Exploring the Fife Coastal Path

On the weekend, James came to visit and we went for a lovely hike along the Fife Coastal Path. This time, we took the bus to Crail and walked back to Boarhills with a stop at the Kingsbarns Whisky Distillery.

From the village centre, it was a 3 minute walk and we were on the coastal path already. Before properly embarking on our hike, we made a stop at the empty playground and enjoyed swinging with an ocean view. Around Crail, the coastal path took a tarmac path through a holiday park, before becoming more wild. The views were already gorgeous though. Sandy beach, dark rocks and some low cliffs made for a dramatic coastline.

A little climbing stop en route

Me climbing up the rock outside Crail.

Soon after leaving the holiday park the path led across some meadows and right past a huge, rugged boulder. Upon closer inspection, there was a stile in the fence, allowing for easy access of the rock. We took that opportunity to scramble along the boulder and each do some rock climbing to the top of it. It was great fun to put our indoor bouldering experience into outside action!

After this little pit stop, we hiked on. The path now was much wilder. Always following the coastline, it led us through Kilminning Nature Reserve. We enjoyed a cup of tea from our thermos bottle on a bench, while soaking in the views. Waves were splashing up on rocks. This really gave us holiday vibes, and we needed to remind ourselves that we were just 10 miles from my home.

After having left Crail, the path was narrow, muddy and full of rocks.

We meandered along some golf courses (they are everywhere in Fife, literally!). The path was really narrow, with lots of small ups and downs on steps made of rocks. We passed along some dunes covered in Marram grass. Eventually, we decided to leave the dunes and go down on the rocky beach as it was low tide. Hopping from rock to rock and balancing across the pebbles reminded me of days at the beach in summer holidays. A bit further on, we walked across a vast and empty sandy beach. With the sun shining, this made for a sharp contrast to the snow-capped mountains we could see far in the distance. The ever-changing nature of that Fife Coastal Path really kept surprising us in the most enjoyable ways. Whenever we walked past a bit of rock or cliff-face, we’d stop and discuss how easy that would be to climb.

Fuelling at the distillery

James walking across the big, sandy beach.

Eventually, we left the beach, made our way past some huge rocks and across a stone beach, before getting back on a wide trail. We had planned to stop at the Kingsbarns Whisky Distillery and the map showed a path leading there directly from the coastal path. As it turned out, this “path” simply led us across a very muddy field with sheep on it. For some reason, I felt quite intimidated by them. They’d dash out of our way initially, but then gather on the side and start staring at us creepily.

The “path” to the distillery was really just walking across a field with sheep.

Anyway, we made it through the mud and across the field unharmed. James kept making fun of me for being more intimidated by sheep than by climbing up a rock. At the distillery (which was quite empty), we enjoyed a beer, a toastie and a whisky each. Just while we were sitting there, a massive rain shower came down outside. Lucky us for having gotten there just 10 minutes before!

Although I have never been a huge fan of whisky, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the one I tasted there. It seems that I am integrating myself in Scotland quite nicely, I guess!

On the way home, a rainbow appeared.

Eventually, the rain stopped and we decided to head back out and home. The sun came out every now and then from behind those big black clouds, and a rainbow appeared out on the sea. We now walked along the familiar bit of the coastal path, along some small and rocky sections, across a beach, past some ruins and up along Kenly Water towards Boarhills. It was a great day out and we really loved it. The next day, we could definitely feel those 15km in our legs.

 

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