March 11, 2022 7 min read

Being based in Edinburgh, we’re just across the water from Fife and with just a bridge separating us from miles of stunning coast on offer we really need to make the journey and get exploring more often. If you want to explore it all, then the Fife Coastal Path is a great place to start either all in one go, or broken up into sections over several trips.

The Fife Coastal Path is a 117 mile trail that runs along (you guessed it) the Fife coast. Starting at Kincardine and ending in Newburgh the whole trail would take you about a week to walk. Split into 8 sections the coastal path takes you up through historic towns, nature reserves, beautiful beaches and quaint coastal villages. I have compiled this list of the best sights along the trail so you can easily find your next adventure. Whether you’re in the mood to explore an ‘Outlander’ location, castle ruins or have some of the best fish and chips by the sea there’s plenty for discovering here.


Fife coastal path map.

Map of all the Fife Coast locations mentioned in this blog



Section 1 - Kincardine to Limekilns 11 miles / 4-5 hours

If you are an Outlander fan you might already know about this beautiful historic coastal town that sits between the Kincardine bridge and the Forth Bridges. Filled with cobbled streets and white houses Culross is said to be one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland. Very much unchanged since the 17th century Culross’ streets have featured in many a film and TV series, most recently and perhaps most famously - Outlander. There is so much to see here from Culross Palace, West Kirk, Culross Abby, Dunimarle Castle and much more.


Culross Square. A stone spire sits in the middle of a cobble square surrounded by 17th century white houses.

Culross Square - credit @danchristie_24

Culross Streets. A street widning up the way with pink, white and yellow 17th century houses.

Streets of Culross - credit @rovingjo

North Queensferry and the Forth Bridges

Section 2 - Limekilns to Burntisland 17 miles / 6-7 hours

North Queensferry may be small but it offers some of the best views of the 3 Forth Bridges and the coast. It’s a no brainier to include this UNESCO World Heritage Site in this guide. If you’re passionate about photography North Queensferry is a must. It offers a huge array of great photo ops out over the Forth and around its charming streets. The Pier is home to the worlds smallest working lighthouse which is open to have a peak inside. Walking along the costal trail at North Queensferry takes you through Carlingnose Nature Reserve to a little secret beach with stunning views over to Leith on the right and Dalgety Bay on the left.



Section 2 - Limekilns to Burntisland 17 miles / 6-7 hours

The beaches at Aberdour, especially Silver Sands are well known as some of the most beautiful beaches on the Fife coast, in fact they have won several awards. Overlooking the Forth across to Edinburgh Silver Sands attracts families and water sports enthusiasts all year round. Black sands, although award winning, is a smaller, quieter beach with more rock pools and shells than sand. A great choice if shell collecting and rock pooling is your kind of adventure. The town itself boasts plenty of pubs and cafes and one of Scotlands oldest standing castles. If you’re into golf there’s a stunning 18 hole course overlooking the Fife coast.


North Queensferry Pier and the Rail Bridge. Stone path with black iron anchor looking out on the water to the forth rail bridge.

North Queensferry Pier - credit @welcometofife

Elie Lighthouse. A white lighthouse sat on a grassy hilltop with a pink sunset in the background.

Elie Lighthouse - credit @welcometofife

East Wemyss Village

Section 3 - Burntisland to Buckhaven 14 miles / 4-5 hours

East Weymss is one of the 3 Weymss Villages located a few miles up the coast from Kirkcaldy. This village is home to some incredibly fascinating pieces of history on its beaches - Weymss Caves. Carvings dating back to the Bronze Age and Pictish Period cover the walls of the caves making them some of the most precious parts of the Fife coastline. You can tour these caves with the Save Weymss Ancient Caves Society and learn all about the fascinating carvings at the Weymss Caves Visitor Center and Museum. East Weymss itself is a picturesque little village with the classic white, harled cottages with red roofs that make Fifes coastal village so quaint



Section 4 - Buckhaven to Elie 13 miles / 4-5 hours

Elie is the first of the stunning coastal villages on the East Neuk of Fife. Much like Aberdour is famous for its beautiful beach with golden sand aptly named Ruby Bay. Popular with windsurfers and sailing boats Elie makes a great adventure for those into water sports. At Elie harbour you can hire out paddle boards, canoes and even try your hand at water skiing or wakeboarding. For the photographers walking along the coastal trial to find Elie Ness Lighthouse and the Lady’s Tower is a must. Lady’s Tower has a particularly interesting history as it was built in 1770 for Lady Jane Anstruther to relax after wild swimming in the ocean. Golf is also very popular at Elie and it is home to two great golf courses.


St Monans Block. A zig-zag stone breakwater going out to sea

St Monans ‘The Block’ - shot taken by our very own Steve Henry

St Monans

Section 5 - Elie to Cambo Sands 16 miles / 5-6 hours

The East Neuk of Fife continues with St Monans and if you were to walk any part of the Fife coastal path it has to be from Elie, through St Monans and out towards Pittenweem. St Monans is a stunning little fishing village lined with painted houses and traditional fishermans cottages. It is also home to ‘The Block’, a zig-zag breakwater that’s hugely popular with photographers. St Monans kirk is a beautiful building that dates back to around 1370 and boasts being the closest church to the sea in Scotland. It is another popular area that features in films such as ‘The Railway Man’. The Pier at St Monans is so picturesque and if you have a boat there are 2 visitor berths available to rent out. Another popular sight to see in St Monans is the Windmill. Its about a mile walk along the coastal path but its well worth paying a visit and having a peak inside.



Section 5 - Elie to Cambo Sands 16 miles / 5-6 hours

Anstruther is home to the best fish and chips on the Fife coast and arguably in the UK. It is the largest and one of the most popular fishing villages to visit for holidays and day trips on the East Neuk. If you are interested in learning the history of the fishing villages the Scottish Fisheries Museum is one of the main attractions in Anstruther. The shore has a number of lovely little shops to explore and the harbour is always busy with fishing and sail boats. During summer you can catch a boat across to the Isle of May which is a National Nature Reserve home to the UK’s largest grey seal colony, over 40,000 pairs of puffins and around 200,000 sea birds. It’s huge array of wildlife makes it a fantastic spot for any wildlife photography enthusiasts. As well as the wildlife Isle of May has 3 stunning lighthouses just waiting to be explored. Around half a mile from Anstruther are the peaceful cobbled streets and harbour of Cellardyke that provide many a photo opportunity and even dolphins and seals can be spotted from he harbour.


Antruther. A coastal town with rocks and a sandy beach looking out to sea.

Anstruther - credit Neil and Zulma Scott Unsplash


Section 5 - Elie to Cambo Sands 16 miles / 5-6 hours

Pittenweem is a charming fishing port village with a working harbour filled with fishing boats and trawlers. During the summer Pittenweem comes into its own with its lively art festival. Its a foodies heaven with a multitude of little places to eat with traditional seafood restaurants to a chocolate cafe - Cocoa Tree Café! This section of the coastal path even goes passed an ice-cream shop. Pittenweem is a must location for wild swimmers, it has a 130 year old outdoor swimming pool on the beach that was restored and reopened just last year. As if you needed another reason to visit the chocolate cafe you can also pick up a key to St Fillian’s Cave here. St Fillian’s cave is a natural cave in the sandstone below the Pittenweem Priory. The cave can be found on a little lane, Cove Wynd, leading down to the harbour. The entrance is a doorway that is thought to have been added in the 17th century as well as a little window in the side of the cave. There’s plenty to explore here, but if you do fancy a fun activity Pittenweem has a crazy golf course and a putting green.


Section 5 - Elie to Cambo Sands 16 miles / 5-6 hours

Although Crail is small it is still worth a visit, best visited in summer, its so picturesque and its harbour offers plenty photo opportunities. Much like Pittenweem, Crail is great for food and it even has a food festival held in the summer. Often at the harbour you can buy fresh dressed Crail crab and lobster from The Lobster Hut. There’s a sweet little cafe just up from the harbour, Crail Harbour Gallery and Tea Room that’s a great spot for a hot drink and some food after a walk along the coastline. It has some stunning paintings of the Fife coast and, when I visited, the nicest home made tablet I’ve ever had. If golfing with sea views is your thing then the two golf courses at Crail will certainly float your boat.

Pittenweem. Seaside town with pink, yellow and white houses looking out to sea.

Pittenweem - credit @johnmurrayjnr

Puffin sitting on a grey rock

Isle of May Puffin - credit @rossmurrayphotography

Tentsmuir Forest

Section 7 - Leuchars to Wormit Bay 16 miles / 6-7 hours

Moving slightly away from the East Neuk there is the wonderful Tentsmuir Forest. There’s plenty to enjoy here while walking through the woods and the sand dunes. Spotting lots of scottish wildlife here is easy, with red squirrels, deer, otters and seals you are spoilt for choice. If you enjoy bird watching there are four hides along the Morton Lochs on the western edge of the forest where you can watch water birds and other wildlife. There’s a lot of history to be seen here from a Stone Age hunters camp, Victorian Ice Houses to World War II anti tank barriers built by polish soldiers. You can walk, cycle or horsehide through Tentsmuir forest and it offers great adventures for everyone.

St Andrews

Section 7 - Leuchars to Wormit Bay 16 miles / 6-7 hours

There is so much to explore in St. Andrews it’s hard to know where to start. From amazing golf courses to fantastic restaurants St. Andrews is well worth the trip. Photographers will love the quaint cobbled side streets with stunning painted houses and the views out to sea from East and West Sands beaches. Steeped in history there are the ruins of St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral waiting to be explored. Watersport enthusiasts will love a trip to West Sands beach where you can rent out surf boards, paddle boards and kayaks. There are plenty of shops along the picturesque streets to wander about in as well if that is your kind of adventure!


Tentsmuir Forest. A dirt path between rows of trees with the sunshine shining in.

Tentsmuir Forest - credit @caledonianino

St Andrews Cathedral. A stone cathedral sits through a stone archway.

St Andrews Cathedral - credit @ondrejfendrych

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