The Fife Coastal Path
North Queensferry to Kinghorn

This section of the walk is 15 miles / 24 Km in length, starting with the backdrop of the Forth Railway Bridge and the elegant Forth Road Bridge.
For a detailed directional description of the Path based on Ordnance Survey Reference Numbers link to the appropriate “Walkers Details” section.

Route Map - 56Kb

Start of walk at Waterloo Well

The walk starts from the centre of North Queensferry at the Waterloo Well, climbing up a path under the high viaduct of the Forth Railway Bridge.

Before starting you may want to spend a little time in North Queensferry, as this is an attractive and historical location. For a fuller knowledge of this community us this link to access the appropriate “Interest & History” section.

The walk is quickly onto a grass path overlooking the eastern end of the community and looking down over the visitor attraction of Deep Sea World. Ahead lies the Forth as it widens from the narrows between North and South Queensferry and in the middle of the estuary is Hounds Point, a loading terminal for ocean tankers.

Forth Railway Bridge

Within minutes the path enters a secluded sandy bay called Port Laing overlooked by some large modern houses. At this point looking northeast you can see the more built up coastal area of Dalgety Bay, but first, just past West Ness, there is a significant inlet with some industrial landscape then the town of Inverkeithing to pass through.

Although the industrial area may not be attractive to the eye, the quarry area is of interest from a geological viewpoint, and the town of Inverkeithing has an attractive and historical centre.


In the centre of Inverkeithing look out for the Friary building and Gardens, the Mercat Cross, St Peter’s Kirk and Fordell Lodging. This community has a Royal Charter and prior to that was know in 1st century to Agricola, the Roman Governor in Britain.

Leave Inverkeithing by a sign pointing to East Ness, the Path is now on a pedestrian track close to the waters edge and soon arrives at more modern housing in the new community of Dalgety Bay.

As the path passes through this community it changes from well made up pavement to quiet roadway, to grass path and woodland walks around the several bays. The images are that of Donibristle House and St Bridget’s Church. Access the “History” section for more detail on these buildings.
At St Bridget’s Church the Path heads inland for a short while, but never that far from the north shore of the Firth of Forth. The Path is now on a wider farm track heading east and parallel to Braefoot Point, this being a large but well concealed petrochemical terminal. Having gone through a pedestrian underpass the trail now enters the tracks around St Colmes House, this location taking its name from the Abbey on the Island of Inchcolm just to the south.

On the right is the attractive Aberdour Golf Course with attractive views over the Forth towards Edinburgh. At the end of a long drive with houses on the left and the Golf Course on the right the way exits onto the Aberdour main street beside a handsome gatehouse and wrought iron fencing.

Aberdour is a charming community with its own history to explore with St Finnan’s Church, Aberdour Castle and Aberdour House. Use this link to learn more about the village and its heritage. The route leaves the main street before it reaches the station and heads down towards the shore and the harbour. This is a fine golden sand and the harbour is a haven for small pleasure craft. However Aberdour has still more in store with the Silversands Bay to the east of Hawkcraig Point. The images are of the Aberdour Bay, The Harbour and Silversands Bay.

From the sands the path runs parallel with the Fife Railway line and squeezed between it and the shore. This path is tree lines but still affords good views across the Forth to the City of Edinburgh, Salisbury Crags and Arthur Seat. Having crossed to the inland side of the railway the path makes its way to Burntisland passing on its outskirts the Starley Burn.

Burntisland has seen more prosperous and industrial times but is now being recovered to some of its earlier seaside glory. There is some interesting history associated with the Castle of Rossend and Mary Queen of Scots, this being detailed in the “History” section. The pictures shows the attractive links area in the heart of the community and the Castle gates.

Pettycur Harbour

From Burntisland the trail is now for the next 2 miles on a pavement beside the coastal road. This experience improves as the road starts to climb away from the sea level and soon comes to an opening in the tree line where the monument to King Alexander III is situated. The outlook over the sands below and over the Firth of Forth to East Lothian is interesting. In the distance you may be able to see the Lammermuirs and Moorfoot Hills.

This outlook has certainly attracted many for on the inland side of the road is the large holiday site of Pettycur with static caravan upon caravan enjoying unrivalled views to the south. Down at sea level is the small but quaint Pettycur harbour, a fore taste of many more fife coastal harbours to come.


Very soon the way leave the main road and heads towards the coast at Kinghorn. This community is also on the line of the railway and attracts commuters from Edinburgh, but the community has not lost its charm and attractive harbour setting. From the top of the grass embankment the outlook over the Forth to the Wemyss and Earlsferry Point are wonderful, as are the views towards the East Lothian coast. The former giving the walker some impression of the next days walking.

The path goes right down onto the sandy bay, but if this is the end of the walking section you will find many of the facilities at the top level close to the station and the high level pathway.

To progress to the next section of the walk click here.

To access the other route sections click on the links below:

Kincardine - North Queensferry |  North Queensferry - Kinghorn |  Kinghorn - Leven |  Leven - Elie |  Elie - Crail |  Crail - St Andrews |  St Andrews - Newport-on-Tay |  Newport-on-Tay - Newburgh

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