dunfermline To Dysart By The Coast Of Fife

Forth To Tay

Route length: 20 miles

A church or sacred site

Destination hub

Dunfermline Abbey

The first church on this site was founded by St Margaret in 1072. Its remains can be viewed through a hole in the floor of the nave of its successor, built from 1128 on for David I, Margaret’s son. The buttresses seen in this view were added in 1620-25. The spire dates from about 1500, and the other tower from 1811, when it was added to designs by William Stark. On the right is part of the church built in 1818-21 to replace the long-demolished choir of the abbey church.

Dunfermline Abbey Parish Church

Normand Road United Free Church, Dysart

St Serf’s Parish Church, Dysart

The tower of the former St Serf’s Church, Dysart

Abbotshall Parish Church, Kirkcaldy

Linktown Parish Church, Kirkcaldy

St Bryce Parish Church, Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy Old Parish Church

Kinghorn Parish Church

Erskine United Free Church, Burntisland

St Serf’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Burntisland

St Columba’s Parish Church, Burntisland

St Columba’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Aberdour

St Fillan’s Parish Church, Aberdour

Dalgety Parish Church

The former Dalgety Parish Church

The former St Bridget’s Church, Dalgety

Donibristle House Chapel

By Road

Return to jnct 2 and turn south on the M90. After the M90 becomes the A90 take the B981 into Inverkeithing. Join the A921 on the far side of Inverkeithing, passing the monument to Alexander III on your right between Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn. Leave Kirkcaldy on the A955 in order to reach Dysart.

By Cycle

Go east from the centre of Dunfermline on NCN 764 until turning south on meeting NCN1 near Queen Margaret station. Follow NCN1 to Inverkeithing. From Inverkeithing follow NCN 76, which shares much of the Coastal Path, from Inverkeithing to Kirkcaldy. From here the coastal path has not yet been developed for cycling. After coming up the hill out of Kirkcaldy turn right on the A955, and immediately right again into   Ravenscraig Park to reach Dysart.

By Foot

Walkers can follow the Fife Coastal Path http://www.fifecoastalpath.net/ from Inverkeithing to Dysart.

By Public Transport

There are railway stations at Dunfermline, North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay, Aberdour, Burntisland, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy. Bus routes also serve these towns, as well as Dysart.

Public transport information can be found on the Traveline website.

Explore what has been called the ‘Columban Corridor’ linking Iona to its daughter house at Lindisfarne in Northumbria. St. Adomnan, Abbot of Iona, founded a monastery on Inchkeith Island, while on neighbouring Inchcolm, Margaret’s son Alexander, who was given shelter on the island in a storm by a Celtic hermit, initiated what became the ‘Iona of the East’. Here a later Abbot, Walter Bower, compiled his monumental History of Scotland, Scotichronicon, which delights in the stories of Margaret and the Celtic Saints.

Inchcolm can be reached on the Maid of the Forth from South Queensferry though it is much closer to this northern shore. The north coastal route is studded with port towns and historic churches from the pilgrim friary at Inverkeithing through Dalmeny, Aberdour, Burntisland, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy to Dysart. Named for St Serf’s refuge or ‘desert place’, Dysart is now a handsome village with a ruined Church of St Serf by the harbour. St Serf’s Cave is still secluded within the grounds of a Carmelite Community.

All along the coast the views across to Edinburgh and seawards down the firth are exceptionally fine. The bustle of modern commerce and pleasure craft on the water remind us that the paths of the Celtic saints were often seaways, and that many later pilgrims travelled by ferry under the protection of St Margaret. Watch out for grey seals, dolphins, sharks and occasionally whales.

We would love to hear about your experiences on this route - please post your comments below