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, Kingsbarns||5.25km||1 - 2 hours|
|Balmerino and Thornton circuit||5.25km||1.5 hours|
|Tentsmuir Forest & dunes, near Leuchars||5.5km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path 6: St Monans to Anstruther||5.75km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path 7: Anstruther to Crail||6.75km||1.5 - 2 hours|
|West Sands, St Andrews||7.25km||2 - 2.5 hours|
|Mount Hill and the Hopetoun Monument, Cupar||12.5km||3.5 - 4 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|
|Norman's Law, from Luthrie||8.25km||2.5 - 3 hours|
|Tay Bridge & Balmerino, from Wormit||8.5km||2 - 2.5 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path 8: Crail to Kingsbarns||9.5km||3 - 3.5 hours|
|Hill of Tarvit and Scotstarvit from Ceres||10.25km||3 - 4 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path 9: Kingsbarns to St Andrews||13.5km||3 - 4 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path 5: Lower Largo to St Monans||14km||3 - 4 hours|
|Fife Coastal Path||183km||11 stages|
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..."
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..."