Saturday, 21 February 2015

Coastwalk , Fife Coastal Path

Aberdour → Kirkcaldy Harbour

burntisland-sands.jpg Distance: 11.81 miles
Ascent: 234 metres
Duration: 3 hours 47 minutes

Two faces of Fife
« Queensferry | Lower Largo »

Today's walk has been a progression: from leisure to labour, rural to urban, Silversands to Kirkcaldy.

seals.jpgWe've seen two sides to Fife; the sun coaxed people out to enjoy the sands of the Kingdom's beaches, despite the biting cold. Plenty of times we've read about "fond memories of holidays by the sea" in this county. The number of people watching seals on the rocks near Seafield Tower suggests there are more memories being made even today.

kirkcaldy.jpgThe towns of Kirkcaldy and Burntisland later provided a stark contrast. The dockside at Burntisland was overgrown and eerily deserted; once past the boarded-up buildings on the outskirts of the town we found Kirkcaldy's newly-constructed promenade to be just as grim, with its whitewashed sea wall looking like an anti-tank defence. This is the other face of the county: hardworking, functional and gritty. But there were signs of hope; the large Carr's flour mill on the edge of the town centre was running, and we had a cheery welcome at a slightly eccentric cafe that offered pottery painting and family fun, along with its hefty homemade cakes.

towards-edinburgh.jpgAll day the view across the Forth towards Edinburgh has been irresistible, but we're turning our back on that: Lothian is behind us, the rest of Scotland is ahead and Fife is First.

The people of Fife are said to be very proud of their Kingdom. We haven't quite got the measure of them yet, but hopefully that will change this week as we make our way round to the Tay.

Notes for future walkers:

  • At the point where the path meets the road down to the Forth View Hotel on Hawcraig Point, take the stone steps to the top of the headland rather than following the road to the disused pier: the path round the foot of the cliffs implied by the map doesn't exist.
  • Instead of following the formal route along Burntisland High Street we took the dock road to south of and parallel to the railway.
  • It's possible to walk the two miles from Burntisland to Pettycur on the beach at low tide; there are two exit paths that could be used if you get your timings wrong.

Posted by pab at 21:23 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!