Fife Coastal Path – Kingsbarns to St Andrews

The Rock and Spindle on the Fife Coast Path near St Andrews
Rock and Spindle on the Fife Coast path near St Andrews

We’re adding a couple of new categories to our blog with some great ideas of things to do during your stay in the flat.  We’ll have suggestions for Days Out from St Andrews and also walks along the Fife Coastal Path, starting with the walk from Kingsbarns to St Andrews.

The bus service hugging the coast around the East Neuk of Fife makes linear walks along sections of the coastal path nice and easy – you can either get a day ticket from St Andrews, or drive to the start of your walk and get the bus back.  In this case, it’s just a short bus ride to Kingsbarns and then walk straight back to the flat along the coast!

Sand Patterns on the Beach at Airbow Point near Kingsbarns on the Fife Coast

At Kingsbarns, walk down the lane to the lovely Cambo Sands and head North along the coast from the car park.  The path is eroded near Airbow Point so there’s a stretch walking along the sands before regaining solid ground and continuing to the mouth of Kenly Water, where the path turns inland through woodland before crossing the burn at Burnside Farm.

Rock near Boarhills on the Fife Coastal Path
Buddo Rock on the Fife Coastal Path near Boarhills Fife Scotland

The path then crosses fields, skirting the edge of Boarhills village before rejoining the coast near Buddo Rock, a dramatic sandstone formation at the top of the beach.  Continuing along the coast, the path occasionally zig-zags up the cliff and descends back to sea-level with some very muddy areas where cattle are grazed and some flights of stone steps, notably around The Rock and Spindle, an interesting sea stack formation (see photo, top).

Sunny Morning at St Andrews Harbour St Andrews Fife Scotland

After the Rock and Spindle the path climbs to the cliff top for the last leg with fine views of St Andrews in the distance before descending to the East Sands and along the seafront to the harbour.  From the harbour, it’s just a short walk up to the castle and along The Scores back to the flat.

Map: OS Explorer 371 or Landranger 59.
Distance: About 13.5km/8.5m.
Terrain: Can be rough and muddy in places, with some steep sections of steps, so good walking boots required!  As this is a tidal route, check tide times to make sure it is safe to walk.

For a shorter walk, you can start at Boarhills instead or if you’re feeling fit, get the bus to Crail for a full day’s walk back to St Andrews (about 20km).

The Fife Coastal path extends for 117m from the Forth Estuary to the Tay Estuary. For more details visit  Photographs supplied by Mark Sunderland Photography.