21 Aug Castles, Kings and Caves
Burntisland to Wemyss Fife Coastal Path
THE FIFE COASTAL PATH IS NOT JUST A WALK ALONG SOME OF THE BEST BEACHES IN THE COUNTRY; IT’S A HISTORY LESSON OF SCOTLAND.
Kings and Queens have lived and died here with Dunfermline being the ancient capital of Scotland. But that’s another day for another path with the newly launched Pilgrim Way.
Today we’re on our way eastward and after leaving Burntisland on the way to Kinghorn you will pass a fairly unassuming monument. But it marks another death of another Scottish King in Fife. Alexander 111 died here in 1286 whilst riding in the dark on a stormy night to visit his Queen who was staying in KInghorn at the time.
As you come into Kinghorn, a charming small village, you will notice some beautiful stretches of golden sand and caravan parks. Kinghorn is still a popular holiday destination and our fully stocked toilet at the Harbourmaster’s Building is a welcome stop for many a walker and traveller.
Kirkcaldy, The Lang Toun, soon comes into view. A town of much history and industry, the home of Linoleum, Adam Smith and at one time a thriving harbour for trade as well as fishing. The Coastal Path takes you past Ravenscraig Park and Castle. The Castle was originally built as a royal residence in 1460 but ended up as a heavy fortification. With 3.5 metre thick walls it could easily repel any English invasion threat.
Passing through the park, the traveller comes to Dysart Harbour and with not too much trouble might recognise this part of Fife from Outlander, the TV series of romance, Highland japes and time travelling tales. The Harbour and buildings are so well preserved that they can easily be transformed for period dramas and often the path is temporarily diverted to allow the film crews access.
If you stop at Dysart Harbourmasters House for coffee – a great café – you will also be able to enjoy a toilet trip to another of our serviced loos. Quickly on from the Harbour are even more historical delights to enjoy with St Serf’s Tower built around 1500. This is a 6 storey battlemented church tower and part of the now-demolished St Serf’s Church. The amount of fortified buildings from the late 15th and 16th century in the area demonstrates just how volatile the times were.
MacBeth in Fife?
If you are feeling energetic, we’d suggest keeping going till you get to the Wemyss Caves – 11 caves some of which contain Pictish incised carvings. And for some more recent mystical goings-on, Nearby is Macduff Castle which was originally a late 13th century stone courtyard fortress, which has traditionally been associated with Macduff, Thane of Fife, who murdered MacBeth. We wonder if the Macbeth witches hid in the caves?
Let us know if you have spotted any highlights to share on your walks on the Fife Coastal Path and do let us know if any of the toilets you encounter along the way which display one of our logos on the equipment falls short of expected standards. Equally do give us a shout out on Social Media if you used our maintained toilets and find them just as you’d want.