Why Choose Cupar?
Cupar, an ancient Pictish name, means ‘where the rivers meet‘. People have long met here too – to exchange views, make news, do business and practise law. And as more came, so the town grew … people choosing to the make Cupar their home. This blog gives a flavour of our town – shaped by its medieval origins as a Royal Burgh controlling trade from the North Sea to Kinross. Its medieval street pattern survives to this day – now peppered with many fine buildings and its famous old closes that extend like branches on a tree from Cupar’s centre to explore the wider town …
Cupar’s location on the ‘medieval A91‘ – the royal route (Stirling > Falkland > Cupar > St Andrews), the crossing places of its two rivers (the Eden and Landy Burn) and its Royal Burgh status – placed Cupar at the heart of a rich agricultural hinterland that created produce for its own market as well as that served through its own international port!
A natural centre, all roads led to Cupar – and that is still true today. Whether arriving by train (Cupar is on the London-Aberdeen line), by road, on two wheels or by foot (perhaps by one of the core paths that coverge here) – communication links have ensured Cupar remains the meeting place in north east Fife.
Add in our digital connectivity – Cupar is home to the UK and Scotland’s only Digital Improvement District, CuparNow, including free public Wi-Fi used by local and visitors alike – and it is easy to see why more and more people are drawn to the town … to live, work and play.
There are more than 450 businesses in Cupar – selling pretty much anything and providing most services that anyone needs: the town is blessed with an array of independent retailers as well as national favourites including four supermarkets – Aldi, the Co-Op, Lidl and Tesco. You will find award-winning restaurants, cafes and bistros, takeaways and traditional pubs.
There’s a monthly Farmers’ Market showcasing fresh produce from Fife and further afield. On the town’s outskirts are business parks and trading estates with businesses you’d expect in such locations – car dealerships, a garden centre, building supplies, garage repairs, commercial laundry, secure storage facilities and much more. This blog has all businesses mapped and categorised – and they can be accessed by clicking on the map below or using our site’s menu.
The town has a fantastic sense of civic pride with many groups, associations and charities – the majority operating on a voluntary basis. Collectively, they work hard to support multiple audiences across the town and our wider catchment. For more, you can click on this link that will take you to our Community Directory – a section on our Blog that details all of the Clubs, Societies, Associations and more.
Culture & Tourism
There is much to see and explore in and around Cupar: the town’s Museum & Heritage Centre, our Library – home to the Fife Family History Society – and the Corn Exchange are all worth visiting. On a cultural front, whether you want to play the pipes, have a passion for art, photography or singing (amateur musical, choral or opera) – there are clubs and societies in the town for you.
There are parks and gardens – including Duffus Park in the west and Haugh Park, created when the River Eden was diverted in the early 1800s – as well as walks along the Eden that help visitors discover more hidden gems, landscapes and views of the town.
In 2020, an interpretive signage project – led by Cupar Development Trust – unveiled the results of several years’ work, designing and installing a set of fantastic signs that take you on a walk around the town to discover more on the town’s heritage. You can view a walk-through on our YouTube channel by clicking on the image below …
Nearby, the National Trust of Scotland has several properties and gardens including the Hill of Tarvit Mansion and Gardens, Falkland Palace and Kellie Castle & Garden.
We are close to Fife’s Pilgrims’ Way – a long distance walking route from the west of Fife, passing just south of the town. The 64 mile (104 km) long path takes you on a journey of faith trod by many thousands of medieval pilgrims from across Europe. Today’s route helps you to discover some of the region’s ancient pathways. And when it comes to walking, we’re also a great base from which to enjoy Fife’s Coastal Path – all 117 miles of it.
Gone are the days when Cupar was a coaching station – travelers resting horses whilst enjoying hospitality in many an inn. Today, the town has moved with the times. A collection of B&Bs, guest houses and self catering properties provide upwards of 100 beds for those coming to stay – either on business, to visit family and friends or on travels to explore this corner of Scotland. If you need more, check our Blog that details the town’s accommodation providers including coverage of the beautifully restored Burgh Chambers – or use the site’s menu to search for accommodation providers.
Close by – Medieval St Andrews – the home of golf with museums, cinema and Scotland’s oldest university – is less than 10 miles east of Cupar. Dundee – the City of Discovery – home to the V&A, two universities and a selection of museums is less than 15 miles to the north, and Edinburgh – our country’s capital and the world’s most famous Festival City – is less than an hour by train. In short, Cupar is perfectly placed.
Education & Training
Cupar has pre-school nurseries, two primary schools – Castlehill and St Columba’s – the highly respected Bell Baxter High School, as well as SRUC’s Elmwood Campus. We are also lucky to have the wonderfully dedicated folk delivering educational and community support work at Kilmaron, Sunshine Kitchen and the Westfield Family Nurture Centre. The town also has Girl Guide and Scout groups as well as Army and Air Cadets.
There are highly-regarded private schools, all easily within a 30 minute drive time of Cupar – St Leonard’s in St Andrews, the High School in Dundee as well as Kilgraston and Strathallan, both just south of Perth.
Cupar sits astride the River Eden. We are surrounded by numerous farms with highly productive agriculture providing some of Scotland’s best ingredients. Some of the farms provide seasonal employment, especially in the fruit-picking season – including the award-winning Cairnie Fruit Farm, just to the north of Cupar. We also boast sustainable businesses such as The Country Garden Company that is demonstrating just how environmentally friendly the art of floristry can be … all with flowers grown in the Eden valley just outside the town.
The towns has a Sustainability Group that works on all manner of projects to better improve Cupar’s environment, establish walking and cycling routes and lessen our collective impact on the world around us. Each year, the town bursts into colour as the fruits of the labours of our Cupar in Bloom volunteers come to life. And if you’re looking to get your hands dirty, there’s also an Allotments’ Group.
Health & Wellbeing
Cupar has a population of just under 10,000. We are not the largest town, but we have a breadth and depth of sport and leisure facilities that are the envy of places considerably larger. You’ll find football, rugby – including women’s and veteran’s teams – swimming, archery, two golf clubs – Cupar & Elmwood – gymnastics, tennis, bowls as well as a renowned dance school. And we have a Sports Centre offering great facilities – including a swimming pool – and the town also has a soft play centre that’s perfect for wee ones.
On the health front, Cupar has its own hospital and health centre as well as many private businesses offering all manner of health, wellbeing and social care support – from chiropractors and osteopaths to physiotherapists, from optometrists and opticians to personal trainers … and a whole range of therapists for mind, body and soul. Again, please use our site’s menu to search for individual services and businesses.
Beyond the town, the area provides a wide selection of recreational opportunities including country sports, coastal and hill walks, nature reserves, cycle tracks, and equestrian activity – including the UK’s most northerly Hunt and Point-To-Point.
Prosperity & Sustainability
Cupar is a town that is rich in so many ways. The town’s location and connections – with turnpike roads – was pivotal in the town’s origins, settlement and development. Today, our connections are no less important – increasingly digitally focused – to ensure we provide the best location possible for those looking for a new business location or choice of home in this stunning corner of Scotland.
There are direct rail connections from Cupar to Dundee, Edinburgh and beyond. East Coast trains and overnight sleeper services (from nearby Leuchars, just seven miles away) connect the town to London. Cupar is less than 20 miles from Scotland’s motorway network and 40 miles from Edinburgh airport.
Our collective goal is to support multiple audiences in a unique hub and spoke approach – with businesses at the heart: each spoke – community, culture & tourism, education & training, the environment, health & social care – work together to drive prosperity, helping to make Cupar an attractive, thriving town to benefit all who live, work and visit
Put simply, Cupar: you are most welcome.
Have we moved you?
Looking to rent or buy residential or commercial property in Cupar?
Please use the following A-Z links: these firms – all in town – will be able to help you and answer any questions you may have.
Our directory also includes more businesses who will be able to help in your plans relocation or expansion.
Please use the following to access their details:
Architect | Builder | Building Supplies
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