Day 271: St Andrews to Lower Largo

Distance: 28.34 miles

Ascent: 3030 feet

Weather: Sunny Spells, Strong Gusts at Points

Accommodation: The Lowe’s House, Lower largo (Kindly Offered)


I hadn’t rolled out of the tent overnight, so the rolled-up towel had done its job. It was a beautiful if chilly morning outside as I set off early as today was another long one. The path, which was well created/laid once again, followed a mixture of the top and bottom of the low cliffs, meaning it was a bit more up and down than I had expected.

After a couple of miles the Fife Coast Path headed inland, I had seen this on the map and was not entirely sure why. Part of it was I believed to cross the river but maybe there was some issue further along the coast. I have come to trust the Fife Coast Path so decided to follow it as it didn’t go inland to far. After crossing the river, on the most overkill footbridge I had seen in a while, there was a lovely riverside path back down to the coast. When I rejoined the coast it looked like at this time you could have crossed the river but would have had to take boots off likely.

The coast had changed where I rejoined, the cliffs had gone and there were now lots of small sandy coves. I passed a cheese toasty snack van in a car park which seemed an unusual choice of snack van food, but I didn’t stop and carried on across the Kingbarns Golf Course. As per Carnoustie and another course I passed this also appears to be hosting the Dunhill Links Championship.

After turning the corner at Fife Ness I reached Crail the first of several nice villages/towns I would pass today with lovely harbours and stone buildings in their centre. I stopped here to grab stuff for lunch and also decided to email two places actually in Lower Largo I though may have a patch of grass about possibly pitching as I needed to be in the town as then I could charge my devices all which were empty or would be empty by this evening.

From Crail the path directly followed the coast passing the slightly bigger Anstruther Easter, and then the more quaint St Monans and Elie. During this time I got responses from 2 people at the Lower Largo sailing club and both had kindly offered me options one to sleep in the boathouse and the other to stay in his house. After 3 long days, and 3 nights in the tent and with all my devices out of charge I was so happy/grateful for these offers which were very unexpected, and I am happy the sailing club didn’t have a patch of grass.

After passing yet another golf course, I think the 10th of the day, I had a steep climb up to the top of Kincraig Hill. And boy oh boy when I got to the top either the wind had significantly strengthened or the shape of this hill funnels it as it felt like the wind was 50/60mph minimum up here and at one point I actually had to stop walking because it was battering me so much. The views were stunning from up here but trying to get a non-blurry photo as I was being blown around was quite hard.

The path wound its way back down again to Shell Bay and after passing the caravan park I came to a river at the end of a long sandy beach. Bizarrely there was a kitesurfer actually upstream in the not overly wide river. He wasn’t on the board and it appeared he was in a bit of bother and part of me wonders how he got there. Another kitesurfer who had landed his kite was coming to check on him so fortunately I didn’t have to try and help.

I crossed the two bridges and then followed a mixture of the dunes and beach towards Lower Largo. After a mile or so along the beach two people approached and it turned out to be Kevan and Lynne from the sailing club who had come to meet me on my way in which was very kind. We walked the last bit together and just short of the town we bumped into Chris who was kindly putting me up for the night.

I was knackered by now and am glad that tomorrow will be the last of this extended mileage this week bringing to the end almost 170 miles over 6 days. I had a shower which was great and my first since Aberdeen, then Chris and Isobel made a lovely dinner and it was not to long till I was heading to bed and I fell asleep immediately.

A long, beautiful day with a great variety of scenery and some people may be surprised by this but it is up there with my favourite routes of the walk. And the kind offer at the end was almost needed as I was getting really tired this week.

charles compton