I’m going to back track along the coast from East Neuk to Kirkcaldy, (pronounced without the ‘l’) which has a long promenade and sandy bay taking you over a mile. It stretches between Seafield Tower and the seals all the way to Ravanscraig Castle and the coastal walk beside the park to Dysart Harbour.
When we were first in Fife Kirkcaldy was a buzzing little town with M & S, Debenhams, Waterstones, WH Smiths and Boots at the centre and many wee shops in either direction. Tesco was the first to go, meaning that many young and elderly relying on public transport had no supermarket in the town to visit before catching the bus. More recently it has been the demise of M & S which has hit the headlines, the first ever in Scotland. So very sad.
Mind you, I’ve been into town on a few occasions since that fateful day and Kirkcaldy folks are resilient people. There are still several cafes and places to eat, a wide variety of shops and also TK Max, among others, in the Mercat. Also, there’s an excellent jeweler’s shop or two and various clothes shops. Oh I’ve missed many but you get the idea. Waterstones is still thankfully at the very heart of the town.
Two ends of Kirkcaldy which have recently impressed me are the Olympia Arcade and The Merchant’s Quarter. I know the arcade has a long way to go but the energy and enthusiasm by those trying to get it going is lovely to see. Then, at the far end of the High Street, in what’s called The Merchant’s Quarter, among a few restaurants is a music shop, florist, Vinyl record shop, craft shop and The Merchant’s Cafe. Each time I go there, in fact, a new shop has popped up. I also discovered the Merchant’s Centre, including a tiny haven and garden.
Once a month there’s a Farmer’s Market by the Town Hall. Great fun! Even freshly smoked Smokies! That’s smoked haddock for the uninitiated ~ like the more famous Arbroath Smokies, but these are smoked right in front of you.
The Olympia Arcade also hope to revitalise their craft and gift fair on the same Saturday to help pay for the cost of restoration (first Saturday of every month)
Well Kirkcaldy ~ You still have a lot going for you ~ elegant buildings, The Adam Smith Theatre and Kirkcaldy Library, Museum and Fine Arts Gallery to name but a few. Do you think life breathed into the recently bought Postings and the opening of The Kings Theatre will be your salvation? Do you know, I believe that all is not lost and you’ll rise up again, even better than before.