Visit Glenrothes and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Glenrothes, Fife. This, the second of Scotland's New Towns to be established (1949) after the Second World War, had a curious beginning, which has produced beneficial results not envisaged by the founders of the town.
Glenrothes was at first primarily designed to provide modern housing in pleasant country circumstances for coal-miners who, it was believed, would work a new seam in this district of Fife. The intention was to provide a complete contrast to the squalid mining towns and villages that for more than a century and a half had disfigured the Lowlands of Scotland. A good and forward-looking idea, but it was (at the time unfortunately, so it seemed) made impotent by the discovery that the seam was unworkable.
Still, a good and forward-looking idea need not necessarily perish because its original raison d'etre is removed; it can be developed upon another basis. This is what has happened at Glenrothes. There are those who, seeing the happy state of Glenrothes today (though one would never impute such an idea to those in charge of the place), would say that the best thing that ever happened to this growing and prosperous, yet essentially Scottish, New Town was the unworkability of the coal. Such might reflect even further that coal is becoming a thing of the past in this atomic age, and that to provide a New Town for a traditionally be-grimed industry would have been inappropriate.
At any rate, what happened was that, coal being gone, the Glenrothes Development Corporation concentrated with redoubled energy on another facet of the scheme that had always been in their minds. That was the attraction of new industries (one avoids the constricting word “light”) to this place already springing up as a New Town. Right from the start, there had been the intention to attract lighter industries for the employment of the womenfolk of the miners. Now the Corporation went forward with the scheme of drawing any new and suitable modern industry to the New Town for the employment of men and women. The word “suitable” is important here. “Any old industry” will not do. Diverse industries are needed to protect the town against recession, strikes, and other catastrophes. Also it is essential to select the right industries in terms of employment as the final target of population is approached.
We shall not seek to inflict on visitors to Scotland a detailed list of the industries that Glenrothes did succeed in attracting. Let it suffice to say that they succeeded, are succeeding, and look as if they will continue to succeed.
Now for a picture of the place, which, if the visitor sees it in fine weather, is bound to please and interest him. The reference to fine weather allows one in passing to point out that the climate of Fife, though bracing, is considerably superior to (say) that of Kent. This statement, which is supported by the Meteorological Office, has been useful in changing the minds of some southern industries who have traditionally feared that anywhere North of Birmingham is verging on the Arctic Circle.
Set in circumstances of characteristic Fife rural beauty, then, with the Lomond Hills dominating it to the North, Glenrothes has not sought to be revolutionary in style. Rather it has tended to develop in a modern fashion the pleasing Fife Lowland cottage or small house. The visitor may observe this as he sees the early l9th century buildings on the outskirts of the town growing into the modern domestic architecture.
This is not to say that there are not one or two buildings that are completely up-to-date. In Scotland during the last ten years, there has been some excellent experimental church-building, both Protestant and Catholic. In particular the eye lights upon the Protestant church of the Kirk of Scotland. The Catholic church in Glenrothes, admirable in its catacomb-like severity, is not what the usual Protestant conceives a Catholic church to look like. The Protestant kirk is even more staggeringly unlike the usual Catholic idea of such places of worship. When a visitor enters its always open door (a Protestant innovation), he might well think for a moment that he had strayed into some modern Catholic church in the neighbourhood of Naples. It is so full of light that it seems positively luminous. At the far end of the church is a richly coloured mural painted by Alberto Morroco an artist who has at least this connection with Scotland, that his family resides in Dundee — and portraying scenes from Our Lord's life.Not many commute from Glenrothes, as people sometimes do from other New Towns near to big cities. Glenrothes eyes are largely upon their own town and its interests.
On the other hand, the place is easily accessible to Edinburgh. You can get into Edinburgh within an hour, do your shopping, theatre-going, or visiting, and be back comfortably by bedtime. Incidentally Glenrothes, like Cumbernauld, has an airfield of its own. Industrialists from North America may fly to our Scottish airport of Prestwick and, by quick change of aircraft, be within Glenrothes in twenty-three minutes. The workers of Glenrothes are particularly proud of their airfield and take great interest in it.
No, Glenrothes, independent unit though it is, does not lie out on a limb. And, of course, there are other cities easily accessible, such as Perth with its good shops, and of course St Andrews, whose links are hallowed ground for visitors from America.
Nearby towns: Auchtermuchty, Buckhaven, Cupar, Falkland, Kinross, Kirkcaldy, Ladybank, Leven, Lochgelly, Markinch
Nearby villages: Abernethy, Auchterderran, Auchtertool, Ballingry, Buckhaven and Methil, Cameron Bridge, Cardenden, Chapel, Cowdenbeath, Craigrothie, Dysart, East Wemyss, Foulford, Freuchie, Gateside, Glenfarg, Kennoway, Kinglassie, Kingskettle, Leslie, Methil, Milton of Balgonie, Pathhead, Pitlessie, Sinclairtown, Springfield, Strathmiglo, Thornton, West Wemyss
Have you decided to visit Glenrothes or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Glenrothes bed and breakfast (a Glenrothes B&B or Glenrothes b and b)
- a Glenrothes guesthouse
- a Glenrothes hotel (or motel)
- a Glenrothes self-catering establishment, or
- other Glenrothes accommodation