Methil Heritage Trail

Point 7



Distance (m)


# Steps


Point 7

Before we get to Lower Methil town centre, there’s a couple of things to look at. First, look across the green and over the main road and you’ll see the old railway bridge. The railway running along here took coal from further up Methil down to the docks. Today, there are no tracks left but the outline of the docks is still there.

Running along the buildings on the right, there’s the old entrance to the docks. This is where the coal and freight would come in. There was a tunnel taking you under the railway to access the yards. When reading any maritime history of the world wars, there is every possibility of finding reference to the convoys at Methil; during the war Methil evolved as the largest convoy port on the East Coast of Britain playing a key role in both World War One and World War Two.

Now continue down the road. Welcome to Lower Methil town centre. A hundred years ago, this was one of the busiest towns in Scotland and maintained this crown for decades featuring shops such as Kinninmont’s Upholsters, DE Shoes, Gordon Allen Butchers and the Palace Cinema. However, since the closure of the coal mines it has seen a steady decline in the businesses here. We still have a few gems. Follow the road and explore at your leisure.

Sub Warfare
World War one saw the introduction of submarine warfare and huge losses to ships departing from Methil Docks. This was from surface engagement and underwater torpedoes from German U-boats. The submarines were also responsible for laying many mines around the British Coast and in the North Sea. One example is the Dutch Steamship Zeeland which was sunk on it’s journey from Methil to Rouen in France whilst carrying coal in 1916.
Selfie Moment
Be very careful and head up onto the bridge and get a selfie with the docks behind you. You’ll get a good view of the outline of the docks, even if they’re not nearly as busy as they used to be!
Cook's Cafe
Cook’s café offers good value, authentic Scottish food, and a traditional experience. Have you had your haggis fix? Keep it simple with a bacon butty? How about a mug of tea for 50p? Cook's is more than just a cafe, with traditional sweets and even LEGO to keep the kids entertained on the train ride home. There's no card machine, no Wi-Fi, but the welcome is genuine and the food is great.
Affordable Arts - Award Winning
Affordable Arts in Methil, Fife, is a gallery that offers a wide range of local and Scottish artwork, from original paintings to prints, at affordable prices. They provide a custom picture framing service with over 400 different types of frames to suit any taste. In addition to artwork, the gallery also features a gift shop with hand-made items, perfect for those looking for special gifts. The gallery prides itself on offering high-quality Scottish artwork and excellent customer service, as evidenced by its win at the Scottish Business Awards in 2021. It's a place where art enthusiasts can find unique pieces without breaking the bank, and artists can sell their work, knowing it will be appreciated by visitors and locals alike. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm
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