(Updated 23/4/2021 and should be correct for facilities after Lockdown but if not, please let us know asap – thanks)
Comfort Stops on the Fife Coastal Path
The Fife Coastal Path stretches for 117 miles in total but this article and the rest of the series we’ve created, are geared around finding the best comfort stops to make your days out even more enjoyable. This time we will look at Kingsbarns to Guardbridge.
Kingsbarns to Guardbridge
This stretch is from Kingsbarns Beach to Guardbridge with a Caledonia Washrooms serviced toilet at each end. The distance is about 12 miles and takes in one of the most famous towns in Scotland, St Andrews, the home of golf, ancient university, castles and miles of golden beaches.
The first significant landmark you will come to after leaving Kingsbarns is Buddo Rock an impressive stack of pink sandstone and being a harder rock than those nearby has withstood erosion better hence the promontory. The path is rough and sometimes muddy and walkers with four legged friends in tow are advised to keep them on leads as livestock do graze here.
It’s just after here at Kinkell Ness that the path leaves the beach and leads into the East Sands at St Andrews. Here you are spoilt for choice with 2 of our serviced toilets, Block 1 and Block 2 which is next to the ice cream hut. East Sands is very popular with water sports enthusiasts as well as sandcastle builders and their families.
It’s decision time. Take time out from your walk and head into town to visit the many historical attractions and cafes and coffee shops or carry on over the cliffs and St Andrews Castle. St Andrews Castle is around 450 years old and has been a bishop’s palace, a fortress and a state prison. The bottle dungeon and medieval siege warfare features of mines and countermines are well worth visiting.
St Andrews Detour
It’s worth stopping at St Andrews Cathedral & St Rule’s Tower on the way. Once Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church, which dominated Scottish religion until 1560. Climb to the top of the 33m St Rules Tower with stunning views of the Fife coast and town of St Andrews. The Cathedral is the end of the Fife Pilgrim Way.
If you are remaining on the path you will pass the world-famous Old Course Hotel. Personally we’d recommend a short detour to the West Sands to see where the iconic race scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed on the miles of flat golden sands. If you fancy donning the white vest and leggings to recreate the scene yourself with some Vangelis playing on the background, you can change in the toilets at The West Sands by the playpark. They are serviced by us so plenty of supplies available!
Back on the path leaving St Andrews and onto Guardbridge. A footpath leads to Coble Shore point with outstanding views of the Eden Estuary Nature Reserve. Guardbridge is the lowest bridging point on the River Eden, dating from 1419, and once a busy harbour. The Eden Visitor Centre overlooks the upper estuary, a wildfowl hotspot and Site of Special Scientific Interest and well worth a
The Eden Estuary visitor centre is the perfect spot for bird watching. The bulk of the reserve is made up of rich intertidal mud and sand flats, home to millions of tiny plants and animals. Due to this wealth of food, the site supports a huge variety and volume of birdlife including black-tailed godwit, grey plover, redshank, shelduck and red-breasted merganser. You might also have a chance of spotting interesting mammals including otter, dolphin and common seal. And if the call on nature becomes too strong whilst you are wildlife spotting don’t worry there is a Caledonia Washrooms supplied toilet at The Bird Hide here. Kingsbarns to Guardbridge really has something for everyone to enjoy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guided walks and toilet stops on The Fife Coastal Path. You can check some other sections out here on the Fife Coastal Path. We also look after many more iconic destinations throughout Scotland and will share some more snippets, facts and toilets shortly.
In the meantime 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.