Wednesday 17 June 2015
St Monans to St Andrews
Two buses back to St Monans and I started with a walk down the hill that the town is built on to the small harbour. St Monans, and all of the towns today, had a tidal swimming pool built into the rocks. It used to be the site of salt pans in the 1600s and these are still visible, along with the windmill above them.
Unfortunately it seemed that none of these pools were any longer subject to upkeep by the council which is a shame. Anstruther’s pool was at least being used by local school children who were having a kayaking lesson. I chatted to one of the instructors who told me to look out for a 250 million year old fossilised tree on the rocky shoreline but although I searched I couldn’t find it. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack among the millions of rocks. The coastal walk today was mostly on cliff tops between towns and it was a very pleasant and beautiful, but hilly, walk. Pittenweem was the next town and then Anstruther.
The sky was cloudy but at one point there seemed to be a halo of sunshine over the Isle of May, which is just off the coast here and can be visited on a boat trip from Anstruther.
Crail is the next picturesque little harbour town and I stopped here for a well-earned cream tea.
From Crail I headed past a disused airfield to Fife Ness. Rounding Fife Ness meant finally leaving the Forth behind and looking ahead to the Tay, it felt like I was getting somewhere. The scenery was stunning and it helped that the sun was coming out. I had reached another golf course, a posh one where there seemed to be more caddies than players and I definitely heard American accents. It didn’t prevent me from walking along the edge as the path was quite eroded in places. I was moving between beaches and links golf courses. It was amazing the different colours of sand on the beaches, some were white, one was grey, and some were yellow. I thought Cambo Sands at Kingsbarns was particularly beautiful. After walking up the small valley and crossing Kenly Water at Boarhills the path became a lot more rugged for the walk to St Andrews.
There were lots of ups and downs and a few places where the path seemed to have been eroded away and a bit of scrambling was required. It was sweaty walking but fun in the sunshine.
It had been another long day and I arrived at St Andrews just in time to have a quick look around the cathedral ruins before they closed. After that I rewarded myself with an icecream from the gelateria and then had just enough time to shop for some food before the last, and only, bus back to Ruth’s. A lovely day.