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The East Coast: Over the Forth

The East Coast: Over the Forth


Postby nigheandonn » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:41 pm

Date walked: 12/09/2020

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My two journeys along the coast had finally almost met each other - on the one side a long line stretching up the coast from the north bank of the Tyne as far as the Forth bridge, and on the other the Fife Coastal Path, starting at Kincardine and passing the ends of all three (or four) bridges, although one of them wasn't finished at the time - meaning that to join them up I only needed to walk through South Queensferry itself and over the road bridge.

I cycled down as far as the rail bridge, which took me through Dalmeny village, a nice spot where I hadn't been before, and which apparently has the most complete Norman church in Scotland, although with an oddly Art Deco replacement tower.

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Dalmeny church

I've been at this end of Queensferry, the little cluster of buildings around the rail bridge and the Hawes Inn, far more often than the village itself, since both my family and a group I dance with have a habit of taking foreign visitors there for the view of the bridges - when I thought about it, I couldn't remember the last time I'd been right into Queensferry village.

This is the best looking bridge, and I was a bit surprised to see that the Inchcolm trips were going on.

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Red bridge

The main village street was more attractive than I remembered, with terraces of old houses perched up above the main level - nearly as good as getting to somewhere like Anstruther. The oldest house in the main street is the Black Castle, marked with a date of 1626 - it's not a castle, but it certainly is black.

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Black Castle

Further along, at the corner where the terraces give up and the high street becomes more of a road, was Plewlands House - almost as old, and looking like a country house put down in the town.

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Plewlands House

I headed on along the road but got led astray a bit by a path into a park - it did take me under the legs of the bridge, but not any nearer to where I could get onto it.

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Under the bridge

Untangled again, I managed to find the way up to where a little road curls up to the bridge, and onto the bridge itself. It's in three sections here - footpath down the outside, cycle path next, and fenced off road down the middle. There's not much on the road these days - a bus every ten minutes or so - so it feels oddly quiet, although there were quite a few people walking.

There's a good view as you walk over of the way that the bridges gather together at the Fife end - or spread out on the Lothian side, if you prefer.

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Three bridges

There's a kind of monument here to the new bridge - I suppose it makes sense to put it where people can stop to look at it.

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New bridge monument

I found it quite a long dull walk over the bridge - the walk itself is all the same, and it seems to take a long time for the other side to come closer. It did in the end, however - a pier built on rock, and then the green coast itself down below, as the bridge hits the land a good way up.

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The other side

I was reasonably sure that the minor road which runs under the bridge was the route of the Fife Coastal Path - I couldn’t find any sign, but I thought I remembered being there, and I couldn’t see where else it would go.

I found a gate leading into the area below the bridge, however, and made my way down a very rough path to the waterside, where I finally ate my belated lunch.

There’s a steep stair above the bridge at this side which looks like it might lead up to a viewpoint - it turned out actually to lead to a path which didn’t seem to be going anywhere in particular, but it wasn’t a bad view all the same, even with a fence in the way.

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A kind of viewpoint

I’d hoped to walk back on the other side, with views towards the rail bridge and the islands instead of the new bridge, but that side was all closed off, so I just had to retrace my steps. I did take a different line through the village, keeping close to the water past the natural jetty at The Binks and the ridiculously tiny harbour.

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Tiny harbour

From there I took a different route home, cycling through the Dalmeny estate - I've only walked through it before, so the different line of the cycle path made an interesting change.
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nigheandonn
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Re: The East Coast: Over the Forth

Postby Sgurr » Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:21 pm

This is the only walk in a Fife Walks book that we haven't done (Think it was Hamish Brown's 25 walks) Husband kept suggesting it as he wanted to complete the book, and I kept putting him off as I thought it looked boring. From your account, I think I would still win....though interesting to hear about the Norman Church. I always thought St. Athernase Church in Leuchars was the best, but a quick google shows I am just plain biased towards N.E. Fife and the location (just behind) of my hairdresser.
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