Walking Fife's Pilgrim Way

One of the most popular walks in Fife is the Pilgrim Way. Walkers can soak up the history and beauty of an ancient pilgrim route. Walking in Fife at its very best. For the more seasoned walker, the whole walk covers 64 miles (104 kilometres). Starting in Culross or North Queensferry, it offers the best of walking in Fife. There’s more history and beautiful landscapes than you can shake your (walking) stick at!

But, if you are looking for some nice, shorter walks in Fife, the Pilgrim Way still has something to offer. It has been split into 7 shorter walks through the stunning landscape of Fife. The shortest route is 8 miles. It makes for a nice walk through history with some gorgeous little villages and countryside thrown in for good measure. The longest walk of the 7 is still only 10 and a half miles. This section takes in a Loch and a forest.

We have added short guides to all 7 walks at the bottom of this page. Take a look and choose one that takes your fancy!

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Fife's Pilgrim Way - The History

The Pilgrim Way in Fife was officially opened quite recently in 2019. But, it links many historic sites that pilgrims have visited for centuries. It stretches from Culcross (or North Queensferry), all the way to the city of St Andrews.

In medieval Europe, St Andrews was one of the main pilgrimage destinations. People from all walks of life flocked to it because they wanted to be near the bones of St Andrew – one of Jesus’ disciples. On their way to St Andrews, pilgrims were able to visit other significant sites. St Margaret’s miraculous shrine, St Mungo’s chapel, St Finglassin’s holy well and Markinch Stob Cross, to name a few.

Because the steady stream of pilgrims needed somewhere to rest, inns, chapels, and almshouses were built. And to ease their way, roads, bridges, and crossing points were created. The face of Fife’s landscape was forever changed, earning it the name of Pilgrim Kingdom.

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Map your walk in Fife

The LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association) is probably a good place to start if you do fancy trying the whole Pilgrim Way route. They have downloadable maps, although you do have to be a member to download them. You could also try the Hiiker website where they have a map. They also have an app so you can download the map or GPX to your phone or Sat Nav. This is a free app where you will find 1000s of other walking routes too.

If you don’t fancy trying the whole walk of 64 miles, you could give one of the sections a try. We have created a little guide of each section for you below.  For maps of each section, there are a couple of places you can get them from:

Fife Coast and Countryside Trust
Fife Walking

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The 7 walks of the Pilgrim Way in Fife

Take a look at our guides to each of the shorter walks that make up the Pilgrim Way in Fife. The longest is 10 and a half miles and the shortest is 8 miles. There are lovely tea rooms, cafes, and shops along the way to make sure you stay refreshed. And your lovely luxury lodge will be waiting for you at the end of a hard day’s walking!

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Culross or North Queensferry to Dunfermline

This section is a very popular walk in Fife, because it is a pilgrimage destination in its own right. It has links to Saint Serif and Saint Mungo. Walkers are treated to views of the magnificent abbey once they have reached their destination. The alternative starting point for this walk is North Queensferry in Fife. So-called because it was named after Queen Margaret of Scotland who is buried in Dunfermline Abbey.

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Dunfermline to Lochore Meadows

Starting in the historic town of Dunfermline, this walk takes in the beautiful backdrops of Loch Fitty and Blairadam Forest. The longest section at 10 and a half miles, it meanders passed St Ninians open-face coal mine.

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Lochore Meadows to Kinglassie

Panoramic views of West Fife are what this walk has to offer. Kinglassie was a common rest stop for weary pilgrims because of the church and St Finglassin’s holy well – a popular place for prayer. The Protestant Reformation Act in the late 1500s outlawed pilgrimage to chapels and wells. But, that clearly didn’t stop those who wanted to make the trip!

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Kinglassie to Markinch

Features along this walk include Kinglassie’s holy well and an ancient stob cross in Markinch. It is believed that St Drostan’s church may have housed a relic associated with the saint at some point in the past.

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Markinch to Ceres

The penultimate section of the Pilgrim Way is one of the most unspoilt, with breathtaking views. Over the Waterless Way and Coal Road lies Ceres. Weary pilgrims would have enjoyed a last overnight stop here before St Andrews.

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Ceres to St Andrews

Following a woodland walk from the pretty village of Ceres, travellers would be eager to reach their final destination of St Andrews. Their pilgrimage will have taken them through boggy, uneven ground and up hills. They would have had to navigate across miles filled with robbers and outlaws. Walking this section of the Pilgrim Way in Fife will give you a little taste of what they would have experienced. But, you can be safe in the knowledge that the only thing you need worry about is what cake to have with your coffee (or tea) in St Andrews!

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Looking for self-catering accommodation in Fife?

If you are looking for luxury self-catering accommodation then why not take a look at our luxury lodges here in Fife. Enjoy a relaxed evening after waking in Fife. Contact us today via our online contact form or call us on 07840 801114.

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We stayed in lodge 4 which was by far the best holiday accommodation we have ever stayed in, immaculate, spacious, so well equipped. The books, DVDs and board games were an extra touch and came in handy for some family time after exploring during the day. The surrounding area is beautiful and so many things to see and do nearby. West Sands beach is clean and beautiful and Bishop’s Wood and Craigtoun Country Park about a mile away are both worth a look. There are so many things we didn’t get chance to explore so I think we will be back. I think we will struggle to find any other accomodation as nice as this. Many thanks to Anne and the team.

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