‘The hole in one’, East Scotland staycation

It’s hard to think of a collection of Great Scenic Journeys that combine so perfectly as those in East Scotland for a fab mini-break to send those post summer blues packing! Here’s some suggestions for a mini-staycation that gets to the heart of this incredible region and is made possible by fabulous Stagecoach and Brightbus!

The Storm before the Calm!

The adventure begins in Edinburgh. There’s so much to cram in on this East Scotland sojourn that even this incredible City merits only as whistle-stop tour, but that’s what’s needed and no better way than on either the Brightbus City Sightseeing or Britannia Tour, which give a rumbustious, action-packed glimpse into this scintillating, eclectic place. The authentic, laconic commentary, fascinating tit-bits and mesmerising architecture plunge customers into bygone eras of old in this historical City and at times you feel like you’re in a time machine or the extras on a film set whilst the drama is taking place around you. Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood, The Royal Mail – there’s mesmerising landmarks galore throughout both tours! To plan your trip on either or both of these routes, check out the links below…

Edinburgh City Tour – Great Scenic Journeys

Edinburgh Britannia Tour – Great Scenic Journeys

Going forth over the Forth for jaw-dropping scenery

No time to hang around, though – however tempting, as a trip on the Stagecoach Bus, X56 sees Edinburgh left behind but spectacular views as the bus crosses the river Forth to Dunfermline

X56 Edinburgh – Perth – Great Scenic Journeys

The iconic and majestic Forth Bridge is a sight to behold and this is one of the most unforgettable bus journeys in Scotland – don’t blink and be sure to devour every second of this incredible trip over the water, which has a special, unique ambience of its own with each season or time of day.

A drink to the delights of Dunfermline

In Dunfermline, the adventure continues and a change onto either Stagecoach’s 7 or 7A bus, but first a walk round this fascinating town. Dunfermline claims to be the birthplace of the classic beverage, Irn-Bru, with a secret recipe guarded zealously. The town also boasts a fascinating mix of architectural styles, from medieval to modern, creating a delightful visual mishmash. The town’s affection for colourful peacocks, often seen strutting through parks and streets, adds a distinctive touch to Dunfermline’s character.

7th Heaven on the 7

Onto Stagecoach’s 7 or 7A to Leven and an incredible journey that straddles Fife’s glistening but occasionally rugged coastline, through the charming town of Dalgety Bay and it’s stunning Nature Reserve. The journey takes 2 hours, 25 minutes and runs hourly. Find out more by clicking 7/7A Dunfermline – Leven – Great Scenic Journeys

The bus then runs close to Aberdour Castle which boasts a beautiful walled garden with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Folk can also explore its well-preserved rooms and atmospheric Great Hall.

A squeeze to the Scoonie

The journey gets even prettier as the bus goes through the idyllic fishing village, Dysart Harbour before arriving into Leven, a town which holds its fair share of peculiarities. One notable oddity is the “Lemon Squeezer,” a unique rock formation resembling the kitchen gadget. Locals have their own legend, claiming it’s where giants squeezed lemons to make the local lochs tart. Another quirk lies in its road names, featuring whimsical titles like “Glebe Wynd” and “Sillerhole Road,” adding eccentricity to the town’s character. Leven’s affinity for golf is evident, with the quirky “Scoonie Golf Course” built within a former airfield, offering a distinctive playing experience. The town also embraces its past with the “Leven Heritage Trail,” blending history and art, showcasing peculiar artifacts and tales of the past that add to its unique charm.

An overnight stay in Leven is recommend, the perfect refresh before an exhilarating journey along the Fife Coastal Path on Stagecoach’s 95 bus to the world famous St. Andrews. It takes 1 hour, 40 minutes and runs hourly. Find out more at 95 St Andrews – Leven – Great Scenic Journeys 

Wonderful beaches and fishing villages along the Fife Coastal Path are ventured through, including the delightful Elie with its pristine sandy beach and 17th Century Parish Church.

The bus stops at St Monans, which is a hidden gem, perched along the rugged shoreline and is a haven of quaint charm, idyllic cottages and breathtaking seascapes. Waves crashing against weathered stone walls create a mesmerizing melody, whilst colourful fishing boats bob in the harbour.

Postbox putting and pubs

The bus meanders its way through Kingsbarns with its whisky distillery to St. Andrews, a treasure trove of delights.

As the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews is home to the famous “Old Course,” one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Interestingly, St. Andrews has more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else globally, reflecting its deep-rooted golfing heritage. The town is also renowned for its obsession with golf-themed postboxes, adorned with images of golfers and clubs. There’s few more famous sights in world golf than the 1st and 18th hole and Swilcan Bridge of St. Andrews.

In a fascinating twist, St. Andrews also possesses more pubs and bars per capita than anywhere else in Scotland. It’s also known for having the highest concentration of ice cream shops in the UK, showcasing the town’s love for sweet treats. St. Andrews also has the remnants of an underground tunnel network, believed to have been used by monks in medieval times.

Teeing off to the Tay – crack under 100 on Stagecoach 99

Staying overnight in St. Andrews is recommended in order to get the most out of this splendid place. The fun-packed adventure has more thrills and spills to follow and the next morning, it’s onto Stagecoach’s 99 bus to Dundee with lovely views of the River Tay and typically Scottish scenery of rolling hills, fields, farms and historical buildings aplenty. Dundee, a vibrant Scottish city, offers a blend of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. Be sure to find out more about this route, which last 25 minutes and runs every 10 minutes at 99 St Andrews – Dundee – Great Scenic Journeys

Glimpses of polar expeditions by Great Scenic Journeys

This really has been a trip to remember and there’s so much to do in Dundee. Start by visiting the iconic V&A Dundee, an architectural marvel and design museum showcasing innovative exhibitions. Take a stroll along Dundee’s revitalized waterfront, offering picturesque views and vibrant eateries. The enchanting McManus Galleries are a ‘must visit’ location and are steeped in art, history, and culture, showcasing Dundee’s rich heritage. Camperdown Park, meanwhile, is a pleasant retreat from the hub-hub of the City and is home to diverse wildlife. For a unique experience, head to Discovery Point to board the RRS Discovery, an Antarctic exploration ship, built in Dundee in 1901.

Dundee’s fine and dandy!

Dundee is the home of the publishers of ‘The Beano’ comic and be sure to take a photo of the Desperate Dan statue, honouring the hero from, now defunct sister comic, ‘The Dandy’.  Don’t miss the Dundee Law Hill, an extinct volcano offering panoramic views of the city. No trip is also complete without a slice of Dundee cake and buttery shortbread!

Onwards, the exploration continues and it’s onto Stagecoach’s 46 bus to Kirkaldy which runs hourly, through pretty fields with blooming wildflower to historical Cupar and cultural Ceres with its famous Ceres Highland games, whilst stopping off at Kennoway and the lovely Kennoway Nature Reserve and Fife Zoo, as well as the wonderful MacDuff Castle. Find out more about this trip, which takes 1 hour 48 minutes, by clicking onto 46 Kirkcaldy – Dundee – Great Scenic Journeys

Floors, fairs and flowers

We’re back at Leven again, before the bus ends at Kirkaldy and the chance to explore Kirkcaldy Galleries, a splendid Victorian building housing a museum, art gallery, and local history resources. Stroll along the Promenade, a scenic seafront path with stunning views of the coast and beyond, maybe visit Ravenscraig Castle, a striking ruined fortress or take a stroll in Beveridge Park, a charming green space with a boating lake, wildlife, and tranquil gardens, with lovely flowers.Kirkcaldy also has quirks aplenty. Linoleum flooring was invented here by Frederick Walton in the mid-19th century and the town also has a longstanding tradition of producing the famous “Kirkcaldy Links Market,” one of Europe’s longest street fairs, dating back to 1304. Renowned economist Adam Smith, was also born and educated in Kirkcaldy.

Then it’s full circle back to Edinburgh by bus on Stagecoach’s X58, for a journey that takes 1 hour 13 minutes and concludes a magnificent short break round East Scotland’s finest scenery and fascinating places to visit.

X58 Bus Route & Timetable: Kirkcaldy bus station – Edinburgh bus station | Stagecoach (stagecoachbus.com)

The bus routes in East Scotland provide a fantastic insight into a region of incredible beauty, vibrancy, heritage and such varied architecture. They combine fantastically and with good frequency and excellent customer service to offer an adventure that is the perfect antidote for anyone looking for a post Summer refresh and pick-up!