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The great escape

Fife, Scotland

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All picturesque fishing villages and rolling hills, this historic Scottish county has plenty of charm – and some of the best golf courses in Britain.

Places of note The Old Course in St Andrews, “the home of golf”, is aptly named – it’s the oldest in the world, dating back to 1552. It’s also open to the public, provided you have a handicap of 36 or less. Non-golfers can visit crumbling Newark Castle in St Monans, down the road from the Anstruther Fish Bar – the best chippie in Scotland.

Famous faces There’s something in the water in Kirkcaldy. The coastal town was the birthplace of the economist Adam Smith and later the home of former PM Gordon Brown. It’s not all economics and politics: Coldplay’s bassist, Guy Berryman, was also born there, and actress Shirley Henderson grew up in nearby Kincardine.

Weather Scotland has a rainy reputation, but Fife is known for its extraordinary summers. In June it’s light until 11pm – that’s an hour more sunlight than in London.

1 To stay

Fans of the cult TV series Outlander might recognise the Covenanter, a traditional hotel in the old-fashioned village of Falkland, near the Lomond Hills. Doubles from £90, B&B.

2 To rent

This 17th-century customs house is now a dog-friendly seaside rental in Elie, one of Fife’s best-loved coastal towns. It sleeps 20 and has eight bathrooms. From £5,726 for a week.

3 To Airbnb

Ideal for couples, the Old Stable is a stylish seaside bolthole in the pretty fishing village of Pittenweem. The one-bedroom house has a woodburner and is a short walk from the harbour. From £260 for two nights.

To buy

You can see St Andrews and the Eden estuary from five-bedroom West Kincaple House, which occupies a wing of a Victorian mansion house. It’s set in 1.6 acres, with a walled garden, paddocks and a heated pool. £1.25m.