Kirkcaldy – a guide for visiting ‘The Lang Toun’ in 2023


Fife is full of towns and villages which offer a lot more than you'd first think, and we Kirkcaldy (pronounced "kirk-caw-day”) is a prime example of this. If you're willing to explore the nooks and crannies of this town, you'll find charm and beauty which will no doubt delight and surprise you. We wanted to highlight the best things to see and do in Kirkcaldy for 2023 after a visit there recently, let's get into the guide:

Where is Kirkcaldy?

Firstly, let's establish where Kirkcaldy is. The town is in Fife, around 18 miles from the city of Dunfermline and to the south of St Andrews and Crail. It's about a 50-minute drive from Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy (the bridge can slow things down), and is well-connected to other towns in East Scotland via the train station. The Stagecoach bus service is reliable and a great way to reach the town is to take the bus, even from Edinburgh (plus, you'll save some money as the bus tickets are cheaper!).

FireShot Capture 1788 - Kirkcaldy - Google Maps -

What is there to see and do in Kirkcaldy?

There is a lot more to see and do in Kirkcaldy than meets the eye, here are some of the highlights:

Beveridge Park

This Victorian park in Kirkcaldy feels like the focal point of the town - here is where dog walkers, runners, and families gather to enjoy the beautiful green space. The park has a lovely mix of attractions like a play area and a pond, then at the top of the park you'll find trees and a bit of a quieter spot. It's a very good park to run around because there is a slight incline, so you get a nice mix of uphill climbs and downhills. If you've got time you can follow the Wizard's walk, a 2km circular route which takes you through woodland from the park and which involves some great wizard themed surprises (we won't ruin them for you!). Definitely take time to visit Beveridge Park during your time in Kirkcaldy.

Kirkcaldy Harbour

During our visit to Kirkcaldy, we were shocked to find this little gem - and it was totally quiet, even on a Saturday. It's a small harbour with a little marina, but it has lots of charm and is a lovely place to head to for a relaxing stroll or even just for a seat. Situated at the west side of the beach, the harbour is tucked behind some flats which, as you can see from the picture, have a lovely view across the water (especially those with a balcony). It's not particularly well sign-posted and there isn't much to see there aside from the calm water and the boats rolling in, but that is exactly what makes a trip to the harbour worthwhile during your time in Kirkcaldy.

Ravenscraig Castle & Park

Fife is full of underrated castles, and Ravenscraig Castle is definitely up there in this category. Originally built in the late 15th century, the castle is in remarkable condition given its age. The most notable feature of the castle would be the dense walls, which are 3.5m-thick walls and designed to withstand gunpowder fire. The park that the castle sits in, Ravenscraig Park, might well be the nicest park in Kirkcaldy (particularly if you're a fan of birdsong). You can learn more about this castle here -

Kirkcaldy Galleries

This library, museum, and art gallery is a great place to visit if you're looking to learn more about the local history of Kirkcaldy. If you're a fan of Jack Vettriano, the Fife artist, then there are often exhibitions held here dedicated to his work which are lovely to see (and which people travel for miles to visit).  The staff here are excellent and always happy to help visitors, learn more here -

Shopping in Kirkcaldy

The Mercat Shopping Centre is probably the best shopping centre in this part of Fife - it certainly offers more than the Kingsgate centre in Dunfermline in terms of the sort of shops that we like. For serious shoppers, the TK Maxx is probably the highlight in the centre. It has a great selection to choose from and there is a nice turnaround of stock so a weekly visit is worth the effort. Outside of the centre you'll find shops like Holland & Barrett, a Costa Coffee and the Kirkcaldy Indoor Market, which stocks just above everything you could ever need! We also love the independent shops in the town like Strange Ray Vintage, a great place to head to if you're a fan of eccentric clothing. Learn more about the Mercat centre here -

What should you be aware of before visiting Kirkcaldy?

Like we've mentioned a few times, it can seem that there isn't much to do in Kirkcaldy as you might not get too many people recommending that you visit. However, if you're willing to seek out the above locations there really is a lot to like here. A car isn't necessary for seeing all of the above but it would be quite helpful.

Final thoughts

Kirkcaldy might not be the first place you head to during your time in Fife, but definitely don't overlook it. There is plenty to see and do here, particularly along the seafront where it is very quiet and you can enjoy the stunning views across the Firth of Forth to North Berwick and Gullane.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit this Fife town. We've got guides about other locations in Fife such as Crail and St Andrews, as well as locations on the other side of the water like Gullane.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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