Fife Ness to St Andrews

Sunrise over the Forth

When we were treated to a beautiful sunrise it was clear the plan to do this walk today was inspired.  The start is back at Fife Ness but unlike last time we were instead walking north west to St Andrews which meant the sun was at our backs, so no squinting into the strong, low sun for us.  It is this attention to detail that raises our planning to an art-form.  And once again, weatherwise, the 2nd of January proved the best day of our holiday – you’ll remember similar conditions two years ago.

 
This section of the Fife Coastal Path is a beauty.  The start is nice and easy walking around the edges of a couple of links golf courses.  Clearly our putting friends were still recovering from the festivities because hardly anyone was out on the courses and we only met occasional walkers, mostly near the main car park at Cambo Sands.  The coastline here is mainly rock reefs with occasional golden sandy beaches and a great view east to the Bell Rock lighthouse 22km away on the horizon of the North Sea, and north to the Angus coast.

Kenly Water, Boarhills

Buddo Rock

Buddo Point

Bit of variety

Jazz heading back to the coast, Boarhills

 

 
Just at the point you think a change from unrelentingly lovely coastline would be welcome, the path makes a turn inland to pass the wonderfully named hamlet of Boarhills.  The path follows a nice woodland path beside the Kenly Water before remembering it is a coastal path and heading back to the sea.  It emerges at the lovely Buddo Rock sandstone pillar which was just glowing in the low sun, and which made an ideal lunch spot.

Patience Required

So How Does a Dog Get Up?

First view of St Andrews

From near here we get our first view of St Andrews, but the path starts to get a bit more undulating as it passes various headlands.  At one point the path becomes submerged at high tide and the recommendation is to wait for it to recede – clearly patient walkers around here.  On the muddier and steeper bits some kind people have put in stepping stones.  Some patient person has even tried to improve the grip but cutting diamond patterns into the rock – it was appreciated.   On one rocky bit a hand-rail and step help you climb up.  Sadly, no Spaniel equivalent was provided so the old push-a-spaniel’s-bum routine is needed.  It isn’t particularly hard walking but having this at the end of the day was a bit tough on the legs that had enjoyed their easy stroll so far.

Surfers at East Sands

Moon and Venus over St Andrews Cathedral

You know you are getting close to St Andrews because Jazz’s sniffing frequency increases dramatically as she checks out all her new friends’ pee stops.  Just around the corner you know you are in serious tourist land because you bump into a big caravan park overlooking East Sands.  At least the local planners insisted that they are all green in a weak attempt to have them blend into the hillside.  But from here it is down to East Sands in St Andrews and a sit on a bench to share an apple while we watch the surfers out in the bay.  It was hilarious.  They all look like they think they are in Hawaii but the longest I saw anyone stand upright was 3 seconds – most didn’t make it as far as “one elephant”.  Now I’m the first to admit that surfing isn’t one of my sporting strengths (What is? – Ed.) but at least I’m sensible enough to not go out in a wet suit on the 2nd of January (or any other day!).  So we push on to have a wander around the harbour and town of St Andrews as the sun sets.  It is much nicer than I was expecting and a place to return and explore further.

Distance:23km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again:
Duration:5½ hours