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The local area guide to living in Kirkcaldy: The Local Area Guide

Kirkcaldy, on the eastern coastline of Fife, has throughout its history been an important trading point. The initial wealth of the town came mostly from goods such as salt, linen, metal and coal, and from the late 1800s onwards the area was known for being one of the core makers of linoleum floor covering. The area was one of the global leaders for linoleum production until the mid-1900s, and this booming industry contributed greatly to the expansion of the town. During the 1800s both a pier and a wet dock were built, Victorian and Georgian architecture also became prominent during this time, giving the town a beautifully historic setting. The harbour was reopened in 2011 for cargo ships after decades of disuse, and is important for the amount of wheat imports that come from around both Europe and the UK.

The capital is also nearby, with Edinburgh being less than 15 miles away. The town is becoming increasingly popular after considerable investment was put into the town centre and waterfront. Rejuvenating the facilities for retail, employment and leisure, the town now attracts a wide range of people. There is also the Links Market that occurs annually, and is known for being Europe’s longest street fair. Kirkcaldy acts as a hub for the broader Fife area, and the key employment opportunities are in education, food manufacturing, a range of financial services, healthcare and still has some floor covering manufacturers.

Information about the local residents

The population of Kirkcaldy is roughly 50,000, over 20% of which are 30-44 years old, making it the largest age group. Around 43% of adults are married, and nearly 30% of them are single. The area is predominantly comprised of people born in Scotland, with 90% claiming Scottish heritage.

The average annual salary is about £19,500, and over 40% of the town are employed full time whilst just over 6% are unemployed – slightly higher than the Scottish average.

Nearby schools

Kirkcaldy has a good selection of schools nearby. For primary schools you have 12 options, including Fair Isle Primary School, St Maries RC Primary school, and Dunnikier Primary School. Secondary schooling comes with a variety of options, with four state schools offering education. These are Kirkcaldy High School, Viewforth High School, Balwearie High School and St Andrews RC High School. If you would rather an independent school, then there is Osborne House that will accept pupils with a range of educational needs. There is also Seaview Private that caters for students right from pre-school up to the end of secondary school.

Higher education is also provided in the area, with Adam Smith College having two campuses located here. The college offers both vocational and academic courses, it also gives the opportunity to study for a degree with numerous university level qualifications available. The University of Dundee has a campus in Kirkcaldy, and has a long standing prestige in higher education. If you want more options, the University of Edinburgh is an easy commute and is one of the top universities in Britain.

Getting around

A roads link most of the town together, and Kirkcaldy has good connections to the rest of Scotland via the A92. The town is also easily travelled by bus, with regular services provided. The rail links give access to wider Fife, and importantly give access to Edinburgh where there are excellent links to Britain as a whole. This link to Edinburgh also is useful for international travel, with Edinburgh Airport giving access to the wider world.

Local shops

The recent years have seen an explosion of opportunities for the residents of Kirkcaldy. There is now a recent Leisure centre, costing over 15 million pounds, featuring a 25-metre swimming pool, four sports courts, and a wealth of activities for kids.

The largest shopping centre in the area is the Mercat, which has lots of big brands like TK Max and Marks and Spencer. If this isn’t enough to whet your shopping appetite, then there is the Fife Central Retail Park nearby.

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.