A couple of weeks ago we returned to Fife for a visit, staying in the Premier Inn where our journey began over two years ago. The staff are so friendly and it’s quite convenient for the Fife Coast, Dunfermline and Edinburgh – good for meeting friends and my husband’s old colleagues too.
It was the next leg of my husband’s gap year at 60 – a time of memories, to make and to share – visitors and yet welcomed wholeheartedly by our friends as if we hadn’t left a year ago. Is it really that long?
We spent a great deal of time at Kinghorn Harbour drinking tea and Bovril at The Wee Shoppe or eating toasties and catching up with everyone. The weather was so kind to us that my husband’s face turned a healthy brown – yes I know – Scotland in April – but it was true. We popped down to Pettycur too a few times which was a delight.
On our first day we walked to Kirkcaldy and sat mesmerised by the antics of the seals.
We did take one trip over towards to St Andrews and East Neuk to walk the four mile stretch of the coastal path we’d missed last year, from Kingsbarns to Boarhills. I’d read that it was best to catch a bus first and then walk back. Makes sense really because, if your bus doesn’t turn up you would not be stranded. Following a lady with a shopping bag up the lane towards the main road at Kingsbarns from the car park on the coast seemed a good sign and we spent a pleasant ten minutes chatting to her at the bus stop.
Alighting at Boarhills, and giving our new acquaintance a quick wave, we headed for the coast through the pretty village. The footpath looked familiar from our previous visit but turning south, rather than north towards St Andrews, we were soon surprised by the change in scenery.
We walked over a bridge, stepping into a wooded glen which followed the stream over half a mile down to the coast. The dappled sunlight through the trees enhanced the colours of bluebells and wood anemones – an unexpected natural paradise on earth.
As we walked out of the shade and into the bright sunshine, the grassy path continued above a haven for sea life of seaweed strewn rockpools before leading down on to the sand for a while. Catching sight of the sign post after a few hundred yards, we returned to the path which edged one of the many golf courses along that stretch of coast. Our car was parked about half a mile further on, surrounded by the course on either side. It was by no means a strenuous walk but was certainly a pleasurable one, which I can recommend.
On our way back we popped into Jane’s cafe in Crail for coffee and a late light lunch before heading back.
The only other walk during that week was from Burntisland to Aberdour, a tarmac path for most of the way which follows the railway track, hugging the rocky coastline along most of the way before emerging at Silver Sands Bay, another of our favourite haunts.
Above all the week was about the people we met, who made our lives so special while we lived in Fife a year ago and who will always remain in our hearts.
(This is one of a series of posts about my husband’s gap year before he decides what he wants to do with the rest of his life after retiring at 60. He’s taking a year off making any serious decisions)