Walk 3 - Kirkcaldy to Elie
Walk 3 started with the short bus trip from Inverkeithing to Kirkcaldy; I was off the bus by 8.40am, and looking forward to walking to Lower Largo, from where I could get a bus to take me home. The weather was once again fine walking weather (dry with some clouds and not too warm), and I walked back down to the coast in just a few minutes. The path takes you past Ravenscraig Castle.
The path follows the coast closely into the tiny village of Dysart. There has a pretty little harbour, and is noteworthy on the Fife Coastal Path because the trust which maintains the path has its headquarters in the Harbourmaster’s House. The restored building has displays and a cafe, but I arrived too early in the day to be ready for a coffee. Shortly after Dysart there is a memorial to some of Fife's miners - mining and quarrying were major industries in Fife. The nearby pit was the Frances, but there were several along this stretch of the coast.
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The path follows the coast here quite closely and is a super walk. It takes you past "The Wemyss": West Wemyss, Coaltown of Wemyss, and East Wemyss. I stopped for a short break and some sandwiches from my rucksack just past West Wemyss. I later visted tha area again, and asked a lcoal if there was anywhere for a coffee, but was told "there's nowhere for a cuppa in The Wemyss". I discovered later that there is cafe in West Wemyss: The Walk Inn, which is a community run cafe. I have visited it on a later occasion and it is worth stopping at for cake and coffee.
There are good views and lots of variety in the plants and birds around this area and a day out in this area is recommended.
Flower near West Wemyss on Fife Coastal Path
Duck family outing near East Wemyss
Mosaic just outside West Wemyss
This fine specimen of a thistle is typical of the flora to be seen
Buckhaven and Methil
After East Wemyss the path is forced inland because of docks and other industrial areas. For me this was by far the least interesting part of the Coastal Path so far. I met a young lad in town who asked what I was taking photos of, and after I explained I was following the coastal path he told me the quickest way back to the coast was to go down a narrow track and run across the rail track. After looking at me again, he did say that perhaps I wasn't likely to do that! He left me with a smile on my face, and I followed the main road into Leven and back to the coast.
The original plan had been to get a bus home in Lower Largo (the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, who provided inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe), but as I walked into the village it was just half past two and I felt able to carry on walking for a while yet. Consulting the map I could see that Anstruther was beyond my capabilities but that Elie was a possibility. I stopped for coffee in the Crusoe Hotel, and carried on walking.
The photo here shows just one of the typical wide and empty beaches to be enjoyed on the walk.
I arrived in Elie having just missed one bus and an hour or so to wait for the next. They do say that when one door closes, another one slams in your face, but on this occasion I was lucky. Elie was a village I did not know at all, and I was pleasantly surprised at the range of shops open at 5pm, and I was able to get food and drink at the Elie Deli - recommended.
This was the longest of the seven walks - almost twenty miles, possibly the longest I have walked in one day and one of the fastest walking speeds, with only the short Elie to Crail walk coming in at a faster speed.