One of the things I love about St. Andrews, is that you end up finding your favourite Fife locations through the unlikeliest of ways. For me, my love of theatre, has opened up the areas surrounding the town in a new way.
I’ve worked on a lot of productions over the four years I’ve been at this university, but strangely enough, I have only ever directed one show at the Barron. Instead, theatre has led me to discover fantastic locations outside of St Andrews. My top two recommendations for short respites from town are Balgove Larder and Cambo Estate.
Balgove Larder, is just far enough from the town centre to make it feel like you are escaping the bubble, but close enough for a pleasant brisk walk. Last year, I directed George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Balgove Steak Barn. The barn is wonderful venue, it is large and spacious (if a little cold), and has been used for a variety of events. You sit on long, oak trestle tables and the menu specialises in steak and burgers. They also hold market days that attract hordes of locals, and make a fun day out. The barn is in fact closed over the winter months, but the cafe and deli which serve a range of locally sourced (and delicious) products is open throughout the year.
Cambo Estate is a little further out, located just beyond Kingsbarns, but as one of the most beautiful attractions in East Fife it is well worth a visit. Earlier this month, I directed Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband in the estate’s 19th century manor house. The house is located amongst acres of land which are used for events, private parties, beer festivals, theatre productions and much more. The house is a venue for weddings and is also a hotel with rooms steeped in Edwardian glamour. The grounds hold plenty of walks and Cambo is famous for its specialist collection of snowdrops. These snowdrops line a trail you can wander through, a stunning afternoon stroll. The estate also has an idyllic walled garden attracting many visitors year round. The estate is located near the beach at Kingsbarns, it is much quieter than the beaches St Andrews has to offer but with the same level of beauty.
As the year winds down and our days are ever darker, it is easy to remain at home snuggled up on the sofa with a hot chocolate in hand. But, Fife has so much to offer, so many places to explore, I strongly encourage you to wander more (apologies for the unintended rhyme).
Image Coutesy of SwIthun Crowe