Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => General issues => Topic started by: capetrekker on August 26, 2009, 08:16:14 pm

Title: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: capetrekker on August 26, 2009, 08:16:14 pm
We are planning to walk the Coastal Path next May. Are there any recommended guidebooks/maps published for the route?


Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: bsmyth on August 27, 2009, 08:45:22 am
I lived in Kirkcaldy for many years and now live near Dundee. I have walked the various stages of the Fife Coastal Path (many more than once), although not consecutively and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am sure you will too. I hope the weather is kind to you. The appropriate OS maps would appear to be 59, 65 and maybe 66.

Here is the link to the official Fife Coastal Path website (

Here is a link to an online, downloadable guidebook ( (but if you do a search on Amazon you will find a selection).

Some walking holiday companies such as Contours also offer packages. I have used them and they provide comprehensive guides and maps for their walks. There may be other similar companies who offer a similar service. It takes the hassle out of finding accommodation but obviously will cost a little more.

If you walk south to north you can get the train to North Queensferry where the walk starts. If you travel to the start by car you can leave your car at the Park and Ride at Inverkeithing (free as I understand it) and walk the less than 1 mile to the start at North Queensferry albeit down the side of the busy motorway in part. When you get to the end of the walk at the Tay Road Bridge, you can walk the c 1.5 miles over the bridge (down hill) and Dundee railway station is about 200 yards from the end of the bridge. The bus station is a similar distance but in the opposite direction. There are a few watering holes nearby for the compulsory celebratory drink. Dundee's not a bad place these days for an overnight stop before heading home.
Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: capetrekker on August 27, 2009, 01:01:13 pm
Thank you for your advice and information.

We used Contours last Spring for the West Highland Way and the Cotswold Way and were quite satisfied with their arrangements. They, however, do not provide mapping and guide info until just prior to departure. We live in New England and enjoy spending our winter months pondering maps and sites to visit. We did have the Rucksack Readers Guide which was a very good resource and weathered the storms in great shape.
After the Coastal Path we intend to travel up to Orkney and Shetland for some shorter walks and photography. Again any local knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Weatherwise last Spring we walked "every" day in rain/sleet and are true believers with the Scottish wisdom about there being no bad weather only bad clothing.


Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: bsmyth on August 27, 2009, 09:16:17 pm
Good luck.
If you walk N Queensferry to Dundee you can get the train at Dundee to Aberdeen from where you can get the ferry or flight to Orkney or Shetland. These are beautiful islands and the people will give you a very warm welcome.

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: Jacquetta on August 28, 2009, 07:39:35 am
Hello David

Good luck with the FCP and do let us know how you get on.  Don't underestimate the travel time between and within Orkney and Shetland, BTW, and if short of time my advice would be to choose one rather than try to squeeze in both.  Shetland is a large, far-flung archipelago with ferry connections among its islands and loads of good walking, wildlife and scenery.  Its Tourist Info Centre is very helpful.  Can't speak for Orkney, haven't been (yet). 

For planning purposes, on those long winter evenings, I'd recommend Lonely Planet's Walking in Scotland.  It's available very cheaply on (though sadly not in its 2nd edition, for which you would need, ISBN is 1741042038).  It includes the whole of Scotland, obviously and has material on the  FCP and other long walks, and also valuable info on walking in Orkney, Shetland and much more besides.  If you plan to visit Scotland in future, you may find it a great one-stop shop for information.

The FCP guidebook I have seen (not ours, but it looks good) is Along The Fife Coastal Path (from Mercat Press/Birlinn) by Hamish Brown (who lives in Fife and has a high reputation as an author).  I say this not to undermine the online book that bsmyth has pointed you toward (which I've never seen) but as another option which is available through marketplace (search by ISBN is fastest: 1841830577).

Delighted to hear that our WHW guidebook survived your challenging weather.  Maybe we ought to consider doing one on the FCP?  So far, I've been thinking that Hamish Brown probably did so good a job that there's no need.  Please let us know what you think?

Glad that your attitude to Scottish weather is robust.  We needed attitude to get through the summer we've just had :o - although I've personally had some great walking this year!
Please keep us posted on your experiences and thanks for posting!

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: capetrekker on August 28, 2009, 02:54:42 pm
Dear bsymth and Jacquetta
I am planning to take the ferry out of Aberdeen to the islands. We are retired and fortunate to be able to plan our time around the activity, so we hope to experience both Shetland and Orkney as best we can. I will look into both of the referenced guidebooks. We look forward to walking and enjoying the area.
Thanks, David

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: bsmyth on August 29, 2009, 05:19:53 pm
If you do walk south to north and end up in Dundee and you need to stay overnight, there is a Premier Inn ( just across from the train station. There is a resturaunt next door. The town centre is very close by where there is a good selection of eating places. The Premier Inn is on the waterfront of the River Tay, with great views on a nice day.

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: bsmyth on February 07, 2012, 09:21:18 pm
We just walked the new extension to the FCP from Newburgh to Wormit – about 14 miles/22.5 km.

As there is no direct bus service between Wormit and Newburgh we used 2 cars. We left one at Wormit at the car park on west side of railway bridge at river side. We travelled in the other car to Newburgh and parked in the car park beside Newburgh Primary School on the eastern side of Newburgh. After walking to Wormit we travelled back to Newburgh to pick up the other car.
We were blessed with an excellent sunny day with blue skies and great views of the river at both ends of the walk The path is very well signposted except where it meets the road just before Brunton (walking from Newburgh). I am sure there must have been a sign at some time, but certainly none was to be seen on the day we walked. We met a group who had started at Brunton and were walking to Newburgh and they made the same observation.  I have reported this to the FCP people.

The central section of several miles takes you away from views of the river. However the scenery is picturesqe in its own way. There is one stretch of road walking on a quiet country road. Hopefully in due course this may be rectified.

This is an excellent addition to the FCP and is as good as any other section, in my opinion.  I was unable to find a map or description of this new extension on the web incl the FCP site. I emailed one of the Rangers  who very helpfully sent me the route marked on by email. I would certainly recommend this section of the FCP.

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: Jacquetta on April 24, 2012, 10:15:26 am
It's great to read that report, thanks so much for sharing your experience of what sounds like a really worthwhile extension to the route.

Here's a quick update on the mapping front: I recently picked up the new edition of the Footprint Fife Coastal Path map (£5.95, waterproof) and was delighted to find it covers this extension in full.  The bit you mention near Brunton is superclear on the map, even if not on the ground, and there's more about the map here (

Updated 26 April: here is a link to a news story ( about the updated map.

Title: Re: Fife Coastal Path
Post by: Stottie on May 27, 2012, 04:48:38 am
I used the new map between North Queensferry and Leuchars and found it excellent.  The waymarking was very good too. 

Correctly in my view, the map points out the more challenging nature of the path between Fife Ness and St Andrews where the beach is the only way to go and there are several steep undulations.  On site, I got the impression that improvements are proposed for this section, which would make it easier for those who might be put off by becoming tide-fast or inconvenienced by narrow and (sometimes) slippery steps.