|From:||Kirkton of Largo (NO425034)|
|To:||St Andrews (NO503169)|
|Distance:||24.3 miles (39.1 km)|
|Meets:||A915, A918, A91, A915|
|Former Number(s):||A921, A918|
|Route outline (key)|
The A917 is the East Fife Coast Road, running round three sides of the rectangle between Largo and St Andrews, whilst the much shorter A915 takes the direct route.
Largo - St Andrews via The Coast
The road starts off at a TOTSO on the A915 in Kirkton of Largo and heads east towards Elie; the road turns right at another TOTSO where the more direct B942 heads through Colinsburgh to Pittenweem. This first section of A917 and the B942 were the A921 between the 1940s and 1980s although for some reason the main road is now back along the coast. We pass Kilquonquhar Loch (pronounced by the locals as Kinnucher) to the West and reach Elie. With the sea just visible through the houses ahead we turn sharply left and start to follow the coast eastwards.
From here the road runs fairly close the the sea as we pass St Monans to the North and pick up the B942 again a mile or so further on. From here we go through the fishing villages of Pittenweem and Anstruther, home of the Scottish Fisheries museums. In Anstruther the road crosses the B9131 (former A959) which is the inland and more direct route to St Andrews from here. The road passes through the North of Anstruther past some holiday parks. The next town is another fishing village, Crail.
Here the road turns sharply left to cut off the corner of Fife Ness - there's only one road there which meets us on this bend. We now head North through Kingsbarns (good golf course), where we approach the coast once more, and Boarhills where the road turns sharply left. This is now the route of the former A918. Then the road goes into St Andrews along St Mary Street, Abbey Walk and Abbey Street to reach a mini-roundabout on the A918 South Street. We turn right to run along the eastern end of South Street before passing the cathedral to run onto North Street. We end at the north end of City Road at a triple point: the other two roads are the A91 and A915.
In 1922, the A917 ran between the A915 in Kirkton of Largo and the A918 in Crail. After World War II the A921 was built to connect these two places more directly and so the A917 lost its westernmost few miles. However, the A921 was downgraded in the 1980s and so the A917 regained this section. At a similar time, the A917 was extended north from Crail to St Andrews along almost all the A918, leaving that number only a short section of road in St Andrews.
Original Author(s): A8000_Bob