The ports of the East Neuk of Fife were described by King James I as the Fringe of Gold to his beggars mantle of a country. The best known is the medieval town of St Andrews - not just the Home of Golf, but also the location of Scotland's most ancient university, and one of its best known beaches. North of St Andrews, the little-frequented easterly extension of the Ochils stretches across the area to almost reach the Firth of Tay, whilst the coast has the massive Tentsmuir Forest - a breeding place for grey seals.
The southern coastline - the East Neuk of Fife - is blessed with a whole string of truly picturesque fishing villages and towns. Crail, Anstruther, St Monans and Pittenweem - their harbours all linked by the Fife Coastal footpath - are a major draw for visitors today. Inland villages such as Ceres are equally attractive, packed with historic buildings, as are country towns such as Cupar.
|The Isle of May||4km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|St Andrews - Town and Gown walk||5km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|Kingsbarns and Cambo circuit||5.25km||1 - 2 hours|
|Tentsmuir Point - forest and dunes, near Leuchars||5.5km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|St Monans - Pittenweem - Anstruther||5.75km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|Anstruther to Crail||6.75km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|West Sands, St Andrews||7.25km||2 - 2.5 hours|
|Largo Law, from Upper Largo||3.25km||1.5 hours|
|Craighall Den circular, Ceres||4km||1.5 hours|
|The Rock and Spindle, from St Andrews||4.75km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|Birkhill Woods, Balmerino||6.25km||2 - 2.5 hours|
|Norman's Law, from Luthrie||8.25km||2.5 - 3 hours|
|Tay Bridge and Balmerino, from Wormit||8.5km||2 - 2.5 hours|
|Crail to Kingsbarns||9.5km||3 - 3.5 hours|
|Hill of Tarvit and Scotstarvit from Ceres||10.25km||3 - 4 hours|
|Kingsbarns to St Andrews||13.5km||3 - 4 hours|
|Lower Largo to St Monans||14km||3 - 4 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path||183km||11 stages|
Ben Dolphin takes a trip to the Isle of May.
"An island measuring 1500 by 500 metres mightn’t be the first place that springs to mind when you’re looking for an afternoon’s cliff-top walking or one of the greatest natural spectacles in the British Isles, but stick with me..."
Karen Thorburn writes of completing the Fife Coastal Path as her first long distance walk - and its personal significance.
"Three years ago, in March 2015, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose to witness a 96% solar eclipse darken the skies over northern Scotland. My husband and I parked up behind Evanton before breakfast and began an hour-long ascent of Cnoc Fyrish. We quickly realised our idea wasn’t an original one..."