Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fife Coastal Path: Leven to Elie

For our last ramble in Scotland, we chose to explore a different section of the Fife Coastal Path.  Our experience this past September was so idyllic, we really hoped to duplicate it whilst seeing something slightly different.

On a recent Sunday, we paid £9.50pp for Dayrider Plus bus tickets, transferred in St. Andrews, and were in Leven before we knew it.  Due to our previous experience, we expected to encounter many cute pubs on our way to Elie so we packed a lunch sans drinks and resolved to turn this 12-mile ramble into a coastal village pub crawl.

Our first stop was right off the bus in Leven, on the high street at The Windsor Hotel.  We weren't terribly impressed by Leven, or The Windsor Hotel, so we didn't linger.  After a relatively fast round of drinks, we made our way to the water to begin our ramble.

The Fife Coastal Path is very well marked and, since this portion has many sections which skirt the water's edge, also has a High Tide Alternative which we wound up taking more often than not because we found we do not much care for long distance rambling with sand in our shoes.

Our next town was Lower Largo where we encountered our favourite pub of the day, the Railway Inn.  We lingered over our drinks whilst watching the locals enjoying their sport on the telly (we couldn't see the TV but we could see and hear the crowd).  When the sun started shining through the window we decided it was time to get back outside.

The weather was of the classic Scottish 'four seasons in one day' variety.  The weather, sand, and rolling hills actually proved quite tiring and as we approached Earlsferry (no pubs), we began looking for a bus stop to take us back home.  Unfortunately, the first bus stop wasn't until the neighbouring village of Elie and we arrived just in time to watch our once-per-hour bus depart.  Luckily, Elie does have a pub and we were able to warm ourselves at the Station Buffet Bar (Scotland's Pub of the Year 2008) before catching our bus back to St. Andrews.

We had wanted to walk all the way to Pittenweem for the full 12-mile section but had to call the game at just under 9-miles.  This section of the Fife Coastal Path was also slightly disappointing.  There was a lot of garbage (see garbage sculpture, left) along the path and the villages weren't as cute as previously experienced (save Lower Largo).  Overall, we still prefer our previous experience and, though Lower Largo was the highlight of this walk, would recommend Anstruther as the place to go along the Fife coast for a day out.

For more pictures, please visit my Facebook album.

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