Beneath the green Fife countryside a hidden complex with radar room, dorms and even a cinema makes for an unnerving but memorable visit
Rewind half a century to the height of the cold war. Leonid Brezhnev has gone potty, pressed the “red button” and dropped a clutch of nuclear bombs on Scotland. Half the population is dead; the other half is slowly dying from the fallout. But all is not lost. In a field in rural Fife, 30 metres beneath a lone brick farmhouse, the country’s top brass is keeping the show on the road. Their home for the foreseeable future is a 2,200 square-metre “command centre”, complete with radar control room, broadcasting studio, dormitories (for the military), posh suite (for the secretary of state for Scotland), plus the basic rudiments of “normal” life: washing facilities, cafeteria, cinema, chapel. Fortunately, the bombs never fell and the bunker was decommissioned in 1993. Fast forward to today and this warren of underground rooms is one of Scotland’s quirkiest tourist attractions.