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Gavin Greig [userpic]

One foot in front of the other

May 30th, 2004 (07:52 pm)

Earlier today, I walked from Kingsbarns into St. Andrews, a distance of about eight miles along the coastal walk. Although I've lived here for ten years, for one reason or another I've never made this walk before. I did set off once, but rather pathetically twisted my ankle on the perfectly good tarmac road down to the beach, and had to turn back...

This time I made it though, and quite a pleasant walk it was too. Notable features included a number of quite substantial ruined buildings around Boarhills, and some fairly old sea walls in pretty good condition at Boarhills which I hadn't known were there (the old harbour at Kingsbarns, all smashed up by the sea, is not so substantial). A field wall by the shore had the date 1918 pressed into it in shells!

There's quite a big detour inland at Boarhills which brings you almost up to the village - near enough to see the church by the road on the far side. (Kingsbarns to St. Andrews on the road is only about six miles.)

Coming back down to the shore from Boarhills, the first sight to see was the Buddo Rock, which was quite impressive. Not visible in the photo, there's a crevice just round the corner on the left which takes you a fair way up towards the top, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) not quite far enough. There are many sets of initials carved in the rock there.

From here, the path trekked up and down the cliffs a few times, which was a little wearing in my unfit state. It passed an interesting looking pillbox, which was built into a spur of the cliff. Not having a torch, I didn't climb in, but it looked like it was not actually built onto the cliff, but into it, with at least one passage passing through. There were gun-slits on either side of the spur.

I also passed the Rock and Spindle, which is the sight most usually associated with this walk. To be honest, I was more impressed by the Buddo Rock, which I'd passed first, but I expect the Rock and Spindle is more of a challenge to rock climbers.

By the time I made my way down into St. Andrews, past the landslip at the caravan park which (I only then discovered) means that officially the path is closed, I was fairly tired, but quite pleased - I'd set off from home at 12 noon, allowing three hours for the walk in order to arrive at a barbecue at tobyaw's at three, and pretty much on three o'clock, I arrived. If only software development was so easy to estimate!

At the barbecue, Dougie's Diamond Award Winning steak pies, which had accompanied me on the trip, seemed to meet with approval from the carnivores present. I've been meaning to introduce people to Dougie's pies for a while, as they're not widely available. They're made in Colinsburgh, not the handiest place to get to, and while they're available from the village shop in Kingsbarns, I'm not aware of anywhere in St. Andrews that stocks them. That's a real shame, because they're pies worthy of hand delivery by foot (er, you know what I mean). I don't know who this is, but she has the right idea about Dougie's pies.