337. East Wemyss to South Queensferry

This could be my last 3 day walking trip to Scotland, as if all goes to plan I would reach North Berwick by the end of it, leaving two big walking days to Berwick -upon-Tweed, thus completing the Scottish section of my coastline walk around Great Britain.

Today’s walk would be a big day and I needed a very early start. To do this I had to get about 5 hours sleep the previous evening and then drive up to Edinburgh through the night. I planned to catch the 6:32 #x58 bus from the slip road on the Forth Road Bridge, this bus would go all the way onto East Wemyss. The drive up from Shropshire was quick, as travelling through the wee small hours usually is. I parked at The Binks, in South Queensferry and walked the half mile onto the slip road of the Forth Road Bridge. I was not surprised to hear the bus driver say it was £12.70 for a single fare to East Wemyss. That would have been the most expensive bus journey ever for me. However, on the Scottish Traveline site I had seen that a day return ticket would be just £8. I have still yet to understand why these fare pricings are what they are!

Five minutes after getting off the bus in East Wemyss, the rain started and within 10 minutes I was soaking wet. The heavy rain shower was not forecast, which made me a bit annoyed. At least the walking was easy as I passed below Wemyss Castle, along the shore side Fife Coast Path.
I soon came to the first real built up area which was the old mining community at Dysart and the long since closed Frances Pit. The only visible remnants of this mining town were the info boards and the old winding gear. I passed around its charming little harbour and through a small tunnel which led to the shoreline. I passed by the ruined Ravenscraig Castle and came into Kirkcaldy. The rain returned again and I received a second soaking. I decided to get some respite from the rain by popping into Lidl to get some pastries. The walk through Kirkcaldy was easy along the wide sea front promenade.

Dawn at The Binks, South Queensferry looking across to Fife
Low tide at West Wemyss harbour
Looking south down The Firth of Forth at Chapel Wood Tower
The old headframe at Frances Colliery, Dysart
St. Serfs Tower and Church in Dysart
Rock tunnel towards Ravenscraig at Dysart harbour
Looking down on Pathhead Sands and Ravenscraig Castle

The sun eventually came out as continued south along the shoreline path into Kinghorn, here I had to divert inland slightly to get around the railway. Edinburgh was now becoming larger in my sights across the Firth of Forth as I followed the railway line into Burntisland. After walking through the town I re-joined the railway line along the Fife Coast Path. I passed along the steeply wooded area known as the Heughs, which displayed a number of recent landslides, with evidence of a small foot bridge being swept away. The next small town I came to was Aberdour which seemed to contain a number of “private” streets and looked to be “very well to do”. Here I had to divert inland to get around an oil terminal to the south, alongside a golf course.

The rain returned again as I entered the really posh areas of Dalgety Bay, fortunately I had not dried out from the last deluge so I did not get as wet this time. I could now make out the three bridges quite easy, as I left Dalgety Bay behind and  pushed on into Inverkeithing. I was now beginning to feel the effects of the long drive and the equally long walking mileage. I decided to give North Queensferry a miss and head straight for the Forth Road Bridge. I was now getting slightly nervous now as the wind speed had been building for a while now, although, I was sure the speed was less than the 50mph it needed to be before pedestrians were not allowed on the bridge.

By the time I reached the approach to the bridge warning signs had restricted the Queensferry Crossing (the Motorway Bridge and which I had walked over back in 2017) traffic to 40 mph. The speed on the Forth Road Bridge was a more sedate 20 mph, which the permitted traffic of buses, taxis, motorbikes obviously were not adhering to. It was certainly a unique setting to have these great bridges grouped so closely together. As I walked over the bridge I was surprised at how low the perimeter guard rail was and the huge drop to the water below. The length of the bridge is just over 1.5 miles  long and I was really pleased to finally reach the far side. After crossing the bridge all that remained was to complete the short walk back down to South Queensferry and my car. I had been walking for 9.25hours and I was quite fatigued.

Seafield Tower between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy, abandoned in 1733
Looking down on the sea front at Kinghorn
Zoomed shot down The Firth of Forth to the three bridges. Notice the wind speed has picked up
Zoomed shot across the Firth to Arthurs Seat, Salisbury Crags and Leith
Heading into Burntisland
Looking down on The Hawkcraig Point Leading Lights marking the deepwater channel from the east end of Mortimer’s Deep to the Forth Deepwater Channel, used by LPG tankers leaving the nearby Braefoot oil terminal
The ruins of St Bridgets Kirk
In the late 18th and early 19th cenbtury this small stone building adjacent to the kirk graveyard was used by relatives watching over the graves to ensure body-snatchers did not steal those recently buried
Looking across to the Queensferry Crossing
Looking back to the Queensferry Crossing from the Forth Road Bridge

NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=25124

Distance today = 25 miles
Total distance =6,202 miles

 

 

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