Fife Coastal Path: Mile 103.5 – 117 – Section 8 Balmerino to Newburgh
We decided to break the final section of the Fife Coastal Path (section 8) into shorter walks, this time walking from Balmerino to Newburgh to complete the 117 mile route. We took two cars, parking one at the end of the walk in Newburgh (car park next to Mugrum Park) and the other at Balmerino (next to the Abbey). There are buses, however the service particularly to Balmerino, is not frequent and although trains pass by Wormit and Newburgh there are no railway stations. For ideas using public transport see our previous blog post entitled Newport to Newburgh.
Planning the walk Balmerino to Newburgh
At this stage it is fair to say that this is not an easy walk. If you are thinking about attempting this section you should be well prepared. Good walking boots or stout shoes are recommended. This section of the walk is 11 miles long, much of it along rough farm or forest tracks. Parts of the path take the walker through fields, some of which have animals grazing. Dogs should be kept under control at all times. Some parts are fairly steep particularly around Norman’s Law as the path goes inland and does not follow the coastline. The weather is also changeable even in summer and you would be advised to pack waterproof clothing. Lastly it is advisable to have a map with you. If you don’t have one then click on the image at the bottom of the page. Fife Coast & Countryside Trust has also produced a useful guide which is also worth buying.
In summary you have to be fit, have the right clothing and when walking through fields where there is livestock shut all gates behind you. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 ensures everyone has access rights to most of Scotland’s outdoors, providing they behave responsibly and respectfully. For more details see The Scottish Outdoor Access Code
This part of Fife is very rural and although you pass through some lovely hamlets such as Creich and Brunton there are no shops or cafes and no public toilets. Walkers attempting this section should bring a backpack with enough food to last for the duration of the walk. There are few places to sit anywhere along the route so be prepared to sit, as we did, on a large boulder and eat your lunch.
Pleasant walk through rural countryside – don’t forget to look back
Despite the lack of amenities, this for me was a part of the walk I would not have missed. Starting at Balmerino head out along the beach path towards the woodland at Birkhill. The path takes you over bridges and dens until you pick up a farm track which takes you towards Creich and Brunton. At Creich there are the ruins of the castle. We stopped to talk to a friendly farmer who was returning a stray bullock to the field. After Creich and Brunton the path starts to climb towards Norman’s Law where the views down the Tay and over the North Fife countryside are fantastic. We saw lots of wildlife (see pictures below) Corn buntings, swallows and deer. As you walk through a wooded area and up over Glenduckie Hill you are treated to a great view up the Tay towards Newburgh. The final part of the walk takes you past the new Lindores Distillery, an extensive reed bed and along the shore to Newburgh.
The end of a 117 mile walk from Kincardine to Newburgh
The walk finishes in Mugrum Park where there is an archway the same as at the start of the walk at Kincardine. When we got to Newburgh we found some friendly faces who stopped to speak to us and one lady offered to take our picture at the end of the the walk.
Although there are welcome ports in Newburgh such as Bite n Blether and a few shops most shut at 5pm. If you get there after 5.00 there are not many places serving food.
On the Fife Coastal Path website it states that this part of the walk should take between 3-5 hours. Well you have to be a pretty fast walker to do it in three hours. It took us 6 hours but maybe we just like to take our time, stop and chat to people on the way and take lots of pictures!
This is a fantastic walk taking you to parts of Fife you would not otherwise visit. We have witnessed the building of the Queensferry Crossing, HMS Queen Elizabeth, learned about Fife’s mining past, visited the East Neuk fishing towns and the golfing mecca of St Andrews. The walk takes you past by the army base at Leuchars, Tentsmuir Forest, Tayport, Newport and the beautiful rural North Fife farms ending in Newburgh.
I would thoroughly recommend this walk to all. It is an unforgettable experience.
If you are thinking of visiting Fife and doing any part of the Fife Coastal Path why not stay with us at Sandcastle Cottage. The Fife Coastal Path passes by our front door at Crail as it winds its way towards Kingsbarns and St Andrews. For availability and prices click the book now button below
We look forward to welcoming you to Sandcastle Cottage.