We woke in the forest to the sounds of nature.
And joggers. And then a dog walker. And then some cyclists. Eventually the curious attention from passers by got the best of us and we hauled ourselves out of our sleeping bags. Normally on a solo trip I’d be very much of the “arrive late, leave early” school of wild camping, but on the 7th morning of a hike I challenge you to get up early.
Flicking a tick off of me before it had the chance to dig its head in (yes, there are deer ticks in this forest – watch yourself), we got packed and headed out on our way.
This was going to be a very short and easy day – 5-6 miles tops. This again was somewhere where we had decided to depart from the normal route. Rather than following the remainder of the path to the “official” end at Newburgh we had decided instead to take a right and finish our walk in Dundee, by crossing the Tay Bridge. This had an appealing symmetry to it, given that we had started our journey by crossing the Forth Road Bridge. Additionally, we weren’t very confident about our resupply options on this remaining section. 2 days of cold snacks carried from the Newport Spar didn’t really appeal.
But another bridge crossing did! (Right after a seriously good burger from the Tay Bridge kiosk, much better than the dreadful pub fare of Leuchars).
The Tay Bridge crossing is definitely not as nice as the Forth Bridge crossing. The path goes up the middle of the bridge, rather than the side, and the road is a lot busier. Traffic races up either side of you, spoiling the views and making an awful racket. There are also seemingly far more people crossing back and forth, so expect bike bells and passing people on the deceptively narrow path.
Wandering into Dundee we paused at the V&A museum to check out their café and gift shop. We elected not to go around the museum proper, for fear of backpack caused destruction. Plus by this point we were a little self conscious about potential olfactory issues with the art museum punters. Completing the symmetry of the walk, we hopped on a train and headed back home.
So that was it! A nice easy week on the Fife Coastal Path with Lauren. Loads of fun, and definitely a safe, easy walk if you’re not used to long distances or rough terrain. Not the easiest if you plan on camping, which is definitely a serious negative point. We ended up only camping for 3 nights out of 6 in the end. I think I would probably recommend doing this walk as a “credit card” tour – taking a lighter bag of stuff and sleeping in hotels and B&Bs the whole way. The planning would be more rigid, and you’d miss out on amazing experiences like sleeping in Tentsmuir Forest, but you’d have a much easier time of it.
Gear-wise I was pretty satisfied with what I went with. My only changes would probably be to pack less clothes (and omit my swimming stuff entirely, since I never used it). I might have risked switching out my 3-season sleeping bag for my 1-season ultralight one – that would have meant less weight and I could have switched to a smaller, lighter backpack. Ultimately though I slept in comfort for the entire trip, and that’s not to be sniffed at.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and if you have any questions about the walk (or comments about your own experiences), please feel free to chime in below!