Dysart – Going Dutch in Fife

Pan Ha in Dysart

Just along the coast from the Wemyss Caves is the coastal village of Dysart. Kirkcaldy to Dysart is a pleasant walk through Ravenscraig Park or along the shore. Leaving Kirkcaldy, or specifically Ravenscraig Castle, there is an ancient doocot. Sealions roll and plop from the rocks in the bay seeking out the elusive Fife sun and tankers lie at anchor out in the deep shipping channels of the Forth. Craggy inlets are filled with sand and soon give way to a pebble beach and a patch of turf for footballers and dog walkers. The path splits high into the park and town, or you can stay at ground level and duck beneath a quarried arch into the old harbour. The harbour walls are sheer and ancient. There’s a smell of diesel, salt and tobacco. The harbourmaster’s house has been done up and serves soups, coffees and bacon butties with local art hung on the walls. The view is panoramic; the kind of place that makes you wonder why people get depressed (the answer: life isn’t a holiday). You can the Bass Rock, glinting like a chunk of aluminium and peppered in seagull shit. You can see the golf and power stations and potato-fields of the Lothian coast. You can see along to Leith and Edinburgh beyond, perched beneath the Pentland Hills. Immediately behind, just shy of the seawall are the 16th and 18th century terraces of Pan Ha’ and the ever-present Dutch influence. This part of Fife got rich dealing with the Low Countries. It’s a great place to eat Valente’s chips and stare at the waves…….


About richlakin

I write about things that interest me
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