Round Britain: Edinburgh to Lundin Links

We left Edinburgh on a bright sunny morning to start our journey around the coast of Britain. We crossed the Forth on the relatively new Queensferry Crossing. The bridge was in the news recently when three cars had their windscreens smashed by falling ice. Fortunately this was not a problem today but it did make me wonder how other countries design their bridges to avoid this. Perhaps we should seek some assistance from Scandinavia.

Over the bridge and now in Fife we turned left along the coast. On Dalgety Bay at the east end of the town lie the ruins of St Bridget’s Kirk. The church was built around 1178 to serve as the parish church of Dalgety. Worship was arranged by the Augustinian Canons of Inchcolm Abbey which lies on an island in the Forth. The church remained in use after the Protestant Reformation in 1560, though it was significantly altered for Protestant worship. It was abandoned in 1830 when the congregation was moved to another church. From the road it took us a while to locate the path down to it which is down a narrow alley off a residential street. It is more easily found from the Fife Coastal Path which passes closer by.

Close to the church is Crow Wood which was devoid of crows this morning because they were all feeding in a field above the bay. East of Dalgety Bay is the Exxon oil terminal but the next town along the coast is Aberdour.

After a coffee we walked down to the shore. Most of the residential streets had ‘Private Street’ notices, advising that only residents can park there, an indication of how busy the town can get in high season. Aberdour has a ruined castle (the coast here has many of them).

We walked along part of the coastal path to Hawkcraig Point where there is a small lighthouse.

Lunch was had at the Silver Sands, a beach west of the town where a lonely sandcastle sat by the sea. Plenty of others were under construction on the beach.

The coast road continues through Burntisland, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy which has a large flour mill on the seafront. Further on is Dysart, Wemyss, Buckhaven and Methil. Inland from the road is Clatto Hill which is all of 248m, only one metre higher than Mow Cop near home. In Methil, a bridge crosses the Leven. Until 1821, the only bridge across the river was the Cameron Brig on the main Kirkcaldy – Cupar road. In that year, a pedestrian suspension bridge was built at Leven. It was replaced by a three-arched stone bridge in 1840. The toll to cross this bridge was a Scottish halfpenny, or bawbee Even though the stone bridge was replaced by a single-span bridge in 1957, it is still known locally as the Bawbee Brig. A little further on was Lundin Links which has a campsite for our first night’s stop. It is on the slope of Leven Law which is a slightly more respectable 290m.

One thought on “Round Britain: Edinburgh to Lundin Links

  1. The Fife Coastal Path is a Scottish long distance footpath that runs from Kincardine to Newburgh along the coastline of Fife. The path was created in 2002, originally running from North Queensferry to Tayport. It was extended in 2011 with a new section running from Kincardine to North Queensferry, then again in 2012 from Newburgh to Tayport. The path, which usually takes between one week and 10 days to walk in full, now runs for 187 kilometres (116 mi). The Fife Coastal Path is managed and maintained by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, a registered environmental charity, and is designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. About 500,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 35,000 walk the entire route.Places of historic interest along the route include Aberdour Castle, Macduff’s Castle near East Wemyss, Wemyss Castle, and Pitmilly, a former estate associated with the Moneypenny family. On the southern bank of the river Tay between the historic rail bridge, scene of one of the greatest rail disasters in Britain and the 19 road bridge, lies the historic town of Newport. Here you will pass the ferry terminal built by Telford, before passing the historic posting house building (built 1806), which now houses the Tatha gallery, named after the Gaelic for the River Tay. Along the way a range of diverse wildlife such as porpoises, dolphins and puffins may also be seen. The focal point of the Fife Coastal Path is the Harbourmaster’s House, in Dysart, which was used as a location during the filming of Outlander. The building now houses a visitor centre and cafe, as well as being the head offices of the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.The path includes a short (c. 0.5 km) optional section known as the Elie chainwalk, between Kincraig Point and Earlsferry to the west of Elie. This route, which should only be used during low tides, has chains fixed to the cliffs and rocks of the shore to assist progress, and is sometimes referred to as Scotland’s secret via ferrata. At times, short vertical climbs are necessary, although most of the chains are positioned to provide support while walking. The chains were first installed in the 19, and were replaced in 2010. An alternative, more straightforward route runs along the clifftop above.On 5 October 2013, a team of 6 runners from Carnethy Hill Running Club in Edinburgh set a mark of 15 hours and 10 minutes running continuously in stages along the 187-km length, starting at Kincardine at m and finishing in Newburgh at 6.m. This mark has subsequently been ratified by the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.

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