Leven to Elie. 9 Miles

The Fife Coastal Path Guide

The Fife Coastal Path Guide

This is a walk around Leven Bay to Elie. I had walked it many times before and is one of my favourites.
From the car park next to the power station at Leven, follow the esplanade till it meets the caravan park. The Fife coastal now follows a path above the beach. Walk until you reach Largo, passing the clubhouse for Lundin Links golf course. The path enters Largo main st, passes the Crusoe hotel and then eventually comes to a cul de sac. (Look out for the Robinson Crusoe statue at the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk)


The path then runs along what looks like an old railway embankment until it reaches a wooden bridge which crosses the Cocklemill Burn. I decided to jump across the burn only to land knee deep in rotting seaweed- so be warned!

Once you pass the caravan park you come to a point where you have to make a decision on which way to proceed. The tourist route, (the one marked by the coastal walk markers take you upwards and along the cliff tops. This route will reward you on a clear day out towards the Bass Rock and the East Lothian coast. However, for a much more exciting experience, and if the tide is not too far in, I’d recommend the ‘Chain Walk’. This route follows the base of the cliffs and there are a number of chains which have been embedded in the rock to aid walkers climb the vertical rock faces. Technically there is nothing to it, but if you are of a nervous disposition and the tide is in- Id avoid it and take the top route. I took my 10 year old son and he loved it! But dont attempt it with a dog in tow!

Once the cliffs have been negotiated successfully, it is a straightforward walk across Elie golf course and into Elie where the walk finishes at the harbour car park.

This walk was one that I had completed a few times and it took in the whole expanse of Leven Bay. It was another glorious day, and once again I had the company of Anne and her amazing leaping Labrador puppy, Lola. Lola arrived this time raring to go as usual, but with a new muzzle lead which she tried to take off by scraping her nose along the ground. So before we had even started the walk, Anne’s trousers were bloodstained as Lola also used our legs to try and dislodge her muzzle. However the muzzle certainly worked in so far as she didnt pull nearly as much as she did the last time.

Lower largo is a centred around the small harbour and the Crusoe Hotel, named after the book Robinson Crusoe. Alexander Selkirk, the real life character on whom Defoe based his his book, was born and lived in this small town and there is a statue at his place of birth.

We walked as far the caravan park and then because of Lola, took the “high” road over the cliffs instead of electing for the chain walk. This walk is good fun for those with a sense of adventure; as it uses 7 chains to navigate around the vertical and horizontal rock faces that otherwise are impossible to cross at high tide. There is a also a large cave here called MacDuff’s cave where King MacDuff is meant to have sheltered. Also, the geology of the place reminds me of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Im not sure if it is composed of Basalt, but there are areas that have the repeating rock formations similar to those found there.

NEW! See the campaign for a National Coastal Path for Scotland. Click HERE

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2 Responses to Leven to Elie. 9 Miles

  1. ngm1scot says:

    The chains sound exciting, Gil, especially with the tide in. Didn’t someone have an accident there recently? We spent many years in Fife when I was a kid and holidayed in Leven often, when British Railways as they were then still sent your hamper on ahead of you. We had relatives in East Wemyss and I fairly vividly remember the cave paintings. Too bad about the seaweed!

    Sounds like even I could do that walk – about 3 hours?

    • treb123 says:

      I’d leave a bit longer than 3 hours if walking the chain walk and also check the tide status too! If you are going over the cliffs instead then 3 hours should be ok. Have fun!

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