Dysart is one of the locations of the popular series Outlander, which I’ve only just started watching on DVD. It is my Tuesday evening treat when my husband is out at Rotary!
We discovered Dysart fairly early on during our first stay in Kinghorn by following the sign to The Harbour Master’s House from the main road; the scenic route of The Fife Coastal Trail. The building is seen in the photo above on the other side of the wee inner harbour, which was once a haven for ships carrying salt and coal.
The Harbour Master’s House is now a cafe bistro (aptly situated on Hot Pot Wynd) serves mouthwatering home made soups, but it is also the home of The Fife Coastal Path’s information centre; a room with a wealth of photos and resources informing you of the flora, fauna, history and geology of the area. It was there I discovered that Kirkcaldy, a mile or so away, is on the same latitude as Sweden. For an English person this seemed remarkable.
The whitewashed restored cottages are a sign of Dysart’s former glory, in front of which you can follow The Fife Coastal Path further eastwards towards West Wemyss. You may walk along tiny Wynds (a path which winds!) and admire the Crow – stepped gable ends on the houses.
If you return to the harbour, follow the path around the inner and outer harbours and then through a tunnel, your path will meander in woodland and out beside walls of fortification. These command views towards Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn, Pettycur and the shores of East Lothian if the weather is clear. The history of this landscaping which incorporates Ravenscraig Park is described comprehensively here.
This path will take you to Kirkcaldy, where old contrasts with new as Ravenscraig Castle comes into view alongside the three towers, familiar as a landmark from as far away as North Berwick on the southern estuary of the Forth.
Dysart stands alone as a place to visit and while away a couple of hours, but it is also strategic on The Fife Coastal Path for refreshments, a comfort break and interest. It is also the home of the church where food parcels are made up for the Kirkcaldy Foodbank. It may seem a sleepy little place but there is much if you delve beneath the surface.