The Fife Coastal Path
Kinghorn to Leven

This section of the walk is 13.5 miles / 21.5 Km in length, starting from the RNLI Lifeboat Station on the seafront and arriving on the Promenade in the centre of Leven.
For a detailed directional description of the Path based on Ordnance Survey Reference Numbers link to the appropriate “Walkers Details” section.

Route Map - 86Kb

Kinghorn

The walk starts from the Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat station below the railway station and on the attractive shoreline. The walk leaves the bay, climbs up under the railway viaduct then turns right onto a grassy park before once again crossing the railway to return to the seaward side of the track and next to the cliffs. The path climbs slightly along this grass top and rarely leaves the side of the railway until the route starts a decline towards Seafield Tower.

Seafield Tower

Seafield Tower is another red sandstone building this dating from the 16th century. The area is perhaps better remembered for the name Seafield Colliery that was just to the landward side of the ruin. There are still some signs of the colliery remains visible and parts of the colliery pier, but the most notable image is the large number of large villas now commending key position with views south and east over the Firth. The route now passes through the Seafield car park then via a short industrial section leads onto the Kirkcaldy Esplanade, the route keeping to the sea side of the esplanade.

There is now a period of town walking for the next three quarters of an hour, but almost all of this is with an open outlook on the right and sufficient distance on the left between the walker and the traffic. Kirkcaldy is worthy of a stop if time permits and there is history and interest to be explored. Use this link to learn of that interest and watch out for the Sailors’ Walk building just shortly east of the esplanade. The pavement soon rises towards a roundabout at the junction to Dysart. At the cemetery gates you get a view of Ravenscraig Castle, and once inside the Ravenscraig Park the path returns to the coast and a new and more dramatic views of this 15th Century Castle.

The walk is now along the edge of the coastline that has been fortified over a considerable length and as the coast turns to the left the old fishing village of Dysart comes into view. This community has a much older history, going back to the times of the first Christians in Scotland. The walker will not miss the St Serf’s Tower, all that remains of an ancient church close to the even earlier monastery. Also of note are the Pan Ha houses, the Way passing up an alley way or "Gait" between two block of houses.
As well as the buildings mentioned above, Dysart also was the birth place of John McDouall Stuart and recently re-opened the Harbour Masters Home with an interpretation centre relating to the Fife Coast Path.

To get round the next part of the coastline the way heads slightly inland then climbs past housing towards an industrial landmark high above the cliffs of Blair Point. This is the location of a second well known colliery of past times, the Francis Colliery. Shortly past this point the view is over an attractive corner in the coastline with the village of West Wemyss at the far end.
There is now a pleasant walk along the side of the bay past Chapel Garden then arriving at the old harbour. West Wemyss has been nicely restored with its imposing Tolbooth tower and the new shore side walk. It is difficult to imaging from here how the industrial mining of the previous centuries has impacted the land and communities just a short distance inland from this location.

Macduff Castle

On the way to East Wemyss there are again some signs of the old industry, and of the way in which the communities are adapting to the tourism and modern economy. On the rocky shore you are likely to see individuals scouring the rocks for mussels and shellfish. Shortly after East Wemyss the path rises steeply to another ruined tower, this is Macduff Castle. From the side of this ruin the walk goes round the edge of a cemetery then at the roadway turns sharp right and heads along a pathway that was once the railway line to Leven and coastal villages beyond.

Industry in Methil

After a period of about one mile the track ends and the route descends into a housing area on the west of Buckhaven. This in turn runs into Denbeath and then at a “Y” junction at the now disused White Swan Hotel the route bends right and downhill towards Methil.
It would be only fair to say that these communities are not picturesque like the villages of Dysart and West Wemyss, these communities have been and remain industrial in nature with Methil having a port area and a shipyard that until recently was devoted to Oil Rig maintenance. However behind this less attractive walking experience there are locations of heritage interest that could be of interest to the visitor.

One last industrial landmark now dominates, this is the Methil Power Station on the banks of the River Leven with its large generator block and high chimney. This power station has been made famous by the Scottish artist Jack Vettriano. Having crossed the River Leven it is only a few minutes before the walk reaches the esplanade at Leven and the views to the east alter dramatically with the large sandy Largo Bay stretching ahead.
All of what is seen in this bay will form a large part of the next walking section.

To move on to the next section of the Path 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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