Fife Coastal Path

It always take me a day or so to get settled in when I’m away from home for a few days walking  new ground ,a bit like the first day of your holidays having a’ nosey’ seeing where everything is, getting to know the place.When out walking you obviously move on from day to day and don’t get to know the area as such but still develop a feel for what’s around you, becoming  part of the land ,its climate ,its surroundings. I was back in Scotland,not in the mountains this time but at sea level,walking part of the Fife coastal path  ‘the best bits’ which  I had come across in a walking magazine.

The total distance of the path is 116 miles I did approximately 40 of it stretching from Leven to St Andrews sometimes off the path but the majority on the trail and taking in  the most Easterly corner Fifeness (headland) Anyone who is reasonably fit and is interested in the coast, and enjoys  plenty of variation in  scenery and terrain this would meet your expectations. A day could quite easily be spent in St Andrews.,ancient old walls and crumbling castles reflect its past,bitter battles won and lost, cobbled streets lined  with cafes,shops and the odd  pub ,restaurant and wine bar bring the town into a more modern age with its world famous golf course the ST Andrews Links shadowing the landscape.

swilcan bridge
Golfs Iconic image the Swilcan bridge.St Andrews Links

The Neuk

Neuk is a Scottish word for corner,Fife itself, or the Kingdom of Fife is squeezed in between the Firths of Forth and the Tay. Firth an old Norse word meaning narrow . The headland, shaped like a dog’s face on the map. Those that like to stop  off and wander around the old fishing villages and ports this where  you would  spend your  time ,the old fishing villages were built on the Eastern Corner (neuk) dating back as far as the 13th century.Ports were built and then expanded.

Typical street leading to the harbour
The village of Crail dating back to the 13th century


The Offing


The offing originally a nautical term  for where the sea meets the sky ( the horizon),those on look out would see ships in the offing when they were approaching. I’ve also heard it  used as a term for events in the not too distant future. My next navigation course is in the offing, although it would less difficult to understand if I said its a week on Sunday! Just a thought on how language changes over the years , just like the coast changes,its history,  ancient castles and forts  along the coast line ,pill boxes still scattered along the shore that defended us in the second world war,fishing villages dating back hundreds of years their identity remains from hundreds of years ago.

The 40 odd miles that I walked gave me a chance to explore all  of the above.It was February, at times it was cold,others incredibly windy and on occasions the sun shone,all adding  to the feeling of just being alone,me the elements and the scenery its past and  present.There were few fellow walkers on the path.

For the experienced walker this is relatively straightforward and wouldn’t bring  too many challenges in more favourable weather conditions.I enjoyed the ever changing weather that added to the enjoyment of it all.

For someone that has lesser experience there are parts of the walk are that could be a test certainly if the weather was to deteriorate or you had ignored the tide times the above sign reminding us walkers never take anything for granted.

Looking further down the line I am looking to arrange coastal walking as an event if anyone fancies walking with a group, or you aren’t  confident enough to walk it alone yourself or you have your own personal adventure you would like to discuss then please contact me via the website.Hills in Mind is about your own personal journey,share it with us and discover together.