REWALK JULY 2015
Walks Fife Author: Owen Silver
Re walked by Bruce Anderson
In a way, guides like Walks Fife are what the Pocketwalks series is all about. Anyone with an interest in walking already knows about areas like the Cairngorms, Wester Ross, Skye or the Trossachs, but fringe areas like the Ochils, Moray, Caithness – or Fife – tend to be ignored by the visitor. In a way, this is understandable, but there is terrific walking in these areas for anyone who cares to explore – and the paths are often much quieter. Fife has its industrial areas, but there are also some beautiful corners.
The two major attractions are the Lomond Hills and the Fife Coastal Path. The coastal path now runs 117 miles/190km, from Newburgh on the Tay to Kincardine on the Forth. The quality of the walking varies, but the best sections – around Aberdour; the path linking the East Neuk villages; around Fife Ness; west from Wormit along the Firth of Tay – are terrific. As for the Lomond Hills, they are often sighted – beyond Loch Leven when driving the M90 between Edinburgh and Perth – but less often walked. There is an extensive network of paths over the hills, and though the peaks are not high there is a fine variety of walking, and splendid views from the tops. Plus, the picturesque little village of Falkland on the northern edge of the hills, with its Renaissance palace and Real Tennis court, is always worth a visit.
Elsewhere, there is plenty of variety, and plenty of history: the historic village of Culross, industrial heritage around Loch Ore, the path from the little village of Ceres to the old tower house at Scotstarvit, plus the routes around the splendid old university town of St Andrews. Amongst the usual minor adjustments and updates to the guide, a new route has been added with historic interest: Inchcolm Island. It is a tiny island, so the walk is not long, but there is a particular pleasure in visiting islands, and this one involves a fine boat trip under the Forth Rail Bridge (see bottom left) and the remains of the handsome Inchcolm Abbey (see middle left) – as well as a fine array of bird life.
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