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Nostalgic escapes

Make memories by the sea in Levenmouth.
 

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Leven
Levenmouth’s outstanding views have long inspired artists, sculptors, writers and poets. It's time to make memories by the sea.

 

THE FACTS

Scotland’s newest railway line

Opened: 2024

Length: Six miles, from the Fife Circle’s Thornton Junction to Leven.

Last trains to run to Leven: 1966 (freight), 1969 (passenger services).

Stations: Cameron Bridge and Leven.

 

The new Levenmouth Rail Link from Edinburgh deep into the heart of Fife at Leven is a serious testament to the passion, spirit and determination of the people of the Levenmouth area. They have been petitioning for a return of the lifeblood railway for half a century. A campaign almost succeeded in 2008, then finally was rewarded in 2014 with the announcement of the new line, which opens on Sun 2nd June.

Welcome to Levenmouth

The new railway really opens up this sunny corner in a new, accessible way for all. Step out at Leven and explore the region’s swathes of towns and villages and unique attractions. 

To the west, the famous caves of Wemyss await with their Pictish carvings. The villages of East and West Wemyss tempt too, as does Macduff’s Castle – yes that Macduff, Shakespeare’s character was real and the Wemyss School of Needlework.

To the east, the community woodland joys at Silverburn Park tempt just back from the beach. Next up is Lundin Links, an airy village with golf at its laidback heart. Its cousin next door is Lower Largo, famous as the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, the real life Robinson Crusoe.

You’re on the cusp of the East Neuk now, which the Levenmouth Rail Link really opens up in a way not seen for over half a century. Inland you’ve still got plenty of options too: Upper Largo, Balcurvie, Bonnybank, Coaltown of Wemyss, Drumeldrie, Kennoway and Windygates. The choice with the new train is all yours.

Macduff's Castle
Make memories by the sea

Step off the train at Leven and back in time to the heady days of this popular Firth of Forth resort.

Follow the life-affirming sea air down to Leven’s sweeping sandy beach and find yourself alive inside local artist Jack Vettriano’s famous ‘Singing Butler’. There is romance in the air and the glorious nostalgia of carefree holidays in simpler times.

Grab fish ‘n’ chips from Imries and enjoy the amusements at Beachcomber by the sands to complete an experience for all the family.

Leven's pedestrianised core is alive with proper shops like a butcher and fishmonger and the Together Levenmouth Hub, a leisure and community fulcrum. Chic shops like Khee appeal with designer furnishings and homeware, just one of a new waves of shops, delis and restaurants livening up Leven as the new rail line encourages fresh blood.

Don't miss the Fife Heritage Railway, whose collection of diesel and steam trains are a retro joy you can savour with a wee ride on them. Or Letham Glen, for a real slice of nature in the heart of the town.

Leven beach

“I was deeply impressed by Leven, a town I’ve not really spent any time in since I was a wee boy. It’s a coastal hub that wears its nostalgic resort heritage on its Vettriano-tinged romantic sleeve, but there is also a dynamic community who are very much looking forward to a brighter future with the coming of the railway.

Walk this way

The Fife Coastal Path, Scotland’s longest continuous coastal long distance trail at 117 miles, soars right through Leven.

It’s handily waymarked and there is loads of information online, as well as a guidebook and map. It’s a spirit-soaring joy hiking along looking out to the Forth in search of seals, dolphins and even whales, which are regularly spotted off Fife. In the air you might even see the unforgettable hulk of a massive sea eagle.

The big choice is whether to head west or east. 

Robin on Fife Coastal Path

“I’ve walked all over the world and the Fife Coastal Path is up there with any long distance trails I’ve savoured. The routes west and east of Leven offer not only deeply dramatic landscapes, but also a rich treasure trove of history and culture."

East meets West

Where will your adventure begin?

West starts off more urban with Methil and Buckhaven, but then the old railway line gallops you west towards Macduff’s Castle and the Wemyss Caves, which sit on a wild, cliff-ravaged stretch of coastline. There are views towards Edinburgh, but you’ll feel miles away from big city life. Wee East and West Wemyss bring a low-key charm to the western extremities of the Fife Coastal Path in Levenmouth.

Walk east if you want to get straight on to the sands of Leven and huge sandy stretches for miles most of the way into the East Neuk. This wonderful section eases along with sand dunes to the left and cobalt waters to the right as you spin backwards and forwards through history with old fort sites and the remnants of the defences designed to keep out the Luftwaffe in World War Two. The wild part of the route between Lower Largo and the East Neuk transports you far from the world of man into a world where you’re outnumbered by squawking gulls and diving gannets. It’s seriously good for the heart and the soul. As is Fife’s East Neuk, which opens up at Elie.

Fife Coastal Path
Make memories by the sea
Leven Links
Leven sunrise
Lower Largo
Leven

48 Hours in Levenmouth

Wemyss caves

DAY 1

9AM

Take the train to Leven and feel like a rail pioneer on Scotland’s newest line. Stroll the famous resort beach and enjoy the big skies and Forth views.

11AM

Browse the shops looking out for the businesses attracted by the new railway line. Pop into the Together Levenmouth Hub, run by local charity Brag Enterprises, to check out the great work they do and to have serious fun playing crazy golf, tackling one of their escape rooms, visiting their shop and relaxing in their café.

1PM

Savour lunch in hipster haunt Base, which feels more East London than East Neuk. Tuck into boat-fresh local mussels, or one of their famously stacked burgers.

2PM

Hike west visiting the newly revamped Methil Heritage Centre, skirting the Buckhaven waterfront with its information boards, before exploring Scotland’s most impressive Pictish cave carvings with an expert guide from the Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society.

7PM

Slip just along the coast to Lundin Links for dinner at the Seaview Restaurant, Old Manor Hotel.  Savour those watery views as you tuck into their superb steaks.

STAY

£ Silverburn Park, Leven. Eco-friendly camping pods.

££ Caledonian Hotel, Leven. Couldn’t be more central, or handier for a pint from the pub downstairs.

£££ Old Manor Hotel, Lundin Links. Family-run oasis overlooking the golf course.

Elie seaside sauna

DAY 2

9AM

Stroll past the famous ‘Postie’ dog statue east along Leven’s beach to Silverburn Park. This remarkable community-focused oasis offers woodland walks, a wildlife pond, some of Fife’s best scones in its café and tours of the massive old flax mill that is currently being reborn.

11AM

Wander through Lundin Links and Lower Largo popping into the wee cafes and galleries, whilst wishing you lived in one of the grand waterfront houses. Doff your metaphorical cap at the statue of Alexander Selkirk, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

2PM 

Picnic on the Fife goodies you picked up back at Blacketyside Farm Shop (a neighbour of Silverburn). The setting is spectacular on Largo Bay on a wide sweep of beach you may just have to yourself.

5PM

Yomp along the cliffs breathing in epic views on the Fife Coastal Path to Elie, then enjoy a bracing Forth dip with a session warming up in the Elie Seaside Sauna afterwards.

7PM

Dinner at The Ship Inn is always a memorable experience as you tuck into fresh local seafood and meat dishes. They’ve got local ale and serious good cheer on tap here in Elie overlooking one of Fife’s best beaches.

STAY

£ Wigwam Holidays Montrave, by Lundin Links. Wooden wigwams with the option to upgrade to glamping with a wood-fired hot tub.

££  The Crusoe, Lundin Links. Waterfront hideaway draped in the romance of Robinson Crusoe, with an excellent restaurant.

£££ The Ship Inn, Elie. Cosy waterfront inn, book a room with a beach view.

 

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