Coastal Walks & Culture – A day out at Ravenscraig Park and Kirkcaldy Museum

As this is the first set off school holidays for the year (well apart from all the one’s they’ve made up recently like half term) and because hopefully the weather is on the turn I thought I’d add a little section about our day’s out which might provide some ideas and inspiration for anyone in or visiting the area.

Today I had nothing planned but as the sun was shining we decided to head 20 minutes along the motorway to Kirkcaldy, home of the famous Links Market. We’ve been to Beveridge Park, perhaps the best known of the parks in Kirkcaldy (it even gets a mention in Mary Campbell Smiths – The Boy In The Train, poem), many times, so today we thought we’d try something different.

An extract from The Boy In The Train

We're into the tunnel! We're a' in the dark! 
But dinna be frichtit, Daddy, 
We'll sune be comin' to Beveridge Park, 
And the next stop's Kirkcaddy!

Ravenscraig Park is at the East end of Kirkcaldy on Dysart Road, right on the coast, it has a small carpark (with an ice cream van handly parked opposite) and loads of  great walks as we were to discover.

We turned left on entering the park and had great fun attempting to use the adult outdoor exercise area, not easy when the biggest person there is 5’2″ and the equipment is made to be hung from by much taller people, but it created plenty of laughs.

We then headed off on a loop of the park and passed through a lovely wooded area complete with a selection of carved woodland animals before we emerged onto the coastal path with it’s stunning views over the Firth of Forth.

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From this path you can also access Ravenscraig Castle, the harbour and the beach but we decided to carry on around the path to one of the two childrens play areas for a well earned seat on the picnic benches while the kids played in the older kids play area (public toilets are nearby but my son did claim they were pretty grotty and his worst part of the day!) The park also contains football goals for public use and bowling greens.

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After a quick rest for the adults we headed to Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery (also home to the public library) at the other end of Kirkcaldy.

We’ve visited the museum before on several occasions as they tend to provide seasonal activities for the kids or fun exhibitions as well as having a lovely cafe which provides a selection of soups, sandwiches and cakes, today we opted for a selection of scones and were not disappointed.

After refreshments we headed upstairs to the art gallery where the attendant attempted to subtly warn me that the black and white photograph exhibition currently displayed did contain a small amount of nudity, guess where my sharp eared children headed first 🙂

My poor planning meant we had missed the Easter weekend arts and craft activities but the library was still running a Easter Egg hunt, details of current activities can be found at http://www.onatfife.com previous events have included a Science & Space Exhibition and Animal Magic both of which we (or certainly I) had great fun at, as can be seen below (I do love an opportunity to don silly headwear!)

kirkkirk2Despite missing the Easter activities the museum (free to enter) was well worth a visit especially if you are interested in local history. It’s not huge and not on the scale of the Glasgow Science Museum but it’s still got plenty to keep the kids entertained, such as putting food into shopping baskets which would have been available on war time rations or laying their own linoleum patterns. The museum covers the local mining history and linoleum factories (Kirkcaldy was the leading city in the world for linoleum manufacture for over 100 years) as well as the history of local sporting groups such as Raith Rovers the local football team.

A great day out and the kids favourite bit? well apart from watching their mum dangle from torture, erm exercise equipment in the park it had to be getting to dress up in period costumes in the museum. If you’re in the area put it on your to do list.

Zena's Suitcase
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