Day 270: Monifieth to St Andrews

Distance: 27.730 miles

Ascent: 1071 feet

Weather: Sunny Spells, Quite Windy

Accommodation: Wild Camp After St Andrews


It was another cold morning and as it was a proposed long day I set off early. I had actually got so hungry last night that I had also eaten my breakfast stuff, so I had nothing for this morning. This wasn’t the end of the world as there were options not too far away. As I set off the sun rising over the Firth of Tay was stunning.

After a couple of miles I reached Broughty Ferry and this is where I decided to have breakfast and I went for a right treat, a full english (oops sorry full Scottish) breakfast in the Wetherspoons and as well as feeding me up this also warmed me up ready for the day, It would be too expensive to do this every day (even if it was quite cheap) but was a great start to the day.

From Broughty I followed the coast path which on nearing Dundee tucked inland slightly behind the industrial docks. There was actually a path through the docks but it was for bikes only and even if you were on bike you needed to have got an approved photo id to get through, so I had to just follow the road instead.

At the end of the industrial docks I reached the Tay Road Bridge which I would be crossing. A bit further on is the recently completed V&A museum, which is a nice modern building but as they are hoping this kicks of the regeneration of the whole area I think they could have gone for a more out there design.

About 2/3rds of the way across the Tay Road Bridge a couple of the maintenance workers got chatting to me and they very kindly gave the cause a donation. On the other side of the bridge I joined the Fife Coastal Path which I have heard good things about. Early signs were good with clear signage and wide/clearly defined paths. The path took me through Tayport where I got some supplies and then into Tentsmuir Wood.

Walking through the wood was lovely and in fact sheltered me from both the wind and the sun. I reached the main carpark within the woods and it was surprisingly busy and there was a crepe fan there which though tempting, after my breakfast this morning I definitely didn’t warrant one. The path emerged out the other side of the wood and then skirted the military airfield to Leuchars.

From Leuchars the coast path simply followed the road all the way to St Andrews. The path actually takes you right alongside the famous course. At the famous bridge on the 18th I sneaked onto the course and some other guys doing the same quickly took a photo of me on it. St Andrews was useful for stocking up on supplies and then I headed a short distance out of St Andrews passing East Sands.

Just beyond there due to my electricals almost being completely out I popped into caravan park to see if they take tents and whether they had a backpacker price. But the woman behind the desk was a little blunt with her response, looking down on me. She looked straight at me, as if to say we don’t want you here and said something like ‘yes we do take tents, but you should know it’s £22’. The actual amount which was exorbitant was not the biggest issue it was the way she had talked completed down to me just because I was a backpacker. Anyway, I declined the offer told her I thought it was at least 2 if not 3 times as much as a backpacker tent should be, then used their toilets, filled my water and then had to decide on pitch spot. I did just to be awkward consider pitching literally the other side of the fence from the site where the grass had been cut but it was public land so under Scottish rules I could pitch there. But this would just be stupid as I would get disturbed by all the dogwalkers, and there is no point being awkward just to be awkward even if you are trying to make a point.

So, I carried on and found a little cove with a thin strip of grass. The only issue being finding somewhere flat, in fact there was nowhere flat but one tight spot was just flat enough that I felt is was OK. It doesn’t really come across in the photo below how tight the spot was, but it was incredibly scenic I just hope I don’t role out of the tent tonight. To combat the tilt I rolled my towel up and put in under the mattress to reduce the chance of rolling.

Another long day but the coast path took in a variety of different scenic coastal features making for a nice day.

charles compton