The Fife coast

Just as I was beginning to think about a new project, I noticed a new edition of a book on the Fife Coastal Path, written by the legendary Hamish Brown. I was immediately transported in mind to the path I have known for sixty years, in days of sparkling sunshine, gunmetal-grey clouds, and the see-nothing haar.

The Fife Coastal Path has good transport connections along its length — the only area where there is a dearth of public transport is in the north, between Wormit and Newburgh, but if that is too far for your day, two days based in Cupar, with buses to Wormit and from Newburgh, may be attained with a taxi link from and to Brunton. The original route stopped at the Tay Bridge, thus avoiding the taxi question.

I shall readily admit that I have not walked every metre of the path, but I look forward to remedying that soon. In 1986, a friend and I tackled that northern section as part of a proposed Tay-Tyne Trek from St Andrews to Hexham: heavy snow (it was in March) meant that the walk had to be curtailed at Hawick — so we just renamed it the Tay-Teviot Trek (thus keeping the alliteration).

And if the cliffs and sands, the seabirds and St Andrews, the harbours and the occasional hill are not enough to tempt you onto the path, there are world-ranking chip shops and ice-cream parlours to tempt you. Welcome to the coast of Fife, that “beggar’s mantle, fringed with gold” (James VI and I).

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