My final day had arrived! I was both looking forward to the end and not wanting it to end. As I came down the hill from my B&B the house above was the first house I came to, looking out over the River Tay – isn’t it lovely?! If you fancy a house looking out over the river then this ones for sale – looks like it might need a bit of work though:-)
Or how about a yellow castle?
Newport -on-Tay is so interesting because of its many unusual buildings and very pretty as it’s made the most of the views over the river giving its visitors and residents many places to sit and relax. I passed by this little hidey hole on my way out of the village. You can just see a lady sitting with a buggy.
Wormit is the next village along (only about a mile) from Newport-On-Tay and very similar with its pretty views over the water.
You will quickly find yourself walking under the bridge and on to Wormit Bay – a favourite for dog-walkers.
As you follow the path from Wormit bay to Balmerino you will pass by a sculpture of a seal put there for walkers to sit on apparently – there is supposed to be three of these sculptures along the path but I only saw one so keep your eyes open – you might just see a real seal in the water too!
After leaving the coast the path takes you through woodland all the way to Balmerino (about three miles). Its very pretty but slippery too so be careful!
Once you get to this gate you then that’s you reached Balmerino,
which is basically just a row of houses.
Now, I hadn’t expected it to be so small! I was counting on Balmerino to provide me with some lunch, but I hadn’t quite had this in mind.
Something cooked preferably or even just a sandwich? Nope. No shops, no cafe’s, no road-side burger vans:-) So, if you do this part of the coastal path, remember your packed lunch!
After Balmerino the path basically takes you through woodland (must have been a strong wind that day!),
and back to woodland again.
On this path above you come to a Fife Coastal Path sign next to a wee wooden bridge leading into the woods so it looks as if you are meant to go into the woods but I tried it,
and there were fallen trees all over the path so I just went back to the main path again. And at the top of the hill beside the lovely view was a very welcome sign.
Only 7 miles to go! But as you can see that’s not the Fife Coastal Route path – it had other ideas. It wanted to take me on the scenic route so instead of turning right here you must go straight ahead continuing up the main track road across farmland.
So, I might have mentioned before I’m a bit wary of cows – well this is an example of why.
I went past this field of cows and one cow was staring at me all the time:
So, I politely repeated hello, as I walked past. As I did so, one by one, the other cows looked up and then they all started running towards me, really fast, arrrgh!!
So, I walked a bit faster not sure what would happen when they got to the fence where thank goodness they stopped. And stared.
As I walked along they ran along beside me!
No wonder cows freak me out! What kind of freaky behaviour was that?! Maybe they thought I had some hay in my backpack:-)
Anyway, back to the path. That field is just before a place called Creich which has a ruined castle and a farm basically (no shops or cafes:-) ),
oh, and some pretty cottages where the people there seem to wear an awful lot of t-shirts:-)
After Creich there is another tiny village called Brunton – just very pretty houses (no shops or cafes – I did walk down to the village in hope:-) )
and then Pittachope, just a couple of houses (no shops or cafes – get the idea:-) ).
At this point I was a bit tired and hungry after walking around 9 miles and I did consider knocking on a door and asking for a cup of tea and then I remembered the biscuits! Hurrah! The night before I had bought a packet of DOUBLE chocolate digestives to have with a cup of tea in the evening in my B&B. I also had half a bottle of water. I was laughing:-) I sat down on the grass and had my lunch – double chocolate digestives (don’t forget the double – vitally important:-) ) and some water. Just what I needed for the 8 miles left to go. ( I wouldn’t advise this lunch by the way – remember to pack yourself a better one:-) ).
After Pittachope there are no villages – just woodland and farm land for around 7 miles until you reach just outside of Newburgh. It starts off leading you towards the woods up on the hill so quite a climb, but worth it:-)
The woodland walks are very pretty, with the sunlight dancing through the leaves of the trees, and also uphill and downhill – so it gets you puffing – but, again, worth the effort when you emerge from the woods to amazing views.
You’ll pass by October Cottage,
and lots of fields!
But I did see a very beautiful Thistle would you believe?!
Just before you emerge from the farmland and into Newburgh the map instructs you to ‘Use the route through field to avoid farm yard.’ Well this should read ‘fields’ as there were at least three with gates that wouldn’t open so you need to climb over them – I must have looked a funny site:-) Unfortunately the fields contained livestock. The sheep were fine,
and some really pretty scenery lulled me into a false sense of security and the feeling that I was done with the fields and heading home,
and then I faced this, with nowhere to go but through them, they were making a terrible noise!
Panic! I texted my daughter who helpfully texted back hysterical laughter, hahahahahaha. So, I was very brave, head down, avoiding eye contact I walked through the field at a steady pace as not to appear too scared:-) And they ignored me! Never thought I’d ever do that – probably never will again:-)
After this was another field of sheep and then a field of horses (you’ve got to be kidding!) until I passed the farm and reached the main road that passed by Parkhill.
With only a mile to go I was very happy and who should I meet on the path?!
My husband, Mark! What a lovely surprise. It was very nice to have someone to walk with on the last mile! Thank you Marky – (he’ll probably never read this:-) ).
After all the farmland it was also nice to see the water once more,
and some civilisation too.
But don’t get too excited – there are still a few signs to follow:
After this one above you have to go into the park – there’s nothing to tell you to do that – lucky Marky was there!
And once your in the park your onto the home stretch – just follow the path up,
and then you’ll see it just in the distance. At this point you are allowed a big smile:-)
and before you know it,
you’re there and walking under that big arch! (and hopefully you won’t look as much as a state as I did:-) )
And that was the walk over with – 117 miles of rugged landscape, interesting landmarks, historic buildings, warm, welcoming villages with their cosy cafes and B&B’s and, of course, beautiful coastline. Missing it already!
Some tips I would like to leave you with just in case you decide to see it for yourself one day:
- Take waterproofs.
- Take sunscreen.
- Take a packed lunch wherever the map/guide indicates the path is quiet/rural roads/forest.
- Take a friend/s. To have someone to share the experience would make it even better, I think.
- Pace (1). When planning how many miles you will cover each day think about the terrain. Look at the guide. Walking on normal pavements is so much easier than hiking across long grasses and rocky beaches.
- Pace (2) Also, you aren’t going to be able to walk at the same pace on day 7 as you did on day 1 when your legs are fresh.
- Check the tides and where the map says ‘not passable at high tide,’ believe it:-)
- Be vigilant when looking out for the Fife Coastal Path signs – they are there if you look for them most of the time ( I commend the work of The Fife Coast and Countryside Trust who manage and maintain The Fife Coastal Path and do an amazing job considering the extent of the area).
- Last but not least – take your time! There is so much to see – give each town and route the time it deserves. I would say ten miles a day is more than enough. Explore and enjoy it!
I hope you have enjoyed sharing some of the sites around the Fife Coastal Path with me. I certainly enjoyed doing it. Thanks for reading!