The first section of the Fife Coastal Path starts from Kincardine Bridge and ends at the Waterloo Monument in North Queensferry and stretches 16.7 miles. It should take roughly 4 to 6 hours to walk and is quite easy with most of the paths in really good condition. It's a big stretch for some people so you could spend the night in Culross or Dunfermline or even stop for a nice long lunch to relax and re-energise.
The path begins at Kincardine Bridge. Built in 1936, at the time it was the largest swing bridge in Europe, and although it no longer swings it still stands impressively next to the lovely little village of Kincardine.
Although the walk doesn’t take you through Kincardine I would recommend taking time to have a look around, it's full of character and charm and certain parts look like they haven’t been touched since the 1800’s. We had a lovely walk through, my daughter had a play at the park while I explored the small roads and alleys, we then headed down towards the rail track to the first Coastal Path board where there are really good views of the bridge and the Power station.
From here you head east past the Longannet Power station and walk around the edge of Torry Bay local Nature Reserve where there are artificial lagoons made from the ash from the Power station. You then meet up with the railway and walk alongside it until you reach the Village of Culross.
Culross is a stunning example of Scotland in the 17th and 18th century. Like a time warp, the small village is filled with cobbled roads, tiny alleyways and old, untouched buildings. Culross Palace has been fully restored and painted in the original mustard yellow colour, and the gardens are filled with fruit, veg and herbs. The Town Hall is also open to visitors. If there is anywhere along this section of the path you want to stop and relax for a while and maybe have lunch make sure it is Culross, it is by far the best part of this section, and take time to explore, it really is fascinating.
We stopped for lunch here in the Biscuit Café which is an official Welcome Port if you are travelling the Fife Coastal Path. We had really nice soup and cake upstairs in what I presume is a converted 17th century house, and the small funky garden around the back must be beautiful to sit out in on a warm day. Remember to watch out for the Cheshire cat smile!
Continuing on, you will pass through Newmills and Torryburn before reaching Charlestown, which was built in 1700 and designed by Charles Bruce, the 5th Earl of Elgin, who built the village in the shape of an “E”. You will also pass Limekilns, which unlike Charlestown is a very old village, dating back to the 14th Century. In both villages you can stop to look at he ruins of the old Kilns., before heading along the path again along the Promanade and past the gorgeous little harbor.
Past the ruins of old Rosyth Church, there is a bit of a steep climb but that is as bad as it gets, the majority of this section is very easy to walk. You will also pass the Naval Base at Rosyth, which I found fascinating because I had no idea it was so big, I knew it was a shipyard but had no idea Rosyth was actually a Naval town, before heading down to North Queensferry, taking you under the road bridge to the Waterloo monument. You will get some fantastic views of both the bridges and also see how the new Queensferry Crossing, the third bridge, is progressing.
So that is section one completed, and it was a beautiful walk through villages that although I knew were there, I had never visited before. Culross was a definite highlight. I also love visiting the bridges. The walk itself was really good, there was plenty of toilets, cafes and shops along the way. When and if you are doing this walk make sure to look out for these signs, which are dotted along the way and ensure you are going in the right direction.