Walking the Fife Coastal Path – Kingsbarns to St Andrews

This year, we’ve been trying to walk the whole 117 miles of the Fife Coastal Path, from Kincardine round to Newburgh.  To date, one or more members of our family have managed to reach from Kincardine round to Kingsbarns, so our July holiday in Crail has seen us set an objective to try to complete the last three sections – 6, 7 and 8 on the handy Footprint Map which has acted as our guide.

Fife Coastal Path

Slender Scotch Burnet Moth on Cornflower

As we were walking with our 13-year old, we decided that we’d set off from Kingsbarns rather than Crail so that we made sure that we could achieve the section, which we knew from previous experience, can be a little challenging in parts.  This section is also billed as one of the more remote sections of the path, although recent golf course development has made this billing seem rather more of a fantasy than reality.  Mind you, if you were to sustain an injury on any of the rocky sections, it would no doubt feel very remote!

Fife Coastal Path

View over poppies to golden barley fields and ruined cottage beyond

We parked at The Square in Kingsbarns, intending to return by bus from St Andrews.  We walked towards the coast, joining the coastal path at the Cambo Sands car park, and turning left to head for St Andrews.  The path is well marked, following the coast for most of the way, with an inland section at Boarhills which follows a stream through woodland until you reach a bridge where you may cross the stream, then heading round Burnside Farm and returning to the coast after passing to the north of the farm. We knew that there were no refreshment stops en route, and that we should take sandwiches and drinks with us as it was likely to take most of the day at our pace to reach St Andrews.  Having set off at 10 am, when the Kingsbarns Parish Church clock was striking the hour, we reached Jannetta’s in South Street at around 3:45 pm.  We’d stopped a couple of times on the way – once at Buddo Rock and the second time at the Rock and Spindle.  The path was billed as 7.5 miles from Cambo Sands, and we’d added maybe a mile or so to that by starting inland and finishing in the middle of the town.

Fife Coastal Path

Buddo Rock on the Fife Coastal Path

Highlights were the different flowers in bloom along the path, seeing the poppies at the edge of the golden barley fields and enjoying the sea air.  Low points were finding the Castle Course clubhouse had been built just above the Rock and Spindle, which had seemed a remote place the last time we’d visited.  This is a great walk, with the addition of the woodland section inland at Boarhills providing variety and shade on a hot day.  There is a bit of scrambling over rocky parts and a bit of up and down walking between Boarhills and St Andrews to escape the rocky coast, but all in all a most enjoyable walk, and definitely one we’ll do again.

Fife Coastal Path

Inland on the Fife Coastal Path at Boarhills towards the bridge over the Kenly Burn

Fife Coastal Path

View towards St Andrews with Rock and Spindle in foreground

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