Fife Coastal Path
|Fife Coastal Path|
Fife Coastal Path signpost near Earlsferry
|Length||187 km (116 mi)|
|Designation||Scotland's Great Trails|
|Elevation gain/loss||1,865 metres (6,119 ft) gain|
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, then again in 2012 from Newburgh to Tayport. The path, which usually takes between one week and 10 days to walk in full, now runs for 187 kilometres (116 mi). The Fife Coastal Path is managed and maintained by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, a registered environmental charity, and is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. About 500,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 35,000 walk the entire route.
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, 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. 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.
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. 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.
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. This mark has subsequently been ratified by the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.
Towns and villages on the path
Listed from south to north (anti-clockwise):
- North Queensferry
- Dalgety Bay
- West Wemyss
- East Wemyss
- Lundin Links
- Lower Largo
- Elie and Earlsferry
- St Monans
- St Andrews
- "Trails Archive". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "About Us". Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 5. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
- "Wildlife". Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Harbourmaster's House". Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Fife Coastal Path". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Elie Chain Walk". Fife Council. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Fife Coastal Path Relay". Carnethy Hill Running Club. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
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