure for the whole of Scotland.

The statistics for the four towns do not differentiate much from the overall figures of Fife, apart from St. Andrews, of which 11% of the population are foreign born. This is likely owing to the strong contingent of university students.

Nearby schools

Most of the education institutes in Fife excel when compared to the rest of the country. Approximately 90% of schools in Fife were either rated good, very good, or excellent following national inspections. There are 141 primary schools in Fife. The standout choice for primary education would have to be Dalgety Bay Primary School in Dunfermline, which has excellent results in English and maths.

There are 19 secondary schools in Fife, with Bell Baxter High School being one of the top performers in the area. Balwearie High School is another excellent option and also gives pupils the option to study sixth form too.

The famed University of St. Andrews is the oldest university in all of Scotland, dating back to 1414. It offers courses in a wide variety of subjects, such as design, science, English, and history.

Getting around

The M90 connects Fife to Perth and the periphery of Edinburgh, while the A92 grants access to Stonehaven from Dunfermline. The A91 has a direct route from St. Andrews to Stirling.

There are a few bus lines that service the whole of Fife, with 2,700 bus stops and stations in total. There are also 19 railway stations that go to places such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the Fife Circle line runs along the beautiful coastline to the Forth of Firth.

The council has recently introduced an initiative to encourage more people to cycle to work, with more roads being made bicycle friendly.

Local shops

For all shopping needs, the Kingsgate Shopping Centre can be found in Dunfermline, where you can find more than 90 stores and food stalls. In St. Andrews, there are plenty of independent shops, including I.J Mellis, an exclusive British cheese store. In Kirkcaldy, the high street has a number of retail outlets, and the Mercat Shopping Centre also has a decent amount of shops and places to eat. In Glenrothes, you can find the largest shopping centre in the whole of Fife.

It is not common knowledge, but golf was actually invented in St. Andrews, so the game is hugely celebrated and enjoyed here, particularly at the Jubilee Course. In the Rothes Halls of Glenrothes, there are regular events and markets, where you can find the works of artists and crafters.

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.