Wemyss Circular

A circular walk taking in West Wemyss, East Wemyss and Coaltown of Wemyss. The route uses the Fife Coastal Path from West Wemyss to East Wemyss and then returns using an inland route via Wemyss Den and a disused railway line. The walking is reasonably easy using a mix of good surfaced paths and tracks and some natural paths which can be a bit muddy at times. Some steps are involved.

Wemyss Circular (long)

Distance: 7.5 miles / 12 km

Ascent: 390 feet / 120 m

Wemyss Circular (medium)

Distance: 6 miles / 9.5 km

Ascent: 350 feet / 105 m

Wemyss Circular (short)

Distance: 5 miles / 8 km

Ascent: 300 feet / 90  m

Start / finish: West Wemyss

Other walks in the area: Wemyss Estate

The walk starts from the car park at the harbour at the west end of West Wemyss KY1 4SL. Follow the path along the sea front to reach the east end of the village at St Adrian’s Church. The well made path now passes in front of the church and Wemyss Castle. The castle above you looks somewhat forbidding from this angle. It’s just over 1.5km from West Wemyss to East Wemyss with woods to your left and the sea to your right. As you start to approach East Wemyss, the path goes slightly inland and into some woods to avoid a scrap yard. After the scrap yard, at the edge of the village, the coastal path goes right to return to the sea.

If you want to do the 5 mile walk, turn left instead of right, go past a play area and up some steps to a road. Cross a grassy area and walk up either St Mary’s Terrace or Randolph Street to reach the main road. Turn left and walk along the pavement until you reach a farm track on your right at the very edge of the village. Walk up the farm track to the point where the old railway line crosses it and turn left to join the full route. This point is easily identified from the green signs.

Walk through East Wemyss on the coastal path. Notice the memorial to musician Jimmy Shand and nearby a more recent memorial to three men who lost their lives in a tragic boating accident.

Immediately after the village are the first of the Wemyss Caves. Take note of the danger notices posted around them and don’t try to explore them. Guided tours are available from time to time if you are interested in seeing inside. The path now turns inland and goes up a flight of steps to reach the ruin of MacDuff’s Castle. Another flight of steps going down the cliff from the castle takes you to yet more caves. However, the coastal path continues inland to almost meet the main road but turns right before doing so.

If you want to do the 6 mile route then walk out to the main road. Almost immediately opposite is the line of an old railway which is walkable. The grassy path runs at the back of some houses and will bring you to an area with lots of steps. Go up the left hand set of steps keeping a football field to your right and pick up the railway line again through the trees. Go up a few steps. You are now back on the route of the longer walk.

The path now takes you across farmland and after going up a few steps you will reach a sign post. Turn left signed for East Wemyss and Wellsgreen along a grassy path across the field. When you reach the main road, turn left, cross over and turn first right into Alexander Street and Summer Road. Follow the green sign for Summer Road and Wellsgreen.

The road soon becomes a farm track and after about 500m from the main road when the track turns right you turn left onto a rough track. The track soon becomes a path and starts to become muddy. To avoid the mud, go up the bank to your right and use a grass path along the edge of the adjoining field. When you reach the end of the field the path will come back down the bank to rejoin the original path which is now not so muddy.

Follow the path through a broadleaf woodland with a small burn to your left. When you reach a junction with a choice of 3 paths choose the middle one staying close to the burn (the left one just goes to the burn). Soon you will emerge from the woods onto a football pitch.

Walk round the pitch on the right hand side to find a path in the far corner (there are one or two paths but they all go pretty much in the same direction). You will meet a constructed path where you go right and up a few steps. The 6 mile route joins at this point

This next section is along the route of an old mineral railway line on a grassy and sometimes a bit muddy path at the back of houses with fields to your right. Keep going straight on passing two green signposts for Coaltown of Wemyss. About 700m after joining the path you will reach a point where a farm access road crosses the path with a sign for Coaltown of Wemyss. The 5 mile route joins at this point.

Continue straight on along the railway with trees to your left and fields to your right. After about 1.25km you will reach a wooden signpost. Go left crossing over the burn and immediately turn left again at a second wooden signpost for Coaltown of Wemyss. You are now walking back the way you came but on the opposite side of the burn.

The path enters some woodland and swings right. At a muddy bit the path becomes a track and starts heading towards Coaltown of Wemyss which you can see ahead of you. However, when you reach a green sign post turn right for The Red Ash Trail across unfenced fields (keep dogs to the path). When you reach a muddy bit just before the farm there is a path on your left avoiding the mud. There is a signpost at this point although it seems to be designed for people walking in the opposite direction! This next path is constructed from red ash!

At the end of the path you will reach an information board just before the main road where you turn left. Cross over the road and go up the driveway of Wemyss Castle on your right, opposite the bowling club. There is a small car park just inside the gate which could  be used as alternative start point for the walk.

The walk is all downhill now along the tree lined avenue. When you reach a split in the road at a stand of beech trees go right (there is a small wooden marker post with an arrow). At the other side of the beech trees there is another marker post pointing to a grassy path to your right away from the gate into the castle grounds. The path heads into woods and swings right becoming a wider path before turning left. Go through a doorway in the wall on your right to emerge on to a on old wynd. Turn left down the hill to reach the main street then go right to finish your walk with a wander along the main street with its picturesque buildings,  tolbooth and community run heritage centre / cafe.

View / download GPX track of 7.5 mile route from Viewranger

View / download GPX track of 7.5 mile route from Ordnance Survey

7.5 mile route

View / download GPX track of 6 mile route from Viewranger

View / download GPX track of 6 mile route from Ordnance Survey

6 mile route

View / download GPX track of 5 mile route from Viewranger

View / download GPX track of 5 mile route from Ordnance Survey

5 mile route

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