The Fife Coastal Path
St Andrews to Newport-on-Tay

This section of the walk is 19 miles / 30.5 Km in length, starting from the centre of St Andrews and ends at the Old Pier at Newport-on-Tay.
For a detailed directional description of the Path based on Ordnance Survey Reference Numbers link to the appropriate “Walkers Details” section.

Route Map - 123Kb
Martyr's Memorial

On the coastal side of St Andrews the Martyr's Monument is a very significant and dominant feature. This commemorates the several Protestants and Catholic Martyrs who were burnt at the stake in various parts of St Andrews in the 15th & 16th century.
On a good day it is possible to see the majority of the coastline that will form this last section of the walk. Looking north the wooded area is Tentsmuir and beyond on the horizon will be the Angus coastline on the north side of the Tay Estuary. This is a long walk so it is best to set off with no further delay, passing the British Golf Museum on the right, turning left round the Royal and Ancient then right along the narrow Links Road to the side of the famous 18th fairway of the Old Course.

Swilken Burn - 18th Hole

The 18th Fairway as been seen the world over on television and the small Swilken Burn that crosses the fairway with its little humb back bridge is well known. The route now picks up the general direction of the road from St Andrews to Guardbridge, but it runs slightly to the Eden River side of the road separated initially by a strip of land or hedge.
The route arrives at Guardbridge using the Old Road and crossing the earlier bridge over the River Eden. The way then turns north along a pedestrian path around the back of this small community crossing next the Moonzie Burn before reaching a junction on the road near the west end of the Leuchar's airport runway.

At the junction on the A919 take the right fork and walk under the flightpath at the west end of the RAF Leuchars runway. This part of the walk is between RAF fenced areas on either side and passes directly past the guardhouse of this busy airport. It will be almost certain that the walker will see a number of military aircraft taking off or landing, as well as many parked outside the hangers. A few civilian aircraft many also be visible.

Leuchars Norman Church

As the housing changes to older and private properties the impressive Norman Church comes into view with a commanding position above the road junction. This building has a long and interesting history and this can be read by linking here. At the road junction take to the right past Earlshall Castle, this is worthy of a visit if time permits and is set behind a grand gatehouse and archway. From here the way soon heads off the single-track road and onto grassland to the north of the RAF runway.

Path across marsh

To get round what can be marshy land the track has some dog-legs then a section where wooden duckboards are required, but this is only until the path turns due north towards the large Tentsmuir Forest. After a pleasant undulating section the path enters a pine forest before reaching the forest road heading via Kinshaldy to the car park at Tentsmuir Sands. This road is well made up and can have a flow of cars as the sands and the walks at Tentsmuir are a very popular recreational area.

At the car park close to the sand dunes the path turn north along the edge of the forest and for the next 3 miles runs almost due north over a variety of path surfaces until reaching the south eastern edge of the Firth of Tay. On the way there is a clearing with a stone building known as the Ice House. At this point and every so often it may be worth diverting to the right to reach the edge of the forest and get a view over the extensive sands.

On reaching Tentsmuir Point the forest path heads in a westerly direction, but again at this point we recommend a very short detour off the track to get your first view up the Tay towards Broughty Ferry and Dundee. To the northeast is Buddon Ness with Carnoustie and Arbroath in the distance.
The walk remains on the forest track till a point close to Tayport where the way heads to the right and onto a path by the side of the tidal beach.

The pathway now has a number of twists and turns and passed through the centre of a static caravan park leads to the busy harbour in Tayport, once a key crossing point to Broughty Ferry and the Northeast. The ferries have gone, but the pleasure craft are in abundance.
The Path now uses the embankment of a disused railway line to head in a westerly direction towards the Tay Road Bridge. The views across the estuary are to first Broughty Ferry and then the city of Dundee, but you are almost at the cemetery wall before the bridge first comes into view.

The Tay Road Bridge is very different in design to the Forth Road Bridge at the start of the walk, but none the less still an impressive and lengthy structure.
At the south end of the Bridge there is a viewing point and Tourist Information Centre. It is worth diverting off the footpath at the side of the B946 to get an elevated view of the bridge and this also offers an alternative path down steps into the eastern end of Newport-on-Tay. It is now only a short way to walk before arriving in the centre of Newport-on-Tay. As you walk west you get a grand view up the Tay towards the Perthshire hills well beyond the long Tay Railway Bridge.
It was the building of the Rail bridge that impacted on the Tayport community and the Road bridge that significantly altered Newport-on-Tay with respective ferry services ceasing to be required.


The walk ends at a set of buildings that have seen better times but are at a point of historical interest. This is at the Pier and Pier buildings at Newport-on-Tay designed by Telford, this being at one time a key crossing point and link to the North East of Scotland. Look out for the old milestone (dated 1824), and the fact that Pettycur is detailed on the sign. Both here and Pettycur were key points on the trading route through eastern Scotland.

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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