Scotland's Daffodil Festival at Backhouse Rossie Estate
There's a wealth of art, poetry, whisky and natural splendour to explore in the Kingdom this spring
As the daylight hours lengthen and the cold edge of winter gradually turns balmier, look to the north of the Firth for a true celebration of seasonal glories. This spring, the Kingdom of Fife will play host to acclaimed poetry festivals, Europe's largest street fair, world-class art exhibitions and a profusion of blossoms. To help you make the most of the season's brimming calendar, we've collated a list of some of the events we're most excited about.
Cambo Snowdrops Festival Bid adieu to the end of winter and marvel in the splendour of early spring at Cambo Gardens' National Snowdrop Collection, a marvellous showcase of over 350 different snowdrop species. Head out on a peaceful walk through the woodlands, or pop into the café for a fortifying lunch. The estate will also be playing host to a wide-ranging programme of activities over the duration of the festival, including art exhibitions, tours, family-friendly sessions and talks. Cambo Snowdrops Festival, Cambo Gardens and Estate, St Andrews, until Mon 16 March
Cambo Snowdrops Festival at Cambo Gardens and Estate
StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival This March, the coastal town of St Andrews will once more welcome the return of StAnza, its internationally-renowned celebration of poetry. With a wealth of readings, performances, slams, open mics, workshops and exhibitions on the programme, the festival will see lovers and crafters of verse dig deep into this year's theme of 'coast lines', exploring how our culture has been uniquely shaped by the place where the sea meets land, how poetry engages with these waterways and also the existential threat of climate change. There will also be a focus on the notion of 'north' itself and why people's imaginations are continually drawn in this direction, featuring poetry from the Shetlands, the Northern Isles and Scotland's northerly neighbours. StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, various venues, St Andrews, Wed 4–Sun 8 March
Fife Whisky Festival Raise a dram at this festival dedicated to the 'water of life', showcasing the wares from over 30 distillers and independent bottlers from across Scotland. Sample the amber gold of favourites such as Blair Athol, Glenfiddich, Glen Moray, Fraiser of Scotland, Wemyss Malts, Old Putney and Glen Scotia, all included in the ticket price. Fife Whisky Festival, The Corn Exchange, Cupar, Fri 6–Sun 8 March
Links Market Candy floss at the ready. Europe's largest street fair returns to Kirkcaldy Waterfront, bringing with it a host of thrilling fairground rides, dodgems, funhouses, games, ghost trains, trampolines, mouth-watering street food stalls and more. Dive right into the thrilling action as lights and music light up the waterfront, or take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy the spectacle from afar. Links Market, Kirkcaldy Waterfront, Wed 15–Mon 20 April
Links Market at Kirkcaldy Waterfront
Going Dutch: The Painting Collection Experience the distinctive oeuvre of the Dutch masters at this showcase of Frederick Sharp's magnificent art collection from the Netherlands, inspired by his love of golf. A curator and specialist guide will lead two-hour talks and tours through these treasures. Participants will also get a chance to enjoy the stately interiors of the Hill of Tarvit, built by Robert Lorimer in the Scottish Arts and Crafts style, which was specially constructed to house Sharp's extensive collection. Going Dutch: The Painting Collection, Hill of Tarvit Mansion, Cupar, Fri 20 March and Sat 28 August
Scotland's Daffodil Festival These yellow blossoms are a sure sign of spring's arrival, and Backhouse Rossie Estate's grounds are garlanded with these wild, sunny flowers, boasting the world's largest National Collection of Backhouse Narcissus. Take in both historic and modern varieties of daffodils, as well as a profusion of other springtime blooms over the weekend, alongside a vibrant programme of family-friendly activities, walks, horticultural talks and plant stalls. Scotland's Daffodil Festival, Backhouse Rossie Estate, Sat 11–Sun 12 April
Artline Open Doors Weekend
Highlights from ONFife's Art Collection Be inspired by selected artworks from ONFife's splendid art collection, as part of a major re-hang of their galleries. While one room will feature paintings with a connection to the Kingdom, the other will showcase the best in Scottish contemporary art. From stunning landscapes to portraits of well-known Fifers, as well as pieces from John Bellany and David Mach, this highlights showcase promises to be a visual feast. Highlights from ONFife's Art Collection, Kirkcaldy Galleries, War Memorial Gardens, Kirkcaldy, until Wed 27 May
Open Studios North Fife and Artline Open Doors Weekend Get an intimate glimpse behind the scenes as Fife-based artists, makers and designers open the doors of their workspaces and studios, allowing visitors to learn what they do, how they do it and browse through their wares. On the same weekend, Artline Open Doors Weekend will see several of Fife's renovated railway stations filled to the brim with paintings, jewellery and crafts from resident artists. Open Studios North Fife, Various venues, North Fife, Fri 8–Sun 10 May; Artline Open Doors Weekend, Various venues, Fife, Sat 9–Sun 10 May
Beast Race Release the beast and take on the longest and toughest outdoor obstacle course in Beast Race history. On Saturday, participants will face a punishing 12km race around the loch, experiencing all that Fife's country wilderness has to throw at them. For those with kids keen to participate, Sunday will host a milder 6km route, as well as races for wee ones. Beast Race, Lochore Meadows, Lochgelly, Sat 30–Sun 31 May
This open studio event gives you the chance to visit professional artists, designers and makers in their own workspaces. Artists from across the north of Fife open up their adapted sheds and bespoke studios to display paintings, ceramics, jewellery, textiles and work in glass, metal and wood. Commission work, purchase…
Explore our national collection of snowdrops with one of our friendly expert gardeners. Explore our national collection of snowdrops with one of our friendly expert gardeners. Mondays – Friday 3 Feb – 13 Mar 1.30 - 2pm Drop in, free with garden entry.
The cleverly titled StAnza is a literary festival that focuses on verse. Joining the locals for readings, performances, slams, open mics, jazz, films, workshops and poetry-related art exhibitions, and installations are a host of local and international wordsmiths.
Imbolc is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. Celebrate with crafts, campfire and a preview of our art of snowdrops exhibition! Suitable for all the family and those on four legs too. Drop in, free with garden entry. Sunday 2 February 4pm – 7pm (café open through) [PHOTOCALL 4.30PM].