Fife Coastal Path, Pt. 2

FCP path after Crail-01

The sun shone brightly on my first morning in St Andrews, so after a quick breakfast, I strolled down to the castle and the cathedral before picking up my bus for the day’s adventure.

I decided to start in Crail and work my way toward Pittenweem, instead of starting where I left off in Pittenweem. While I will reveal my most selfish reason later, I decided that starting with the longest stretch between towns (3 or so miles) with the sun somewhat behind me was a preferable way to start the day’s hiking.

crail harbour

Once off the bus in Crail, I followed the path along the High Street and up to a road overlooking the harbor, the sunlight sparkling on the water. A good omen for the day! The trail followed the edge of the bay, then rounded a point, leaving me with lots of open land and water ahead of me.

caiplie caves

A few other walkers were out with me, often walking dogs and heading in the opposite direction, and I even spotted a pair of trail runners. Me, I just walked along at my own pace, pausing as needed to clamber over rock walls or up slopes. My perseverance found its reward about halfway to Anstruther when I came to Caiplie Caves, a gorgeous little cluster of tiered sandstone caves and arches overlooking the shore. Nice little change to explore!

Perhaps a mile beyond the caves, with the village of Cellardyke in sight, I found a bench where I could sit and enjoy a wee picnic with the provisions I bought at Ardross Farm Shop the day before. After a pleasant rest and stretch, I was ready to carry on.

In short order, I reached Cellardyke and wandered through streets to the little harbor. But as my way out of the village never led to the open trail, I double checked my map. As it turned out, the village of Cellardyke flows indistinctly into Anstruther, and I ended up at another harbor, this one much larger and bustling with activity.

FCP Anstruther

Though tourists swarmed the harbor front in Anstruther, I found a charming little vintage tea room where I could sit and enjoy a pot of tea and a slice of cake. Thus refreshed, I headed back out through the crowds to a quiet end of the harbor and the continuation of the FCP out of town and past a golf course and park. I passed more dog walkers here, as well as a family picnicking on the rocks along the coastline.

Pittenweem came into view soon after, and though I had quite a hill to climb to the final stretch, I kept plodding onward. And once I finished my route, I celebrated with the best reason for ending in Pittenweem: a visit to the Cocoa Tree Shop, where I sampled some divinely dark and delicious hot chocolate. Beats champagne any day!

I soon returned to St Andrews, having logged over 6.25 miles for the day, and felt very proud of myself for completing one of my Scottish hiking goals!



One thought on “Fife Coastal Path, Pt. 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s