I could make this one really quick,
Follow the path and soak up the views.
Walks in Scotland don't come much better than the Fife Coastal Path and this section from Lower Largo to St Monans is my favourite part so far. 9.5 miles of stunning beaches, cute villages and panoramic vistas. It should take between 3-4 hours but you will want to stop off and explore so many times you could easily make a full day of it. You can read about the other sections that I've completed in the Fife Coastal Path section of the blog.
The village of Lower Largo could easily be missed so, as you drive through Lundin Links, look out for the sign just before you turn left at the London Links Hotel. Follow the road past the Crusoe Hotel and the row of colourful houses until you reach the car park (free) on your left. The walk begins here but I'd highly recommend heading back into the centre and having a nosy as it's beautiful village. Famed for being the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration behind Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, there is a statue of the man himself on the Main Street above the door to the house where he lived. This is an artsy, creative little village and you'll see signs of this as you comb the area. Houses adorned with fishing ropes, nets and shells, carved woodwork (don't miss the totem pole on the seafront and the gates surrounding it), stain glass windows and art studios galore.
Walk past the cute little houses on your left, keeping the shore on your right. I love the fact they have their gardens across the road by the beach, imagine sitting here with a glass of wine watching the Scottish sunset! Serious house envy. You can choose next, if it's lowtide you can go along the beach or if the tide is in head up the hill to your left and walk along the old railway line. The tracks are no longer there but you can easily see where they once were. The beach is a long stretch of golden sand and as you leave the village behind there's a good chance you will have it all to yourself. This is quite a remote part of the coast, with fields and forest behind the old railway line blocking views of the road. You will pass the lime-rich dunes of the Dumbarnie Nature Reserve where, in the summer, you can spot many types of butterflies, invertebrates and rare plants. The path continues amoungst the dunes or you can return to the beach.
Staying on the high-tide route you'll come across some old tank traps from World War II and this is where I stopped for a cuppa and a wee sunbathe (it was an extremely hot day!) while admiring the views. As you get closer to Shell Bay, which I think has now been renamed Elie Caravan Park, look out for a tall signpost on your left hand side. Take the path over two bridges, which cross over the Cocklemouth Burn and head into the Caravan park.
You'll need a head for heights for the next bit but it's definitely worth the effort. The tarmac road leads through the park to a notice board beside the beach. Here you'll find a little bridge then the path climbs up some steep steps, winding higher and higher until you are walking along the top of the cliffs. The shore, sea cliffs and stacks here are amazing and as you reach the ruins of the World War II gun battery the panoramic view over the Fife countryside and out over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh is outstanding. I'd actually go as far as saying the best view of Fife I've found. If you are taking a picnic (which we did) eat it here, sitting on the grass while leaning against the wall and admiring the vast expanse of white sand, with the village of Elie curving around the north end and stretching out to the red and white lighthouse which juts into the water.
It was a beautiful day when I did this section and the beach was huge, empty and sparkling in the sun. The pup had a well deserved cool down in the water before we continued the path into Earlsferry and onto Elie. We called it a day here because Crusoe's had had enough, he's only little and he was ready for a good sleep, but we picked up the path again a couple of days later.
After walking through the pretty fishing village you'll reach Ruby Bay which, on another sunny and warm day, was heaving with dog walkers and people having picnics. Crusoe made some friends on the beach while we soaked up the rays before we headed off to make a start. Take the detour to get closer to Elie Lighthouse and you can also see Lady Tower which was built for Lady Anstruther as a summer house in the 1760's. The path here gets quite narrow in places but isn't as high as before and easy underfoot if you stay in single file. The ruins of Newark Castle are best appreciated from afar as the building is unstable now but it makes for some pretty photos perched on the edge of the cliffs. Climbs the steep set of steps to the doocot and follow the path into St Monans, another of Scotland's most beautiful fishing villages.
I loved every bit of this section of the Fife Coastal Path and I've a feeling it's only going to get better with
Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail coming up next. You'll need a head for heights at points and be brave too but if you can do it it's an amazing walk.
Just to point out also that when you leave Shell Bay there is an option to do a chain walk around the cliffs instead of climbing to the top and over but I've never done it and it's only for the very experienced as there has been fatal accidents here so do what I did and stick to the alternative.
Where is your favourite walk in Scotland? Have you walked any of this path? Let me know in the comments below 😃