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This is a semi-loop which begins in the upmarket residential area of St Davids and follows the Fife Coastal Path through several small woodlands to reach Braefoot Pier at the eastern end of Dalgety Bay. The return follows the pleasant NCN76 cycle path for a short distance before re-joining the Coastal Path. Superb views towards the Forth bridges and Inchcolm Island, and if you are lucky you might spot roe deer and pheasants along the way! Pass the remains of St Bridget’s Kirk and a WW1 battery in Braefoot woods. Mostly earth paths and pavements with some steps.
Small car park at the end of Harbour Place, Dalgety Bay (KY11 9GG)
Route: From the car park head over to the information board and then simply follow the Fife Coastal Path way markers. At the far end of Dalgety Bay one such way marker has multiple route options; take the one heading through the gate and into Braefoot Woods. Sticking to the main path, wind gently downhill to reach Braefoot Pier. Enjoy the views then begin retracing your steps back uphill. At the first fork keep right to join a track along the outer edge of the woodland. Where you emerge onto a minor road, continue straight ahead along a fence-lined track to cross the field onto Beech Avenue and the NCN76 cycle path. Turn left and at the end of the road left again to join back up with the Fife Coastal Path. Follow the way markers back to the starting point.
WALK REPORT: 30th June 2017
An area of the Fife coast I had never been to before and I had no idea that the houses along the western end of Dalgety Bay were so enormous! Between these and the view over the Forth to the bridges and Inchcolm Island we certainly had plenty to nosey at.
I enjoyed the easy navigation on this walk with the Fife Coastal Path signage at every turn to keep us right. Things did get a little trickier once we ventured into the woods at Braefoot as there were tracks heading off in all directions and it was very tempting to follow some of them towards the coast. Initially we had set out to walk along to Aberdour however when we got to Braefoot Pier the path ran out and there appeared to be no way around the large marine terminal. Doing a bit of research back home I now see that the onward route of the Fife Coastal Path must skirt past these woods, remaining inland on the NCN76 cycle path. Worth noting if you are hiking the FCP and want to avoid a de-tour. The narrow path down to Braefoot Pier was lined with jaggy gorse bush and seemed a little overgrown. The views made it so worthwhile though!
I normally avoid ‘there & back’ walks and also cycle paths if I can help it. Having said that, I have to say that the section of cycle track on this walk is short enough to be enjoyable and we even spotted some wildlife along it in the form of a pheasant and a roe deer which leaped across the path ahead of us :-) The whole way back we kept spotting things we hadn’t noticed earlier in the day; there really is so much to see along this route! One of the things we stopped to admire for longer on the way back was St Bridget’s Kirk which was just in the most tranquil of settings and despite being a ruin appeared to be well looked after. We also spotted a hedgerow with some black/blue berries growing on it and spiky leaves which turns out to be the Darwin’s Barberry bush. Nature at it’s best!