Everything you need to know about walking the Fife Coastal path

Picture: Fife Coastal Path''North Queensferry beneath the Forth Rail bridge, TSPL
Picture: Fife Coastal Path''North Queensferry beneath the Forth Rail bridge, TSPL
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Discover the East Neuk and beyond this summer

What is it?

The Fife Coastal Path stretches from Forth Estuary in the south to the Tay Estuary in the north, spanning 177 miles along the shore.

Each corner holds another secret to discover – historic castles and caves, quaint fishing villages and award-winning beaches. With rugged cliffs, internationally important estuaries and wildlife reserves, walking the Fife Coastal Path is an experience not to be missed.

The coastal centre, located in the basement of Crail’s three-storey Harbourmaster’s House building, is designed to encourage people to explore the many features of the Fife Coastal Path and is a great starting point.

Historical points of interest

The route is full of historical sites, including pre-historic caves and castles. St Andrews, towards the end of the walk, is home to its namesake ancient university, a ruined castle and a cathedral.

Aberdour also has a castle and Crail is the oldest of the East Neuk burghs, becoming a royal burgh in the 12th century and developing around the harbour and its 12th century castle.

Read more: 25 great Scottish walks with stunning scenery

Things to look out for

The walk is full of wonderful views of the coast, dramatic cliffs, bay and dunes. Walkers may also catch a glimpse of the Forth Bridges.

The fishing villages of the East Neuk, such as Anstruther and Crail, are postcard pretty and there’s plenty of award-wining beaches along the way.

Where to eat?

As you can imagine, seafood and fish are the dish of the day along this stretch of coast.

Anstruther is home to a famous fish bar, which has seen more than a few celebrity visits in its time. Whereas Janetta’s in St Andrews is ideal for an ice-cream pit stop.

St Monans has the charming East Pier Smokehouse, but if you’d rather treat yourself to fine dining, then head to the Cellar in Anstruther or the famed Peat Inn in Cupar.

There are also a host of cosy pubs along the way, which will provide a needed pick me up over lunch or dinner.

Kit required

Good walking boots, waterproofs, fleece, layers of clothing, water bottle, compass, midge/insect repellent, a hat and a map.

Best time of year to do it?

Although you can undertake the Coastal Path at any time, the best time is when the weather is at its driest (although Scotland can experience four seasons in one day!) Between April and June is ideal, although the autumn will make for some stunning photographs.

Read more: Everything you need to know about walking the Southern Upland Way