Walk: Elie to Cambo Sands, Fife

Discover fishing villages, islands, lighthouses and piers on this beautiful section of the Fife Coastal Path on Scotland's eastern shores.

Tower on the coast

The Fife Coastal Path runs for 117 miles from Kincardine to Newburgh along Scotland’s eastern shores, taking in a host of scenic stops.

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The Elie to Cambo Sands stretch of the path is particularly enjoyable as it boasts some of the best seaside scenery on the trail and allows walkers the chance to experience award-winning food, historical points of interest and some of Scotland’s most spectacular wildlife.

Taking approximately six hours to complete, the 16-mile section is well signposted but does include rough terrain at points, as well as parts that are impassable at high tide, so be sure to check the tide times ahead of your journey and wear good, sturdy footwear.

Anstruther, Fife Coastal, Fife, Scotland
Anstruther, a small town and a well known tourist destination situated on the Fife Coastal Path.

1. Castles, piers, chips

The route begins at Elie’s Ruby Bay, passing Lady’s Tower and a nearby lighthouse to reach the ruins of Ardross Castle and Newark Castle, the latter built on a dramatic clifftop overlooking the sea.

Less than a mile up the coast is St Monans. Take some time to explore this pretty village with its windmill, striking St Monans Auld Kirk church and iconic zig-zagging pier. The East Pier Smokehouse, with harbour views, is a great spot for a well-deserved rest.

Continue on through Pittenweem – don’t miss St Fillan’s Cave – and on to the largest of East Neuk’s fishing villages, Anstruther.

Puffin in flight
Atlantic puffins can can be seen on the Isle of May, offshore from Anstruther

2. Lunch stop

From here, wildlife fans can take a detour on one of the daily boat trips to the Isle of May, where summer residents include seals and an amazing array of seabirds, including puffins. Famous for its fish and chips, Anstruther makes the perfect lunch stop. Grab your takeaway from the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar and head across the road to enjoy it at the harbour.

Lunch done, proceed along the path past Caiplie Caves, taking in the magical views towards the Isle of May and Bass Rock before arriving at picturesque Crail, a village of bobbing fishing boats and charming cottages.

Crail village, Fife, Scotland
Crail village seashore, Fife
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3. Crail to Combo

The way continues through Kilminning Coast Wildlife Reserve and past the old coastguard station at Fife Ness before reaching Cambo Sands.Round off your walk with a famous mac and cheese toastie from The Cheesy Toast Shack, before catching the 95 bus from The Square back to Elie.

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Elie to Combo walking route and map