Fife Coastal Path
Fife Coastal Path ~ 63 miles (101 km) ~ 5 days walking
On the Fife Coastal Path, you will experience dramatic cliffs and caves, rocky seashores, miles of sandy beaches, numerous lovely fishing villages with quaint harbours, ancient castles and stunning sea views across the Firth of Forth to the Pentland Hills, Edinburgh, Bass Rock and the Isle of May. Why not add an additional day at the start of the walk to experience the capital city of Edinburgh? Take this opportunity to visit iconic sites like Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, the perfect chance to see the best of what Scotland has too offer!
The area is a haven for wildlife, with basking seals and many varieties of seabirds including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, terns, oystercatchers and eider ducks.
The Coastal Path starts in North Queensferry, a small town on the north shore of the Forth Estuary, at the foot of the mighty Forth Bridge, which has been a prominent feature of the coastline since 1890. The route follows the coastline to end at the historic university town of St Andrews and is way-marked over a mixture of rough paths, sandy beaches, surfaced promenades and roadside footpaths, suitable for walkers of all ages and abilities.
For those looking for a little more of a challenge, there’s the option to walk an extended route beginning in Kincardine-on-Forth and ending at Newburgh, which is a total of 117 miles (188km).
EasyWays’ Fife Coastal Path offers the best of coastline walking with overnights in beautiful locations including Elie and Crail where the influence of trading with the Netherlands in the 1700s is evident in the local architecture.
The destination town of St. Andrews is named after Scotland’s Patron Saint and is also known as the ‘Home of Golf’, boasting 7 golf courses including the Old Course, the most famous course in the World. However St Andrews has much more to offer than that, with miles of golden sandy beaches just a few minutes’ walk from the historic town centre. The University opened more than 500 years ago, is one of the oldest in Britain and houses a beautiful botanic garden with the ruins of the 12th century Cathedral Church of St. Andrew and the 13th century castle dominating a truly spectacular coastline.
EasyWays recommends an additional overnight in St Andrews in order to fully appreciate all the town has to offer.
Are you interested in this walking tour? Then Fill out our enquiry form today. Our team would be delighted to hear from you.
Fife Coastal Path ~ 63 miles (101 km) ~ 5 days walking
Easyways Suggested Itinerary
Click each day to expand.
Arrive North Queensferry
North Queensferry offers a location to enjoy great views of the Firth of Forth. The pier is home to Queensferry Light Tower, the smallest one in the world of its kind that is still in use. Find out about its fascinating history where until 1964, the pier was the main port for ferries crossing the Forth. These days, boats set off from North Queensferry to tour the bridges, wildlife, and the islands of the Forth including the Bass Rock. If time permits it is also possible to walk across the Forth Road Bridge to South Queensferry with its equally quaint streets and many pub/restaurants for a different aspect of this river location.
North Queensferry to Burntisland (12 miles / 19 km)
Continue on through North Queensferry (named after a ferry service between Dunfermline and Edinburgh Castle that was established at the request of Queen Margaret in the 11th century) to the ancient burgh of Inverkeithing, then on past the modern estate of Dalgety Bay to Aberdour with St Finnan’s Church and the 12th Century Castle. Finish the day by walking around Aberdour’s Silver Sands and ending at Burntisland. This section offers fantastic views to Edinburgh and Inchcolm Island across the Firth of Forth.
Burntisland to Leven (16 miles / 26 km)
A seafront walk to begin, alongside the east coast railway line, beside the main A921 road to pass Pettycur Bay Caravan Park dominating the inland skyline before reaching Kinghorn. Follow the waymarked signs through the town to regain the beach coastline and road as before and on to Kirkcaldy. Walk along the town Esplanade and up over the steep rise to regain the coastline on past Buckhaven and Methil to reach Leven. This section includes the lovely harbour at Dysart and Macduff’s Castle, built in the 11th century at the time of King MacBeth.
Leven to Elie (10 miles / 16 km)
A short section today from Leven to pass Lundin Links and Lower Largo (home of Alexander Selkirk, author of Robinson Crusoe) on mainly coastline and beach, walking round the curve of Largo Bay to enter Elie by first encountering the climb above the impressive basalt cliffs at Kincraig Headland and taking the path around the town golf course. Note that a part of this route is chain linked along the coast and can be inaccessible at high tide. Alternatively the old railway line can be used as an alternative inland route finder.
Elie to Crail (11 miles / 18 km)
Depart Elie by the coastal path at Ruby Bay, to reach the Auld Kirk at the western end of St. Monans, said to be the closest church to the sea in the UK. Walk on to St. Monans harbour, with its fishing boats and continue to Pittenweem, one of the most picturesque of the East Neuk villages. Continue along the sea front reaching the golf course by the shore to reach Anstruther, the largest of the fishing villages in the area then on through the town to emerge at secluded Cellardyke harbour, with excellent views over the Forth to the Isle of May and the Bass Rock. Walk on over beach and path to soon visible Crail (made a Royal Burgh by Robert the Bruce in 1310) and it’s beautiful harbour.
Crail to St. Andrews (14 miles / 22.5 km)
The remotest part of the Path, leaving Crail to the round headland of Fife Ness, past Kingsbarns and on to St Andrews. This section is predominately coastline, traversing the most eastern part of the Kingdom of Fife, with a few inland sections through farmland and one longer stretch through woods to cross the Kenly Water. Passing Cambo Woods and on from Kingsbarns, the route is particularly enjoyable (and at times challenging as it crosses boulder strewn parts of the coast) towards St Andrews, with the Cathedral spires and University Buildings in the distance. The final few miles are alongside a golf course to enter the town past a caravan leisure park, swimming pool and the small harbour at Kinkell Braes. As before some sections are by chain path and at times impassable at high tide.
Whether you finish your walk in St Andrews or choose to continue on to Newport-on-Tay, we recommend that you take the time to explore St Andrews before leaving the “Kingdom of Fife”.
St Andrews to Newport-on-Tay (18.5 miles / 29 km) ~ Optional
This stage of the Fife Coastal Path begins with a long stretch along the cycle route adjacent to the road from St Andrews to Guardbridge. After Leuchars the route becomes more attractive before the Tentsmuir plantations lead on to Tayport. The historic location of the Old Course with the world famous Clubhouse and Swilcan Bridge makes for a wonderful beginning to the day before reaching the hedged pathway alongside the main A91 road to Guardbridge, the lowest bridging point on the River Eden, dating from 1419. Continue on through Leuchers village past the RAF base and Earlshall Castle to follow the track into the woods and over grassy bog land by a series of boardwalks Thereafter the track heads into Tentsmuir Forest and Reserve to emerge at Tayport. Walk on past both East and West Lighthouses, with fantastic views over the River Tay to Dundee, and pass through a tunnel under the Tay Road Bridge to end at Newport-on-Tay.
Prices from – £800 per person
Single supplement – On request
- 6 nights’ accommodation for 2 people sharing in quality B&Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels. Rooms with shower/wc (where available)
- Door to door baggage transfer to each stage – maximum 18 kg per bag
- Rucksack Readers Guide Book
- Location details for each accommodation
- Travel information to the start and from the finish of the walk
- Suggested equipment list
- Emergency support
What’s not included?
- Evening meals, packed lunches and drinks
- Travel insurance
STAGES & DISTANCES
(OPTIONAL EXTRA STAGES SHOWN IN BRACKETS)
8 miles – 13 km
4 miles – 6 km
3 miles – 5 km
5 miles – 8 km
10 miles – 16 km
10 miles – 16 km
6 miles – 10 km
5 miles – 8 km
14 miles – 22.5 km
(18.5 miles – 29 km)
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