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Explore castles, coast, heritage, and nature — Fife Coastal Path

Santa Cruiser (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Explore castles, coast, heritage, and nature — Fife Coastal Path

Hiking Collection by komoot

7-16

days

3-6 h

/ day

116 mi

4,275 ft

4,150 ft

The Fife Coastal Path explores a landscape of dramatic cliffs, hidden bays, wildlife-rich grasslands and forests, golden beaches, picturesque harbors, ancient caves, and countless castle ruins.

As the trail winds its way for 116 miles (187 kilometers) between the Forth and Tay estuaries, you experience an ever-changing landscape; with modern and centuries-old industry contrasting wonderfully with the classic coast and countryside you would expect.

History is everywhere along this trail, with each period leaving its own relics for you to discover. Whether it is the Wemyss Caves and their prehistoric wall carvings, the abundant 15th century castles, 18th century coal yards and salt mills, and much more besides, there is always something to take you back in time.

For the most part, the walking is flat along the Coastal Path and the paths are well-maintained and clearly waymarked. There are a few challenging sections and some parts that can only be completed at low tide. Follow the link below to check tide times.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing things about this trail is the exhilarating Elie Chainwalk. On this epic two-hour challenge, you scramble along cliff sides; clinging onto chains attached to the cliffs. If this does not sound like your thing, though, don’t worry—it is optional.

In this Collection, we split the Fife Coastal Path into eight stages. Of course, you can split up each stage into as many days as you are comfortable with. You can also walk any single stage, or a couple of stages, in isolation.

Every stage finishes close to accommodation, even if there are only a few options nearby. However, places to stay are not always abundant so it is worth planning in advance and scheduling any rest days accordingly.

If you are planning to arrive by public transport, you can catch a train to Larbert railway station, which is served by direct trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh and has connecting services around the UK. You would then need to catch X27 bus service to Kincardine.

To get home, you would need to catch either the 94 bus service to Ladybank railway station (choose this for Edinburgh connections), or the 36 bus service to Perth railway station (better for Glasgow), depending on where your ultimate destination is. Both have good links around the UK

If you are planning to arrive by car, your best bet is to negotiate with a hotel or B&B a rate to stay for a night either side of your hike in Kincardine.

To get back, you would need to catch the 36 bus from Newburgh to Glenrothes and then the X24 bus service back to Kincardine. Alternatively, you could find long-stay parking in Edinburgh and follow the public transport instructions above.

For more information about the Fife Coastal Path, visit: fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk.
For tide times, visit: bbc.co.uk/weather/coast_and_sea/tide_tables/7.
For train timetables and tickets, visit: thetrainline.com.
For the X27 bus timetable, visit: stagecoachbus.com/routes/east-scotland/x27/glasgow-leven/xhax027.o.
For the 94 bus timetable, visit: stagecoachbus.com/routes/east-scotland/94/st-andrews-newburgh/xhco094.i.
For the 36 bus timetable, visit: stagecoachbus.com/routes/east-scotland/36/perth-glenrothes/xhbo036.i.
For the X24 bus timetable, visit: bustimes.org/services/x24-glasgow-airport-st-andrews.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    04:51
    11.7 mi
    2.4 mph
    350 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This first stage of the Fife Coastal Path affords an unusual mix of industry, heritage, and wildlife-rich countryside.

    From Kincardine, you head inland through farmland and will see Longannet Power …

  • Difficult
    07:09
    17.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    650 ft
    625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With crumbling castles, iconic symbols of Scottish engineering, picturesque beaches, and nature reserves, the variety truly is abundant on this stage.

    From Limekilns, you emerge into farmland and will see …

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  • Difficult
    06:25
    15.3 mi
    2.4 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Haunted ruins, ancient caves, pretty harbors, and plenty of heritage make this an interesting stage.

    From Burntisland, the trail follows the shoreline to Kinghorn, and onto Linktown and Kirkcaldy. If …

  • Intermediate
    04:40
    11.5 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage passes a picturesque beach, explores a rare grassland nature reserve, and has an exhilarating chain walk along cliffs.

    As you leave the industrial and urbanized areas of Methil …

  • Difficult
    05:59
    14.6 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Coastal views, historic ruins, and a rough terrain dominate this stunning stage.

    From Elie, you walk around Sauchar Point, passing Elie Ness Lighthouse and the ruins of Lady’s Tower, a …

  • Difficult
    05:55
    14.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    450 ft
    425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage explores a breathtakingly-beautiful stretch of the Fife Coastal Path.

    The terrain along this stage can be challenging in places and includes some tidal sections. As such, you should …

  • Difficult
    05:41
    13.8 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage explores the vast and glorious expanse of Tentsmuir; a pine forest, golden beach, and a wildlife-rich nature reserve.

    From Luechars, you are soon into Tentsmuir Forest, which covers …

  • Difficult
    07:54
    17.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Contrasting scenery, atmospheric castle ruins, and a tough terrain make for a challenging yet rewarding final stage.

    With more ascent and descent than previous stages, as well as a hefty …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    116 mi
  • Duration
    48:36 h
  • Elevation
    4,275 ft4,150 ft

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Explore castles, coast, heritage, and nature — Fife Coastal Path