If you want to visit a traditional Scottish town in the Kingdom of Fife, then Cupar has what you are looking for. David II of Scotland established this town as a royal burgh in 1363. It was the site of the castle of the MacDuff's that was featured in the Shakespearean play, MacBeth. Cupar was also the site of the first Scottish Parliament of Alexander III in 1276.
Cupar lies on the East Coast Main Railway Line, so you can easily get there from Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh and Dundee. If you prefer to drive, it is only a 2hour drive from Aberdeen and less than an hour from the other cities. Cupar is an excellent location if you like to visit parks and gardens. Spend some relaxing times in these parks, such as Cart Haugh, Hood Park and Nicholson Park, which all merge together to form one large area. Walk the main street in town St. Catherine's Street, which is lined with shops and tearooms, as well as locally owned businesses.
See the Burgh Chambers, a pink building in Cupar, which dates back to 1815. Walk through the town to see some of the historic buildings that still remain, such as the Masonic Hall in Bonnygate, the library in Crossgate and the old jail. The spire of the Old Parish Church dates back to the early 15th
century and in the graveyard of the Old Kirk, you can see the graves of the two "Covenanters" that murdered Archbishop Sharp at Magus Muir in 1679.
Visit the Hill of Tarvit Mansion House, which was rebuilt in 1906. This house contains a fabulous collection of antique furniture and exquisite paintings. It is in the care of the National Trust of Scotland and is open to the public during the summer months. From the top of the hill, you get a stunning view of Cupar as well as the Howe of Fife, St. Andrews and the Firth of Forth. To the north you can see Dundee and the beach of Tentsmuir.
The Cupar Sports Centre has a swimming pool, a sports hall and a fitness room if you prefer to get your exercise indoors. However, the area around Cupar is flat so you won't have to exert yourself too strenuously to enjoy walks throughout the countryside. You can easily walk to Falkland and to West Lomond, which makes a very enjoyable outing.
There are plenty of accommodations for you to choose from as well as restaurants serving your favourite food. Everyone is a friend in Cupar and you will enjoy a real Scottish welcome when you drop into the pub.
All photographs © Richard Fisher