Fife Coastal Path

The Fife Coastal Path is a Scottish long distance footpath that runs from Kincardine to Newburgh along the coastline of Fife. The path was created in 2002, originally running from North Queensferry to Tayport. It was extended in 2011 with a new section running from Kincardine to North Queensferry,[2] then again in 2012 from Newburgh to Tayport.[3] The path, which usually takes between one week and 10 days to walk in full, now runs for 187 kilometres (116 mi).[1] The Fife Coastal Path is managed and maintained by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, a registered environmental charity,[4] and is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.[1] About 500,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 35,000 walk the entire route.[5]

Places of historic interest along the route include Aberdour Castle, Macduff's Castle near East Wemyss, Wemyss Castle, and Pitmilly, a former estate associated with the Moneypenny family. On the southern bank of the river Tay between the historic rail bridge, scene of one of the greatest rail disasters in Britain and the 1960s road bridge, lies the historic town of Newport. Here you will pass the ferry terminal built by Telford,[6] before passing the historic posting house building (built 1806), which now houses the Tatha gallery, named after the Gaelic for the River Tay. Along the way a range of diverse wildlife such as porpoises, dolphins and puffins may also be seen.[7] The focal point of the Fife Coastal Path is the Harbourmaster's House, in Dysart, which was used as a location during the filming of Outlander. The building now houses a visitor centre and cafe, as well as being the head offices of the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.[8]

The path includes a short (c. 0.5 km) optional section known as the Elie chainwalk, between Kincraig Point and Earlsferry to the west of Elie. This route, which should only be used during low tides, has chains fixed to the cliffs and rocks of the shore to assist progress, and is sometimes referred to as Scotland’s secret via ferrata.[9] At times, short vertical climbs are necessary, although most of the chains are positioned to provide support while walking. The chains were first installed in the 1920s, and were replaced in 2010. An alternative, more straightforward route runs along the clifftop above.[10]

On 5 October 2013, a team of 6 runners from Carnethy Hill Running Club in Edinburgh set a mark of 15 hours and 10 minutes running continuously in stages along the 187-km length, starting at Kincardine at 3am and finishing in Newburgh at 6.10pm.[11] This mark has subsequently been ratified by the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.

Fife Coastal Path
Fife Coastal Path Signpost and Beach - - 400492
Fife Coastal Path signpost near Earlsferry
Length187 km (116 mi)
LocationFife, Scotland
DesignationScotland's Great Trails
56°03′58″N 3°43′20″W / 56.06623°N 3.72221°W
56°20′58″N 3°14′57″W / 56.34931°N 3.24905°W
Elevation gain/loss1,865 metres (6,119 ft) gain[1]
Hiking details
SeasonAll year

Towns and villages on the path

Listed from south to north (anti-clockwise):

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Trails Archive". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Fife's path just got longer".
  4. ^ "About Us". Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 5. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  6. ^ Newport-on-Tay
  7. ^ "Wildlife". Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Harbourmaster's House". Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Fife Coastal Path". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Elie Chain Walk". Fife Council. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Fife Coastal Path Relay". Carnethy Hill Running Club. Retrieved 28 August 2018.

External links


Boarhills is a hamlet close to Kingsbarns on the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. It is located off the A917 road, 4 1⁄2 miles (7 km) from St Andrews and 5 1⁄2 miles (9 km) from Crail, close to the mouth of Kenly Water with the North Sea.


Buckhaven is a town on the east coast of Fife, Scotland, on the Firth of Forth between East Wemyss and Methil. Buckhaven is on the Fife Coastal Path, and near to Wemyss Caves and Largo Bay.

Caves of Caiplie

The Caves of Caiplie, Caplawchy or Caiplie Coves, known locally as The Coves are a cave system on the Fife Coastal path between Anstruther and Crail in Scotland. The caves were the site of early Christian worship. After this they were used by farmers to house livestock and as a doocot, around 170 CE. The caves are thought to have been abandoned since 180 CE.

Elie Golf Club

Elie Golf Club, also known as Earlsferry Links Golf Course, is a coastal links golf club in Elie and Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland. Only about ten miles from the "spiritual home of golf" at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, golf has been played here since at least 1589, when a royal charter was passed granting villagers permission to use the links. The formal club, the Elie and Earlsferry Golf Club, dates to 1832 and is one of the oldest golf clubs in the United Kingdom.

The current course, a par 70 6251-yard course,

was largely designed by Old Tom Morris and James Braid in 1895.The current club, the Golf House Club, was founded in 1875 with the building of the clubhouse. An unusual feature is the periscope from the Royal Navy submarine HMS Excalibur, that was launched in 1955 and scrapped in 1968. The periscope is installed in the starter's hut; players and visitors may use it to view the golf course.

Fairmont St Andrews

The Fairmont St Andrews Bay is a 5 star resort hotel situated 2 miles (3.2 km) outside the town of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. The hotel is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and owned by Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate Plc.

Fife Pilgrim Way

The Fife Pilgrim Way is a Scottish long distance footpath that runs inland through Fife, from Culross and North Queensferry to St Andrews. The path will launch in summer 2019.

Hamish Brown

Hamish Brown M.B.E. FRSGS is a professional writer, lecturer and photographer specialising in mountain and outdoor topics. He is best known for his walking exploits in the Scottish Highlands, having completed multiple rounds of the Munros and being the first person to walk all the Munros in a single trip with only ferries and a bicycle as means of transport.


Kinghorn ( (listen); Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Gronna) is a town and parish in Fife, Scotland. A seaside resort with two beaches, Kinghorn Beach and Pettycur Bay, plus a fishing port, it stands on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, opposite Edinburgh. According to the 2008 population estimate, the town has a population of 2,930.Known as the place where King Alexander III of Scotland died, it lies on the A921 road and the Fife Coastal Path. Kinghorn railway station is on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Fife Circle railway lines. Kinghorn only has a primary school, so high school pupils must travel by bus to Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy.

The town's lifeboat station is one of Scotland's busiest - regularly getting called out to all sorts of emergencies in the Firth. Currently stationed at Kinghorn is an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, B-836 "Tommy Niven".

The civil parish has a population of 4,201 (in 2011).

Largo Bay

Largo Bay is a bay on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth, on the coast of Fife, Scotland.Lower Largo is a village right on the bay, with small harbour.Upper Largo is adjacent, just inland and above the bay and at the foot of Largo Law (an extinct volcano).The Fife Coastal Path, which is a long distance footpath that runs from Kincardine to Newburgh, runs along the side of the bay.

Leven, Fife

Leven (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Lìobhann) is a seaside town in Fife, set in the east Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies on the coast of the Firth of Forth at the mouth of the River Leven, 8.1 miles (13.0 km) north-east of the town of Kirkcaldy and 6.4 miles (10.3 km) east of Glenrothes.

According to an estimate taken in 2008, Leven has a population of 8,850. The town forms part of the Levenmouth conurbation, which has a total population of 37,651.

List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

There are hundreds of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom designated in publications from public authorities, guidebooks and OS maps. They are mainly used for hiking and walking, but some may also be used, in whole or in part, for mountain biking and horse riding. Most are in rural landscapes, in varying terrain, some passing through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no formal definition of a long-distance path, though the British Long Distance Walkers Association defines one as a route "20 miles [32 km] or more in length and mainly off-road." They usually follow existing rights of way, often over private land, joined together and sometimes waymarked to make a named route. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, with rough ground, uneven surfaces and stiles, which can cause accessibility issues for people with disabilities. Exceptions to this can be converted railways, canal towpaths and some popular fell walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. Many long-distance footpaths are arranged around a particular theme such as one specific range of hills or a historical or geographical connection.

List of places in Fife

Map of places in Fife compiled from this listThis List of places in Fife is a list of links for any town, village, hamlet, castle, golf course, historic house, hillfort, lighthouse, nature reserve, reservoir, river, and other place of interest in the Fife council area of Scotland.

Newark Castle, Fife

Newark Castle is a ruin located just west of St Monans, on the east coast of Fife, Scotland. The building stands in a dramatic location, overlooking the North Sea. The upper storeys are ruinous, but vaulted cellars survive, hidden from view.

Newburgh, Fife

Newburgh is a royal burgh and parish of Fife, Scotland , having a population of 2,171 (est 2011). Newburgh's population has grown about 10% since 1901 when the population was counted at 1904 persons.

In 1266 Newburgh was granted burgh status by King Alexander III of Scotland, as a burgh belonging to the Abbot of Lindores. In 1600, Newburgh was given to Patrick Leslie, son of the Earl of Rothes – a powerful Scottish family - and in 1631, Newburgh was made a Royal Burgh by King Charles I.

Newburgh is situated on the Firth of Tay, 7 m. N.W. of Ladybank Junction alongside the Edinburgh to Inverness railway line (between Perth and Ladybank). Newburgh railway station closed in 1955 (pre-Beeching). An active campaign to reopen the station is ongoing and locals are hopeful of success.

Fife Scottish (now Stagecoach in Fife) used to have a bus depot at East Shore Road but the depot closed in 1991. No buses are now based in Newburgh although the Perth to Glenrothes and Newburgh to St Andrews via Ladybank station still serve the town.

Since WW2 many new houses have been built in Newburgh but the population has only increased by about 10%. Probably because average house occupancy rates are much lower since the baby boomer years.

For some time, Newburgh's industries chiefly consisted of the making of linen, linoleum floorcloth, oilskin fabric and quarrying. There was for many years a net and coble fishery on the Firth Of Tay, mainly for salmon and sea trout.

The harbour area was used originally for boatbuilding and the transshipment of cargoes to Perth for vessels of over 200 tons.

Raw materials for making linoleum such as cork and linseed oil were also imported at the "Factory Pier". Aggregates from the Whin Stone quarry were also shipped from Bell's Pier.

The main employer from the early 1920's was the linoleum factory known locally as the "Tayside" from The Tayside Floorcloth Company. For many years Newburgh was a prosperous industrial town pulling in workers for the factories from surrounding towns and villages. As linoleum fell out of fashion in the late 60s and 70s attempts were made to produce Vinyl flooring and tiles but the factory was no longer profitable and after changing hands a couple of times it finally closed in 1980 after a large fire destroyed much of the building.

Situated to the East of the linoleum factory was another factory known locally as "The Oilskin", many women worked there from before The Great War producing oilskin fabric for waterproof clothing such as fishermen's suits and Sou'westers. The factory was taken over by textiles giant Courtaulds in the 1960s but sadly also closed some years later as demand for the product declined.

All of these old industries in Newburgh have gone except quarrying which is now the town's biggest single employer. Newburgh is now mainly a dormitory town with many of those of working age travelling outwith the town for work. Perth, Dundee and Glenrothes are in easy reach by car. Local trades and services including a Health Centre and a Nursing Home and a few shops including a brand new Co-op on the site of the former Ship Inn still provide some local employment.

In 2017 a new Whisky distillery opened on the site of Lindores Abbey at the east end of Newburgh. This will produce Lindores Abbey whisky on the site where the earliest reference to "Aqua Vita" a form of Whisky was produced by the monks. The distillery incorporates a high quality event venue and offers catering and tours of the distillery and Abbey ruins.

After many years of lying derelict, the linoleum factory was completely demolished and cleared and its site is now a recreational waterfront linked to the Mugdrum Park and the Fife Coastal Path.

Newburgh was the birthplace in 1823 of Robert Hunter lexicographer and encyclopaedist.

The civil parish has a population of 2,171 (in 2011).


Newport-on-Tay is a small town in the north-east of Fife in Scotland, acting as a commuter suburb for Dundee. The Fife Coastal Path passes through Newport-on-Tay. The area itself is surrounded by views of the two bridges that cross the River Tay and distant views of the Scottish Highlands.

Scotland's Great Trails

Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.

The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.

Scottish Coastal Way

The Scottish Coastal Way is a proposed national long-distance trail that goes around the coastline of mainland Scotland. The idea was first proposed by walkers, and in November 2009 Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) hosted a conference on the subject. In 2010 SNH estimated that around 2,700 km of coastal paths and routes were existence, compared to a total coastline length of 10,192 km. The existing coastal paths were predominantly in the more populous parts of the country, and few coastal paths exist in more remote areas such as Highlands and Islands. It was recognised that a coastal route, along the lines of the Wales Coast Path, would have many positives, but that development of a fully waymarked route would conflict with conservation aims such as the preservation of the "wild land" qualities of much of the Scottish coast.

The right to responsible access to land allows people to access all of Scotland's coastline, and so there is no bar to a person wishing to walk the length of the coastline. Existing coastal paths are listed below. There is a long-term aspiration to link these routes up to develop a full Scottish Coastal Way by 2030.

Seafield Tower

Seafield Tower is a ruined castle on the North Sea coast of Fife in Scotland (grid reference NT279884). The monument is also referred to as a 'Medieval Tower House'.The tower is located on the route of the Fife Coastal Path.

St Monans

St Monans ( (listen), locally (listen)), often spelt St Monance, is a village and parish in the East Neuk of Fife and is named after the legendary Saint Monan. Situated approximately 3 miles west of Anstruther, this small community, whose inhabitants formerly made their living mainly from fishing, is now a tourist destination situated on the Fife Coastal Path. The former burgh rests on a hill overlooking the Firth of Forth, with views to North Berwick, the Bass Rock and the Isle of May. St Monans contains many historical buildings, including the now defunct windmill (which can be visited) that once powered a salt panning industry, and a 14th-century church that sits on the rocks above the water on the western side. Approximately ½ mile west of St Monans are the remains of Newark Castle, a 16th-century manor that has since fallen to ruin through cliff erosion and disrepair. In 2002, with the permission of Historic Scotland, an unsuccessful attempt to restore the castle was made.

The civil parish has a population of 1,357 (in 2011).

National Trails
(England and Wales)
Scotland's Great Trails
Long-distance path
(Northern Ireland)
Coastal paths of Great Britain

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