The Fife Coastal Path
Crail to St Andrews

This section of the walk is 14.5 miles / 23.2 Km in length, starting from the centre of Crail and passes by Fife Ness before heading NW to St Andrews.
For a detailed directional description of the Path based on Ordnance Survey Reference Numbers link to the appropriate “Walkers Details” section.

Route Map - 61Kb

Crail, being the oldest of the East Neuk burghs has much to see before setting off on the leg to St Andrews. To exit the Burgh either walk to the east end of the community then close to the Doocot head to the coast or close to the centre turn down a narrow path beside the stream till reaching the coastal path and head east. At the common point at the Doocot heading NE towards Fife Ness.

On the way the path passes through a large but attractive static caravan and holiday home park then to the coastal side of a disused airfield reaching Kilminning Castle. The route is now through the Nature reserve as it rounds Fife Ness next to the Coastguard Station. This is the most easterly point on the route and affords views round from the Firth of Forth into the North Sea and then up the coastline towards the Angus coastline.

NW of Fife Ness The path now heads in a NW direction along the mainly rocky shoreline, although this is intersperced by some fine secuded sandy beaches.
Almost immediately you come to a bay where Fife Ness Harbour was once situated.
Inland the countryside is full of good quality farming or land developed for golf courses. The first one the walker encounters is Balcomie, here keep to the white marker posts.

NW of Fife Ness After a short section where there is no golf the walker comes to a new championship standard course known as Kingsbarns. At this golf course keep to the red marker posts, and this will lead you throught a wood section at Cambo before more open sand dunes on the way to Cambo Sands. This may be a point to break the walk, if so there is a half mile walk up to the village of Kingsbarns.

Boarhill Stone

If you are continuing to St Andrews the Path crosses the carpark at Cambo Beach and heads NW. At this point there are two options, one by the shore, the alternative by a track around the inland edge of the golf course. A short walk further on the path heads away from the coast and runs along the edge of the Kenly Burn. After crossing the river the Path is via the edge of fields arrives at the farm buildings at Boarhills.

The way does not enter this small village but heads almost immediately north to regain the coastline close to the Buddo Rock.

The walk continues close to the coastline, sometimes on the shore and sometimes above the rock face. This has very varied walking surfaces and walking speeds will be slower than in previous sections. It is worth looking out for the area known as the Rock and Spindle. Shortly after this bay the Path again climbs to get past Kinkell Ness and from here the route has panorama views to the NW over St Andrews, the harbour and Cathedral. The route now enters this ancient Cathedral and University Town by way of the East Sands.

At the north end of the East Sands is located the Harbour. To reach this and the Cathedral continue along the path above the East Bay sands until you come to the harbour and a pedestrian bridge over the Kinness Burn. The way now keeps to the seaward side of the Cathedral Wall passing close to the scene of where students parade in red gowns along the harbour wall each Sunday. (This tradition may have been suspended due to safety concerns)

St Andrew's Castle

Above the harbour is the Cathedral ruins as well as the location of the earlier “St Mary on the Rock” church and St Rule’s Tower. Keeping to the coastal edge the next historical location is the Castle, again in ruin but worthy of a visit to the remains and the adjacent museum. This is strategically positioned on the rocks overlooking St Andrews Bay.

St Andrew's West Port

This section of the walk ends at St Andrews, a community that is best seen by walking through the various streets and wynds that form the area of the original town sited within the walled area. Today two entry gates are clearly visible, the Pends and the West Port.

Make time to also visit the University Colleges and the parts of St Leonard's and Madras schools that are open to the public. Neither forget the golf, but we have left the R&A and Old Course for the start of the next section of the walk.

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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