Monday, 23 February 2015

Coastwalk , Fife Coastal Path

Lower Largo → Pittenweem

lower-largo.jpg Distance: 11.94 miles
Ascent: 686 metres
Duration: 3 hours 56 minutes

« Kirkcaldy Harbour | Kingsbarns »

Lower Largo – Earlsferry – Elie – St Monan's – Pittenweem: a chain of fishing villages forms the heart of the East Neuk (pronounced "nook") of Fife.

Between the villages, a chain of castles and ruins.

Neither of these were the chains I was most looking forward to though. Those were the chains of the Elie Chain Walk.

kincraig-point.jpgJust west of Earlsferry the coast path takes to the top of Kincraig Hill. At low tide there's an exciting alternative: a scramble around the foot of the cliffs, aided by chains bolted to the rocks.

We'd planned meticulously and arrived at the start of the chain walk an hour before low tide. Coming near the start of the walk we knew we'd be ready for challenge.

The one thing we couldn't plan for was the weather. While dry, a fiercely chopping wind was howling in from the south-west. Standing at the point where the paths split, huge waves were crashing over the rocks. Disappointed, we took the high road.

The danger wasn't over there; the wind was so strong that we were blown off our feet at the top of the hill, but I think we made the right decision.

pittenweem.jpgWe'll return to the East Neuk another time to try the chains again. The villages will draw us back too.


Notes for future walkers:

  • Just south of Newark Castle, a sign explains how to tell whether or not the low tide route is safe. This is not where the paths diverge; climb up to the castle — the paths split there. The issue is the short stretch of intertidal path beneath St Monans church; it is likely you could take the low path route and hop the wall into the graveyard if the path is inundated.
  • Be sure to check out St Fillan's Cave in Pittenweem. It's a little way up Cove Wynd, which is the narrow alley opposite the telephone box on the harbour.

Posted by pab at 18:57 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!