Click here for a guide to the Fife Coastal Path
From Pittenweem, head out East along the Fife Coastal Path to Anstruther and its smaller neighbour Cellardyke. From Cellardyke the path carries along passed an organic pig farm, across a rough track next to the Caiplie Rocks; unusual weathered sandstone rocks just onshore. The next town is the last in the East Neuk of Fife, Crail. It also happens to be where I live!
Today was going to be a different day because I knew that I was going to walk to my house and then beyond it. Up until now because I had been walking towards ny home with each walk. Having decided to walk counter clockwise and start at the English Border, every walk so far was taking me towards home. But now I realised I would reach a significant milestone (for me anyway), where after today, every walk would take me further away from where I lived.
It was a beautiful day when I set off and I passed through the quite harbour village of Cellardyke early in the day and I reached Crail by midday. I stopped at the house and made a celebratory and ceremonial roll with agmmon then set off again in the aftrenoon towards Kingsbarns. I headed east until I reached the furthest point East you can go in Fife, and suddenly I was around the corner and walking north west instead of east as I had been for the last 80 miles or so.
Fifeness is a more of a point of land and there are only a couple of houses associated with the Coastal station that is located there. The Crail golf course juts down onto the beach and Crail is the 7th oldest golf courses in the world as it was founded in 1787
Next to the beach there was a cave marked on the map which is known as Constantine’s cave as this was where King Constantine was reputedly killed by the vikings in 874 AD. (See photo) Also on the beach there is a stone marked on the OS map called the “blue stone”. Legend has it the devil hurled a large stone (stane) from the Isle of May in the hope of damaging Crail Parish Church. Apparently the stone split in mid air, half landing at the church gate where it still lies. The other half landed near Fife Ness on the beach.
Offshore runs a reef that has claimed many ships and boats, The North Carr rocks lie at the end of a tidal reef approximately 1¾ miles off Fife Ness where the headland juts out into the greater Firth of Forth and North Sea. These Rocks had already taken its fair share of shipping over the years. In his “Account” Robert Stevenson lists a decade of losses (1800-09) – in all some 16 vessels were known to have been either shipwrecked or stranded there. In 1809 a floating buoy was moored off the rock, but, due to the strong tides and currents, it broke adrift five times in four years! On Stevenson’s advice, therefore, the Northern Lighthouse Board decided to mark the rock with a stone beacon surmounted by a bell. For a full acoount visit http://www.bellrock.org.uk/stevensons/stevenson_carr.htm
Further on, the path follows the shore and skirts around the Kingsbarns Golf Club. This course is a new addition to the links courses around the Fife coast, but has already won accolades and ranks in the top 50 courses to play in Europe. I have only played it once myself, but I would agree – its setting is stunning and looks as if it has been established for many years.
NEW! See the campaign for a National Coastal Path for Scotland. Click HERE