Fife Coastal Path
Start: Kincardine Bridge
Distance: 117 miles (188 km)
Time: 8 days
Surface: Sandy Bays, Rough Foreshores, Grassy Paths
King James II of Scotland described the East Neuk (an old Scottish word for “corner”) of Fife as a “fringe of gold on a beggar’s mantle,” and if you like the idea of walking in Scotland but are a little daunted at navigating your way through its remote highlands, the Fife Coastal Path could be just what you are looking for. Many of its towns are royal burghs, testifying to the historic importance of this tiny peninsula, which is why a walk here can still guarantee you that quintessential “Scottish” experience as you pass by its castles and historic buildings, many of which have witnessed great moments in the nation’s history.There are also desolate beaches, sand flats, and idyllic fishing ports, each with its own distinctive characteristics and peculiarities. Just keep the ocean on your right or to your left, depending upon which end you begin, toss away your maps, and get walking.
The path stretches from Kincardine Bridge and ends at the small town of Newburgh, running through a myriad of simple coastal communities utterly lacking in pretense (perhaps with the exception of St. Andrews), over golden white sand beaches, nature reserves, and old industrial towns, such as Leven, giving you a taste of all the delights that the peninsula of Fife has to offer. Along the way be prepared for some expansive scenery: the view of Edinburgh across the Firth of Forth, the fine-grained basalt rock that is the Isle of May, and the northerly panoramas of the Angus coast and the Firth of Tay. This is a walk blessed with both beauty and heritage, everything from the eighteenth hole of the Old Course to the gorgeous crescent of houses on the water at Pittenweem, on James II’s favorite little Neuk.