Best dog walks in St Andrews and the East Neuk
Best dog walks in St Andrews and the East Neuk
The best part about a stay-cation is not having to pose the question of ‘who is looking after the dog?!’ – the dog can just come too. With over half of our properties being dog friendly, you are sure to find the perfect home away from home for you and your pooch. St Andrews and The East Neuk of Fife has an abundance of exceptional dog walks, and as dog owners and lovers ourselves, we can offer first hand experience on the very best of these – owner tested, dog approved!
West Sands beach
The award winning West Sands beach extends for just under 2 miles of completely uninterrupted sand backed dunes with the picturesque backdrop of the medieval town, overlooking the famous Old Course. There is free parking available which runs along the entire length of the beach. This does tend to be the busier of the beaches mentioned and is where most tourists and locals congregate. During peak season (usually from May onwards) dogs are not allowed on the first part of the beach by the rock pools.
East Sands beach
If you are after a beach with slightly quieter surroundings, East Sands is a great spot. There is free parking available which gives you direct access to the beach. Alternatively, there is a path that leads down to St Andrews harbor, although this also seems to be home to Fife’s entire rabbit population. Whilst you’re there, make sure you sample the famous gourmet Cheesy Toast Shack, they even have dog treats too.
Tentsmuir beach and forest
Located just 10 miles along the coast, Tenstmuir covers over 50 square miles with endless options of walking routes. Whether you fancy a walk around the forest or along it’s peaceful and (what seems to be) never ending beach, Tentsmuir has it all. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the seals! To access the beach you must go through a barrier which holds a £2 entry fee. There are ample car parking spaces available at no extra cost. To top it off, you can end (or start) your walk with a gourmet Crepe available at the Crepe Shack.
Craigtoun Country Park
A hidden gem nestled within the Scottish Countryside, Craigtoun Country Park is located just 4 miles outside of St Andrews. The park is set over 47 acres with numerous walking routes with the entire park being dog friendly. There is free parking available, 24/7 toilet facilities as well as fresh drinking water for your pooch and even free poo bags! For those of you thinking of paying a visit with family, you won’t miss out on all the action if you are on ‘dog duty’ as dogs are even welcomed on the miniature train ride, tractor ride and the boats – the definition of fun for all. For you fitness freaks out there with dogs looking slightly rotund, there is even a free 5km park run on every Saturday.
For those of you seeking solitude and outstanding views, Kingsbarns beach is the place for you. Situated around 8 miles down the coast from St Andrews, the beach sits adjacent to the renowned Kingsbarns golf course with over 2 miles of golden sands backed by small grass dunes. The beach can also be accessed from the Fife Coastal Path, which runs along the length of the coast. There is free parking available with ample space available but most importantly, this is also the home to yet another Cheesy Toast Shack where you can enjoy a gourmet cheese toasty whilst admiring the stunning views.
Fife Coastal Path
The Fife Coastal Path links the Forth and Tay estuaries and runs for over 183km through the varied landscapes of Fife. Enjoy miles of Scotland’s most picturesque former fishing villages nestled between golden beaches, attractive woodland and nature reserves. The Coastal Path is the perfect way to explore Fife and enjoy it with all the family – including the dog. There are designated free parking areas along the length of the path.
Another gem in Kingsbarns, Cambo Estate is hidden within the woods along the Fife coast. Meander through the magical woodland alongside the stream down to the award-winning beach – the perfect dog walk combo. There is also a dog friendly café and a shop full of the very best local produce and crafts. Entry to the estate is £6.50 for adults, under 16’s go free. Dogs are welcome throughout the estate although they must remain on leads.
One thing we certainly aren’t short of around here (if you couldn’t already tell) is beaches. Elie is an excellent day out for every member of the family, including the dog. The beach stretches for over a mile of clean, uninterrupted golden sands scattered with charming beach huts. You can also join the Fife Coastal Path to walk along the clifftop to Lady’s Tower, a great spot for photos. The Ship Inn is the perfect place to wind down, with dog beds dotted around by the open fire. For the sunnier days, there is a beer garden overlooking the beach with its own bar. Dogs are of course more than welcome!
Most of our dog friendly properties have completely enclosed back gardens and are within close proximity to the walks mentioned above. A great choice for dog owners is our row of four Kittocks cottages (Cottage, Den, Muir and Corner), all of which have fully enclosed gardens, private parking as well as a large back paddock area shared between all four which is completely secured. Dogs can have free roam and run to their hearts content, all we ask is for owners to keep on top of any mess.