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Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing


Postby Dunfie » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:08 pm

Route description: Fife Coastal Path

Date walked: 24/02/2012

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 26 km

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My son, Cameron, and I are booked to do the West Highland Way on the first week of the Easter Holidays so we have been putting in plenty of miles at weekends in prep. Given that we live in Dunfermline an obvious target for a low level walk is the Fife Coastal Path so with the help of the WH guides I mapped the path from Inverkeithing to Kirkcaldy at around 16 miles, not as long as our daily WHW stretch but good enough to get us out for a few hours. We did the walk from Inverkeithing to Kirkcaldy a couple of weeks ago and we quite enjoyed it so given the forecast of SW winds and a few showers I thought that it might be a good challenge to do it in the opposite direction to get used to walking into a wind.

We were up fairly early to walk along to the station to catch the 7:50 train from Dunfermline Town to Kirkcaldy. We would then follow then walk to Inverkeithing before catching another train back to Dunfermline.


Kirkcaldy to Kinghorn

This really is a nice stretch (once you get past the shops). The municipal buildings beside the station include the War Memorial, Kirkcaldy Central Library, Museum and the Adam Smith Theatre which tell of an age when there was obviously money in and around the town. We worked our way down through the town to the esplanade and turned right along the front.

Kirkcaldy War Memorial with the Library.
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Esplanade looking West
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Carrying on working west out of Kirkcaldy you then come to the old mining area of Seafield. There is the derelict Seafield Harbour here that was built to take advantage of the proximity of the local mines. It ultimately failed to fully open due to protests from Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn.

The remains of Seafield Tower are next on the trail and although described as between Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn is now right on the edge the expanding Kirkcaldy housing estates.

Remains of Seafield Tower
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The undulating path along the coastal path beside the railway is a classic and enjoyable coastal route. The views across to the coast of East Lothian and SW to Arthurs Seat and Salisbury Crags are clear. The birdlife is also varied along here with an abundance of Oyster Catchers and Curlews along with the other usual suspects.

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Once in Kinghorn you drop down to the quaint little harbour that looks out to Inchkeith island. As a bonus we found a little cafe that would supply us with is bacon roll and a cup of tea.

Kinghorn Harbour
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Inchkeith
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A panoramic effort of Kinghorn Harbour using Phototaf on my phone.
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Kinghorn to Burntisland

Unfortunately once you have climbed up from Kinghorn Harbour the walk to Burntisland, along the main coastal road past Pettycur Bay Caravan Park, is a massive disappointment.

View back down across Kinghorn Harbour
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View to Burntisland from roadside
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There are nice views if you cross the busy road that look over the beach towards Burntisland. However you just need to get your head down as Burntisland is worth a visit. The beach is really nice and can get busy in warmer days. There are a few local cafe's and bakeries on the mainstreet as well as some larger shops. There are also some nice old municipal buildings and a clocktower.

Burntisland Beach
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Burntisland Library with Clocktower
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Burntisland to Aberdour

Instead of following the Fife Coastal Trail out of Burntisland it is better to follow the Cycle Route signs as this takes you past Rossend Castle (you join up with the official coastal trail quite quickly). This appears to have a long history but is actually up for sale. It could be yours if you have a spare half million (plus the cost of any renovation).

Rossend Castle
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The path closely follows right hand side of the railway and then half way it drops into a small tunnel to switch sides and stay on the left towards Silversands Beach.

Trainline towards Aberdour
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Aberdour Harbour
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We stopped for lunch at the Harbour. The view looks across towards Crammond but the main Island that catches you attention is Inchcolme Island and Abbey.

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Aberdour to Dalgety Bay

Climbing up to the main street of Aberdour and then you turn left through the estate gates and walk up alongside the Golf Course. We encountered a bank of snowdrops just after the golf course which was very pretty. After this you just follow the track until you get to the east end of Dalgety Bay.

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Snowdrops
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Dalgety Bay and Boat Club
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To get through Dalgety Bay you follow the path around a couple of bays but you also need to connect via a couple of streets. Its not ideal but if you don't mind looking at some of the houses then it isn't too bad and its not long before you are back on the sea front again.

Dalgety Bay to Inverkeithing

Continuing along the path leaving Dalgety Bay and passing through St Davids Bay we were on the final stretch along Inverkeithing Bay. The views to the Forth Bridge become the dominant feature now. There is also an old abandoned quarry and a couple of old jettys on this stretch to keep the interest.

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Inverkeithing Quarry
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Eventually you arrive at Inverkeithing - if you look across the harbour you see the old scrap yard and also the derelict site of the Caldwells Paper Mill.

Caldwell Paper Mill
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The last part of the walk was to get to Inverkeithing Station to catch the train back to Dunfermline;

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I would recommend this walk to anyone looking for a decent length low level walk (except for the Kinghorn to Burntisland stretch). Each town that you pass through has a rail station so it can be made as long or short as you want and there are plenty of hotels, pubs and cafes in the towns to cater for any requirements. We really enjoyed the walk and will hopefully help build up our fitness for the 5 day WHW trip starting on the 31st March. Also, as it is so close to my I expect I will wander along the path numerous times over the next few years.
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Dunfie
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:53 pm

I often take the train up to Burntisland from my home in South Queensferry and walk back. Lovely walk. Will need to find my way further north soon, looks lovely
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby monty » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:49 pm

Excellent report Dunfie. As a fellow Dunfermline resident a lot of the places and views along this walk are familiar to me although i haven't done the full route. I was working in Rossend castle last week. :D
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby Dunfie » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:44 pm

DarrenJeffrey wrote:I often take the train up to Burntisland from my home in South Queensferry and walk back. Lovely walk. Will need to find my way further north soon, looks lovely


Its worth the effort for the walk from Kirkcaldy to Kinghorn.

monty wrote:Excellent report Dunfie. As a fellow Dunfermline resident a lot of the places and views along this walk are familiar to me although i haven't done the full route. I was working in Rossend castle last week. :D


Thanks, I never new that the castle existed until Saturday. My photo doesn't really do it justice as it was one of the only times during the walk that the sun peaked out.
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Dunfie
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby chickadee » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:04 pm

Good walk! I've done part of this, between Inverkeithing and Burntisland, and hope one day to do more. Lovely coast.
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby Bod » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:47 pm

Yes Dunfie, familair and fond paths for me too, keep meaning to do a more extended version as well. The Fife coast is well worth a proper adventure.... :D Good luck with the training and enjoy your Easter hols when they come :D :D :D
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby KGBMC » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:18 pm

Good report Dunfie, have walked from Burntisland to Queensferry many times

I take it you spent some time looking for GCs

Best of luck on the WHW
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Re: Kirkcaldy to Inverkeithing

Postby redvark » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:30 am

one way of avoiding the boring bit between Kinghorn and Burntisland is to detour over the Binn (you can do this by leaving the Coastal Path after it comes up from the beach, and then following the paths across Kinghorn Golf Course)
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