For those of you that do not know, the Fife Coastal Path is, unsurprisingly, a coastal walking path that leads from North Queensferry (across the water from Edinburgh) right up to Balmerino (across the water from Dundee). It is a beautiful walk, that takes you through quaint sea-side towns that otherwise an individual may have otherwise not even heard of. It also, however, includes the famous town of Anstruther, known for the best fish and chip shop in Scotland.
The section we travelled took us from St Monans to Crail. It was a very windy day, but still very sunny, which was wonderful for walking along the coastline. Just outside of St Monans we found ourselves at a very hidden little beach - probably one of the most beautiful and tiny beaches I've come across. It looked untouched by man. The peace and quiet was swiftly broken by Jimmy, bounding in and out of the water (I swear he was a fish in another life...).
*Stunning hidden gem of a beach just outside St Monans*
*Jimmy enjoying a paddle*
We next reached Pittenweem, a small fishing village, host to one of the most respected arts festivals in Scotland, and full of cute, white cottages gleaming in the sea's reflection. Though it was a short walk through here, simply following the path and not allowing time to enjoy the town, we did stop in the park for a small rest and some photo opportunities before continuing.
Now, when we hit the town of Anstruther, we made a little error. Some of the signs for the Fife Coastal Path are old, and in need of replacement (which in my opinion just adds to the frozen-in-time feelings of the towns along the walk). We were walking through the town, still following alongside the water, when we couldn't see signs any more. As anyone would do, we took the initiative and stayed with the path/road that stuck by the water. A short while later, we found ourselves at a small bay, with no way to connect to the other side. The choices: test the waterproofing of our footwear and wade through, hoping the water wasn't too deep, or turn back. Can you guess which we chose? (If you've read my post regarding the walk up Schiehallion, you'll know my Dad and I don't turn back). Yup, we waded, much to Jimmy's delight. The water wasn't ridiculously deep, but my Dad's walking trainers were wrecked - but this was a great test of my walking boots, as my feet managed to stay completely dry, even though the water was almost above the top boot line! Result!
Once we hit the other side and managed to pull ourselves over the wall, we continued into the town centre. Now, as I said at the beginning, Anstruther is known worldwide for its fantastic fish and chip shop. Our plan was to have some - but there was, of course, a queue. A very long queue. One day I will try those fish and chips (as a Fifer myself, its ludicrous that I haven't tried them yet!), but with wet feet and a restless dog, we decided to give it a miss, and just sat for a while, enjoying the small beach in the middle of busy Anstruther.
On the last stretch between Anstruther and Crail, we came across these massive cave-like structures, that I had never even heard of before! They were incredible! Large, colourful rocks that had been shaped by the weather towered over us, The beauty of things you can see once you're away from towns, cities and roads.
Eventually, we rounded the corner and were relieved by the beautiful full-view of Crail, bathing in the low sunlight. My Mum came to pick us up, and we enjoyed a chip shop tea overlooking the harbour in Crail, as the sun set. Perfect end to a perfect day.
There are many beautiful places in Fife to explore - it is a very large county, and you'll see from this post and from some of my photographs from where I grew up (Newport-on-Tay) that the sunsets alone are worth the visit. You're never too far from a large city or town either, making it a perfect place for a short or long stay. If you are interested in the Fife Coastal Path, do check out this dedicated website for more information: http://www.fifecoastalpath.co.uk/
Let me know what you think in the comments. Has anyone walked the Fife Coastal Path before, or maybe lives in one of these beautiful towns?
*NOTE: Some of the sunset and beach photos, I couldn't quite make out where the exact location was (which town, between which towns etc). Any of you who know the area(s), do let me know and I can shuffle them around a little!
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