Walking the Fife Coastal Path – Section 2
We were really fortunate to walk the Limekilns to Inverkeithing section of the 117-mile long Fife Coastal Path on a glorious day in May 2016, which helped to make this walk memorable.For the western sections of this end of the Fife Coastal Path, we’ve worked out that parking a car near Dunfermline bus station and then getting a bus to/from the end points of our walks works well. To plan our walks we used the Traveline Scotland bus app, and on this occasion caught the Number 8 bus to Limekilns where we’d ended Section 1. Here’s the sight which we saw when we set off: blue skies certainly meant we had a spring in our step.
From Limekilns we could see over the Forth to Blackness, where Blackness Castle stands. Sometimes referred to as “the ship that never sailed”, you can really see the ship-like shape of the Castle. We wrote about this in a blog post for our Edinburgh holiday cottage (Inspired by Outlander?).
At this point the path is easy to follow, skirting the coast, but soon turns inland as we head towards Rosyth. We were walking along the edges of fields full of green barley, listening to the birds singing and enjoying the sunshine.
The reason that the coastal path does not hug the coast at this point is that Rosyth Dockyard is in the way, and at present there are large aircraft carriers being built there. We could just see the top of the cranes in the distance.
Unfortunately this means that at times it’s necessary to walk along busy roadsides. The A985 at this point is quite noisy and traffic is travelling fast, so be sure to stay on the pavement.
You’ll find signposts taking you from the roadside off to the right and down through a little local woodland heading through a housing estate. On the way, you’ll find the Doo’cot for Rosyth Castle which has distinct crow-stepped gables. It sits in a local nature reserve and there are signs nearby telling the story of its history.
The Coastal Path at this point also shares pathways belonging to local Heritage Trails.
It’s not possible to visit Rosyth Castle, but we could see it over the road, at which point we turned left and followed the roadway in the direction of the Forth Bridges.
From our walk we could see over the reed beds at St Margaret’s Hope towards the Queensferry Crossing which was still under construction during our May 2016 walk.
There were lots of large construction vehicles and bridge ways to go under as we walked, but the construction work was respectful of the need to keep the walkways open and we soon progressed past and under the Forth Road Bridge heading towards North Queensferry. It was good to see the progress being made, and we hope to complete this walk again soon and see the bridge in its finished state!
When you reach North Queensferry there are a few different options for a little light refreshment, but over the years we’ve enjoyed Rankins Deli most (indeed it’s often been the end point of other walks across the Forth Road Bridge!)
From Rankin’s, having enjoyed our delicious lunch, we headed up to the ‘original’ starting point of the Fife Coastal Path, looking up to the Forth Bridge which was granted World Heritage status as Scotland’s 6th UNESCO World Heritage site in summer 2015. At this stage of the walk, we’re also walking through the Carlingnose Point Nature Reserve.
It’s worth heading a little off the path here to find the vantage points for spectacular views across the Forth. Here, we’re looking towards St David’s Harbour and can see Burntisland and islands in the Forth.
In the far distance, looking a little more like Hong Kong through my lens, I could see the Maid of the Forth making her way back from a trip to Inchcolm. We’ve taken a trip out to the island from South Queensferry in the past.
We also saw excellent views towards Arthur’s Seat, and Calton Hill in the distance.
As we rounded the point we could see the town of Inverkeithing, where we headed next to catch the Number 7 bus back to our starting point at Dunfermline Bus Station.
Stay at Sandcastle Cottage and walk the Fife Coastal Path
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our walks along the 117-mile Fife Coastal Path. If you’d like to base yourself at Sandcastle Cottage in Crail to spend some of your holidays walking, then we’d be very happy to welcome you there. Take a look around our website for more ideas, or if you’re ready to book, here’s a handy link: