Another long distance footpath to be explored this weekend…well, just a wee part of another long distance footpath. Conveniently Simon was off to Edinburgh for the afternoon so he dropped me off in North Queensferry and the arrangement was he would pick me up later that afternoon wherever I ended up. This turned out to be Kirkcaldy some 20 miles away which I reached following the Fife Coastal path. The full route of this long distance footpath stretches from Newburgh on the north coast of fife all the way past St Andrews, the fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, past Kirkcaldy, North Queensferry and finishing in Kincardine, a distance of well over 100 miles. This run was also to be a recce for further adventures…. A Mules relay perhaps…
Initially the path climbed up through a nature reserve giving great views of the forth bridge through the flaming yellow gorse before the glorious vista over the forth changed quickly into a less than glorious vista over a scrapyard as I ran into Inverkeithing…and promptly lost the path. A loop of Inverkeithing later and I was back on track and this was a track which followed gravel paths and tarmac cycle ways along the coast of Fife. The wee detour into inverkeithing was put to good use as I stopped to buy some sun block – it’s been so long since I had any need for sunblock I couldn’t locate it anywhere I the house before I set off and I certainly did not want a repeat of the tan lines of two weeks ago.
The twisting and rolling nature of the course meant that there was plenty to look at and despite having lived in Fife for years I still found places that I had never visited before. Much of the route weaved its way through woodlands with the heady smell of wild garlic and the carpet of bluebells hinting that summer is still lagging 3 or 4 weeks behind this year, something that Peter Buchanan also noted in his last blog posting.
I vaguely remembered the section to Aberdour which had formed part of the very last and much missed Two Bridges Race (by the final race it wasn’t so much the two bridges but the one bridge twice race!) Aberdour itself is very picturesque but once past Aberdour I was in to unknown territory.
It was a lovely and sunny day but with a stiff breeze which the many yachts on the water were making the most of. At the sheltered bay of Silver Sands and at Burntisland beach people were out making the most of the sunshine and everywhere had very much of a holiday feel too it. It was murder running past the green at Burntisland with the whaft of chips and beer drifting under my nostrils….talk about temptation. I’m proud to say that I didn’t succumb to temptation and carried on running…. Another big distraction for me was peeking at some of the amazing sea front properties perched along the coast. I am sure the owners must be able to go fishing without leaving their front room!
The tide was out and in daylight the Black Rock at Kinghorn looked small and innocuous and nothing like how it is freeze framed in my memory from those dark winter night races around it.
By the time I reached Kirkcaldy the dark clouds were gathering ominously and the drops of rain were making themselves felt as I ran along a section of beach, climbed a wall and finished up on the esplanade so it was perfect timing when Simon appeared on the esplanade to pick me up.
|Some of this route is below sea level....!|