THE Fife Coastal Path is now the longest continuous coastal path in Scotland, stretching from Kincardine Bridge at the Kingdom’s western boundary to Newburgh in the north.
The path, which previously terminated at the Tay Bridge, has been extended by 16.5 miles along the River Tay estuary to Newburgh.
Now, at 117 miles, not only is the path Scotland’s longest, it is the country’s oldest and most popular coastal walk.
Fife Coast and Countryside Trust has led the negotiations with local landowners to bring about the extended route.
The recent inclusion of the Tay Bridge to Newburgh stretch has seen Fife Coastal Path waymarkers put in place to help guide walkers through the sparsely populated north coast of Fife.
The extension follows the River Tay as well as taking to higher ground at some points allowing some amazing views over Scotland’s longest and the largest volume river in the UK.
The path makes its way through a landscape steeped in historic landmarks such as Iron Age hill forts and ruined abbeys.
Walkers are guided past Wormit and Balmerino through a backdrop of forestry and farmland before reaching Newburgh, home to Lindores Abbey, argued to be the birthplace of whisky – it documents the earliest record of the drinks production.
Amanda McFarlane, FCCT chief executive, said: “The addition of the northern extension to the path is a great achievement for the trust – it is the completion of a long-held ambition to deliver a coastal walk that starts and finishes at the Kingdom’s borders.
“We would also like to thank all the landowners for their help and support, without them, the extension would not be possible.
“It has taken several years of work to achieve the northern extension and we would like to thank partners and businesses for their support and enthusiasm.
“The Fife Coastal Path has been voted one of Scotland’s Great Trails and Fife has been recorded as the top destination for outdoor tourism for the past four years – the extended route will add to the region’s attractions and will have a positive impact on the local economy.”
Peter Rawcliffe, who works for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and chairs the national project it has established to help develop and promote Scotland’s Great Trails, said: “The development of a path which runs the length of Fife’s coast is a significant achievement and one which will deliver fantastic opportunities for local people and visitors to enjoy the unique countryside and wildlife of the area.
“The Fife Coastal Path is an outstanding example of one of the many great trails Scotland has to offer, and the development and promotion of these trails is crucial for the wider ambitions of developing a network of trails for the benefit of Scotland’s people and its visitors.”