With Scotland now tentatively opening up to tourism once again and social distancing measures still in place, it can be frustrating when you turn up to a beach near Edinburgh and find that it’s bustling with people when you’re trying to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic and thus find that you need to turn around again! For example, in previous weeks it was disheartening to see how busy Edinburgh’s nearby Portobello Beach got when beauty spots became accessible to the public for the first time since lockdown. With all this in mind, if you turn up to a beach near Edinburgh and find that it’s heaving with people, you may want to try somewhere out with the Edinburgh area entirely but still relatively close! I’d highly recommend heading north over one of the Forth Bridges to nearby coastal Fife! There are many beautiful beaches along Fife’s coast that are typically much quieter than the beaches you’ll find a tad closer to Edinburgh south of the bridges. One such beach can be found in the town of Leven. I visited twice last week. This included a mid-week visit for research purposes followed by a weekend visit where I took my young nephews along with me.
First Impressions of Leven Beach
My first visit to Leven during the week was really just a spontaneous research trip with my Dad as the sun was out, we were bored and we fancied a drive to somewhere new! We were mainly trying to find a quiet coastal spot, somewhere we could chill out for a bit and that had great waterside views.
I was immediately over-awed by the length and depth of Leven beach. It was great for social distancing in particular as not only were there very few people there during the week, the size of the beach meant there was still plenty of space to spread out even if it had been busier! It seemed the only people there except from us were the occasional local out for a walk and a few dog walkers. So impressed by the beach as we were, we vowed to come back at the weekend with my mum and young nephews in tow. This also provided me with a chance to see how busy the beach would get at a weekend! Whilst there were slightly more people at Leven Beach at the weekend, we still found ourselves with loads of space compared to the beaches I’ve experienced a little closer to Edinburgh, south of the Forth Bridges.
Amenities at/near Leven Beach
There is free parking at Leven Beach around half-way down the promenade if you’re looking for it, although there is not a huge abundance of it. It is possible though (as far as we could see) to park on the main promenade and streets surrounding the promenade as surprisingly there were few areas with parking restrictions or double yellow lines.
There are public toilets next to the free parking at Leven Beach however these appeared to be shut when we were there and had a sign up saying they will not be open until October – just FYI. There is a Sainsbury’s supermarket however just a few minutes’ drive away from the beach which has public loos which are open, so potentially you could go in and buy something there and use the toilets if you really needed them after a long day at the beach! I know when we were travelling with my young nephews who need the loo more than adults this was more of a concern. I therefore just thought I would add it in for those travelling with young kids or who may need to access a toilet at some point whilst at the beach!
What else is there to do in Leven?
The main activity (for adults) other than the beach that I noticed whilst in Leven was that they had a golf course adjacent to the beach. Whilst I’m not a golfer, I thought the location next the beach was rather nice and on a sunny day it looked particularly appealing. If only I could play golf! There is also a bowling club nearby too.
For kids, there are a few parks dotted along the beach. One is definitely for toddlers and the other is more for bigger children. There also appears to be some sort of skate/biking area for children to play at too. With plenty of space on the beach this is also a fantastic place to bring your dog for walk, which I saw some people doing.
All in all I had a lovely couple of days by the beach in Leven and would definitely recommend it if you’re based in or near Fife, one of Scotland’s most underrated areas in my opinion!