Elie to Pittenweem
This walk is approximately 6 miles (10 km) and should take approximately
2 to 3 hours.
Elie to St Monans
The path from Elie leads through the jumbled ruin of Ardross Castle built in 1370 out of local sandstone by the resident sheriff of Fife. look out for the colourful waymarkers.
Walking along the now disused railway line you come across Newark castle, built in the 15th Century for the Sandilands family. The castle was bought 1649 by a Fifer, David Lesley who became Earl of Newark. Walking up the step to the castle you can see the rock itself has been worked to form part of the structure. There is now a small camp area beside the castle where you can stay overnight with permission of the land-owner.
You will now see St Monans, or St Monance as it was originally known, very near and close by the historic 600 year old Kirk of St Monans. It was King David II who had the church built after his ship was caught in a storm whilst crossing the Firth of Forth and to give his thanks for his survival the church was built. On the shore you can see the "Boiling Cauldron" a towering rugged volcanic rock. It gets its name from the noise the sea makes inside its hollow shape.
From the church you walk over Invurie Burn and up onto views over the harbour. St Monans harbour used to see some of the local fishing fleet built here. Until a few years ago Millers boatyard employed many of the local men to build boats. The harbour still has a boat slip where many boats a taken if they require repairs and painting. As you reach the far end of the town you will notice another prominent feature - the St Monans Windmill, which was used to pump water into the nearby salt pans some 200 years ago. This was not a particularly efficient way of getting salt (compared to the mines of Cheshire), approximately 30 tons of water was needed to produce one tone of salt. The windmill ceased to work in 1823 but has been recently restored.
St Monans to Pittenweem
Leaving St Monans you have the choice to take the high road by Pathhead or the low road. The high road will give you better views over the Firth of Forth and up to the main road. The low road takes you over a small clump of limestone rocks jutting from the cliff and crossing a small burn which drops into the sea and leaves a red colour stain on the rocks below. You now come into the outskirts of Pittenweem and at the swing park there is a fresh water spring which can provide a refreshing stop. The old swimming pool and small terraced sun bathing area is a great place for spending a few relaxing hour.
Heading from the Braes down round the footpath you come to the little Roadie and the House on the Rocks. Looking out over the Forth you will see the Bass Rock and a glimpse of the May Isle.
Pittenweem is heavily connected with the sea and still has the biggest working harbour in the area. The fleet not a strong as it once was but still has many families relying on employment. Any visitor would find the harbour a well worthy visit where the daily prawn and fish catches are landed and then auctioned in the modern fish market hall. Pittenweem also hosts a well patronised summer arts fair with exhibits shown by many noted artists and also the interesting gardens open to the public.
Take any of the steep wynds heading from the harbour and you will find the high street with several art galleries and gift shops to take your fancy. also Kellie Lodge and leading down to the Parish Church and old cemetery. Behind the church is the old priory, part of which still remains and once had underground passages leading to St Fillans cave.