Day 72 East Neuk of Fife (Part 1)

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Kirkcaldy to St Monans
23 miles
Ruth’s house

I was up early to catch a bus to Leuchars and train to Kirkcaldy, where I promptly bought a coffee to set me on my way. Not much to note about Kirkcaldy, although there were a few plaques dotted about as a reminder that it was here that Robert Nairn designed and manufactured linoleum floor tiles. Not the most exciting claim to fame. I headed through Ravenscraig Park and into Dysart, an old coal mining town with a small harbour once owned by a rich man who built a big wall around his property to keep the peasants out. Nice.  

Dysart coal mining memorial
 The path goes through the tunnel he created in the rock for a rail line to reach the harbour.  
Mind your head through the tunnel to the harbour
 The next stretch involved a few ups and downs as the path alternated between shore and woodland with sandstone cliffs starting to appear. West Wemyss is a pretty town purpose built for workers on the Wemyss Estate. It has some lovely art work on the sandstone cliff.  

West Wemyss modern cliff art
  
And there’s more!
 I walked along the shore, beneath Wemyss Castle, past Coaltown of Wemyss and into East Wemyss. This was also once a mining community and is the site of several caves containing artwork from our distant ancestors. The cave I looked in had lots of danger signs, brick columns propping it up, was full of rubbish and sporting some artwork that looked a lot more recent than the information board had suggested! 
One of the East Wemyss caves with ancient artwork inside
 I reached Buckhaven and immediately walked past a bakery; I felt compelled to try its fare. I can highly recommend Stuart’s Bakery, which is purportedly the world champion scotch pie maker and UK sausage champion! I ate neither, but their rhubarb pie is amazing, so good I had to go back for an apple tart as well. 

Feeling refreshed I headed through the town to Leven and Largo Bay. I had a choice of walking on the beach or the footpath through the dunes by the side of the golf course (the first of many for the next 3 days). I always assumed that a links golf course was just a course by the sea, but I have learned that “links” refers to the type of soil and terrain (coastal sand dunes) that is particularly suited to golf. Well I never. 

Lower Largo is a pretty little town whose cottages reminded me of Robin Hood’s Bay, which is probably why lots of the windows had holiday home signs in them. The walking was fairly easy as Fife council has mostly done a good job signposting the Fife Coastal Path. The views across the Forth were through a haar (mist) so the hills around Edinburgh were a mixture of blues and greys.  

A different sort of artwork on the Lundin Links near Lower Largo
 I arrived at Earlsferry and this was the first town of the area known as East Neuk of Fife that stretches around the corner of Fife to St Andrews. I found these towns to be quite picturesque and quiet; lovely places to live I thought. Earlsferry in particular had some rather large houses backing into the beach and the sea at Chapel Ness looked very inviting for a swim on a muggy day. But there were other people about and I didn’t have my swimming costume with me so I resisted the temptation to strip off and dive in.  
Looking back at the pretty town of Elie
 I walked through Earlsferry, Elie and on to St Monans, where I caught 2 buses back to Ruth’s house.  

 It had been a long day but the sun had come out in the afternoon and the scenery improved as I went along.  

The biggest poppies ever growing near Elie
 

2 thoughts on “Day 72 East Neuk of Fife (Part 1)

  1. jomunday99 June 21, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    She’s back! Hurrah! 23 miles is a whopper. And who is Ruth please? Looking forward to my binge blog to bring me up date

    Like

  2. Chris Frazer June 27, 2015 / 4:40 am

    Grey and bland….not pleasant walking weather but the chance of cake kept you going. Welcome back the adventure continues…. I have missed my daily update.

    Like

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