Fife is an area of Scotland that people have come from all over the UK and further afield to enjoy for decades now. The terrain is varied, the views are spectacular, and there’s so much to see and do along the way. To give you plenty of new ideas, we’ve put together a simple 5 minute read that will tell you everything you need to know about the local area. That way, all you need to do is read, have a quick think, and then book your trip. It’s just as simple as getting away for the week should be, isn’t it?
183 kilometres of Hugely Varied Terrain to Choose From
The beauty of the Coastal Path is that you can stop and start wherever you like. With well over 100 miles of routes to choose from, you’ll probably be spoilt for choice if you decide you don’t want to tackle the whole thing in one go. The terrain varies from smooth and rolling, all the way up to short sharp gradients set against seemingly never-ending climbs. This makes it the ideal destination for walkers of all abilities who want to test themselves against the terrain.
To get the most out of your holiday, make sure you’re not too ambitious. A walking holiday is all about getting back to nature, it’s not a competitive endeavour. So don’t feel like you have to take on the most challenging sections if you know deep down that they might be a step too far for you this year.
Dundee is Just Across the Water if You Want to Pop into the City
Dundee is a city steeped in history and culture, and it’s only just across the water. Ferries run regularly, so you could always base yourself in one of the small coastal towns for a couple of nights and enjoy everything Dundee has to offer. It’s not an idea you’ll find in many walking guidebooks, but it’s a great thing to have in the back of your mind in case the mood takes you. It could be the perfect end to your time away.
St Andrews is En Route Which Means There’s Plenty of History to See
Another place that’s certainly worth paying a visit to is St Andrews. It’s where the royal family tend to send future kings and queens to university, and it’s a place that has plenty to offer. The streets are lined with great little artisan places to eat — ideal if you want to put your feet up for a few hours and recharge your batteries before going on your way.
If you time it so that you’re travelling outside of term time and during the week, the town centre will be at its quietest. Great if you’re trying to get back to basics and get away from the hectic activity that punctuates life back home.
Coastal Villages Make for a Stay Unlike any Other
If you’re looking for a homely little stay, there are literally dozens of coastal villages to choose from. So many in fact that there’s not enough space on the page to list them all here. If you can find yourself a room in a B&B, you’ll be able to get a great sleep and enjoy a cooked breakfast first thing in the morning. Just what you need after a long day walking some of the most mixed and challenging terrain anywhere in the UK.
Find yourself a village with a couple of pubs, and you’ll be able to enjoy the company of the locals and really immerse yourself in the culture up in Fife. Perfect if you want to get home with a great sense of what the whole region is really like.
Early Spring is the Best Time of Year if You Want to Avoid a Stiff Sea Breeze
The one thing that people will tell you about Fife is that the time of year really impacts the weather. In the depths of winter, you might get rain every day, and a lot of the seasonal B&Bs may be shut, which gives you a bit less choice about where you can stay. In the summer, there won’t be a cloud in the sky, but this can make the more demanding sections of the Coastal Path quite taxing.
If you want the best of both worlds, early to late spring is the best time to go. There’ll be plenty of sunshine, the occasional light shower that passes quickly, and a gentle sea breeze that takes the edge off. It’ll also mean that you can tackle any of the different sections without finding it too hot, or the ground too slippery underfoot. Now all you need to do is keep reading up about Fife so that you can really appreciate the local landmarks when you see them. Take a look at a few of our favourite books, and you should be well on your way to becoming a real expert!
The 3 Best Guidebooks about the Fife Coastal Path
Fife Coastal Path by Rucksack Readers is a compact one hour read that is great to take with you on your travels. It’s small and lightweight enough to slip unnoticed into your bag, and it’s got enough information to let you find your own way along the Coastal Path. Ideal if you want the best of both worlds.
Dan Bailey’s Kingdom of Fife: 40 Coast and Country Walks features plenty of hidden gems that you’ll want to take a closer look at. The artwork is great, the pictures paint a thousand words, and it’s a book that’s not afraid to be a little bit different. Just what you need when you want to enjoy a walking holiday where you won’t be following the crowds.
The Fife Coastal Path by the local tourism board is also well worth a read. It offers great quality maps mixed in with plenty of local attractions to go and see.