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Venue: North East Fife

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Venue Type:
No. of Trails: 4
Facilities:
Car Park
Cafe
Location:-
Wormit is found at the end of the Tay Railbridge.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
Description:-
North East Fife is an area that offers a wide variety of possible routes. The coastal path is ride-able for all its length (117 miles), there are many forests connected by quite rural roads and the Howe of Fife area gives ample opportunities for off road cycling on easy terrain.
Tentsmuir is a local favourite for families with young kids as its got a lovely beach and plenty flat trails, good for learners. Pitmedden Forest is popular for it's number of forest trails and pleasant, open, atmosphere. Falkland is well known in Downhilling circles for its steep downhill tracks and North Shore built on the north side of West Lomond.


Trails at North East Fife

Summary


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
North East Fife54.8122710 Easy Hard
Ports of Tay Loop10.63402 Easy Easy
Pitmedden Forest (Fife)10.33912 Moderate Easy
St Andrews4.81110.5 Easy Easy

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North East Fife


Viewed 901 times
Length: 54.8 Miles
Ascent: 1227 m
Time: 10 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
An epic distance in North East Fife using the local paths and tracks.

This route also appears on my blog of routes in the area.
http://nefifemtb.blogspot.co.uk/
2012/10/inner-fife-epic.html

Section 1. Wormit Bay to Balmerino

From the Wormit Bay car park follow the path along the retaining wall westward upstream to the seal at the foot of the hedge lined path, climb up through the hedges before a brief descent in an opening before another short sharp climb to a wicket gate, lift the bike through the gate and follow the path through the fields, down water channel hollows and back up again, eventually a young (in 2012) woodland will appear on your left and the going will get slightly softer, this eventually leads to a path division.

Historically the path clung to the side of a steep drop, however the path has been brought in land recently as part of the coastal path works. Although the historical path was passable in 2012 I do not expect this to last long as some sections are little more than a couple of tyre widths wide, where the path is not in danger of washing away it is a challenging wee ride.

Following the new top path eventually takes you to a flight of steps back down to rejoin the older path, you could cut out Balmerino by climbing from here to Kirkton and picking up the route eastward.

The path drops you out at a small habitation, keep to the water side of these houses, picking up the cobbled path and then stones to the private road along the foreshore before a short climb to Balmerino Abbey.

Section 2. Balmerino to Birkhill via the Low Woods

Optional Section! Pick up description at Section 8 to skip.

Across from the Abbey there is a large barn and a gate, the gate can be walked/ridden round and cycle to the end of the concrete block, turn round the rear of the barn and then a path apparently into the field will be seen. Take this path which will lead you to a sharp turning into the foliage, this path drops down to the shore line in the woods, keep following the path, sometimes waymarked with White paint on sticks, sometimes with Red arrows, however I would not trust these too much.

The trick in here is not only to follow the most obvious paths but also to have a GPS device on with mapping that shows where Birkhill House is.

A general description of key points would be:

The closest you will get to the foreshore is in a small clearing where the path cuts down right to the edge of the wood before crossing a small culvert on a makeshift bridge with a steep climb up the side of the hill, this keeps climbing to the House's walled garden.

If you have picked this route up right you should find the climb easing within a few hundred meters and start to cut along the hill, it cuts in to the hill a few times for crossing water courses both with and without bridges, before a rather surprising wide avenue appears in the middle of the woods which then cuts sharply up hill again nearer the house.

This drops you off at the gardens, you follow the path along the side of the garden wall and houses until you hit the road. At the road turn Left.

3. Birkhill to Balinbreich

Another Optional section, Pick up description at Section 7 to skip, by climbing Greenhill Drive and forking left to Thornton and Byres.

This section is all road, from the walled garden turn down towards the house and then take the drive to the left, back up the hill this takes you to a T junction with a quiet road, turn right and savour the view as you descend rapidly to Balhelvie before undulating along towards Newburgh.

To your right you will eventually see Balinbreich castle, and on your left watch out for a left hand hairpin onto private road that climbs steeply.

4. Balinbreich to Glenduckie

Climb this hill and follow the right of way arrows past the houses, it gets a bit soft in sections but will eventually take you to a cross roads with the Fife Coastal Path near Old Higham.

You have 2 route options here, either turn left and follow the coastal path down to Glenduckie, or just plummet down the farm track.

Where you meet the public road turn left, and left again alongside the farm.

5. Glenduckie to Normans Law

Follow the track alongside the farm, it will curve to the left with a gate on the right.

To the left is where you would emerge if you took the left turn at the top of the hill, in both cases the Fife coastal path arrows will point you through the gate as the route to Aytoun Hill, this path runs along the side of a field and like all field edging routes requires care of both ground conditions and not straying into the crops. At the end of the field edging section it cuts into woods on a small path that appears to cut across from the other road (never investigated if this is a possible short cut for those coming down from the cross roads), and passes some houses on your right, at the end of the short road you want to turn left up hill.

This road takes you up though the Aytoun Hill woodland, it curves as it climbs onto the North face of the hill before depositing you out the woods at a junction where the main track leads back down hill, go through the gate on the right and follow the track uphill, you will eventually find a gate marked as a right of way to Luthrie, but first the summit of the hill. Either dump the bike at the gate or carry the bike up to the summit of Norman's law, some sections of trail may even be rideable. The summit is the site of an old fort and trig point, with cracking views over Fife and the Tay valley.

6. Norman's Law to Luthrie

This section is a grass based right of way through fields with livestock, it leads down to a track into the village of Luthrie, follow the path with your nose and you can't really go wrong, although there is a mildly confusing section at Carphin.

7. Luthrie back to Balmerino

This section is all on road, climb the east most road out of Luthrie up to Hazelton Walls (you can also go through Brunton and Creich if you want)

Eventually you will see on the left the Birkhill gatehouse at the top of Greenhill drive, descend the drive to the fork right, take this along through thornton, at byres instead of going onto the road you can take the new path roudn the back of the houses to get to Balmerino Abbey

8. Balmerino to Naughton

This section can be bypassed by hitting the road to Section 9

Descend into Balmerino but instead of dropping to the foreshor follow the road in the village over the bridge and take the path signed for Gauldry - Monks Road into the field.

Follow this path through the field, into the woods where a wee bit of singletrack leads you to a road crossing, cross over the road, throguh the field again and into another bit of woods, follow the main track through here to the private road at the houses in Bottom Craig, at the right hand corner there is a path straight on, follow this behind some more houses and this will lead you through to Naughton farm, turn right here out to the road.

At this point you can return to Wormit by turning Left in Naughton and following the track to Peacehill before taking either the road or the right of way through the fields, the right of way is only passable if the ground is well drained and the farm have left a good road way through the crops (this is clear as you get close to it) as the path in the field edge is hardly walkable due to lack of use.

9. Naughton to Gauldry

Turn left onto the road and then just past the house there is a big muddy field opening, ignore this but take the next big muddy field opening, a right of way leads directly up hill from here to the Gauldry church hall. There is also a shop in the village, turn right along the main road and it's on the left, retrace steps to repick the route.

10. Gauldry to Kilmany

The aim here is to get through Gauldry onto the Shambleton woods track, this is done by turning down Quality Street, turning left on Balgove Avenue and then looking out for a path to the right, take this past the houses to a junction with the path into the fields, follow this path uphill, eventually an obvious path turns to the left into the woods, take this throguh the woods until it looks like you are at a dead end, a road is just over an old earth dyke, find the route through the dyke onto the road and then descend, rapidly.

This track bottoms out before Kilmany and you have a short climb before another descent to the A92.

Cross the A92 onto the village road (marked as unsuitable for through traffic).

11. Kilmany to Forret and Logie

Climb out of the village by crossing over the bridge and through the old railway bridge gap, climb the road up to the switchback and then start looking for a track on the left, take this track toward EAster Forret and just keep following it, it will deteriorate in quality until it is little more than a mucky footpath up hill, at this point it drops you into the back of Logie.

12. Logie to Craigsanquhar

Turn Right onto the road at Logie and you will come to a sharp left hand bend, on the outside of this bend there is a gate, go through this on the path and turn sharp left, follow this path until a wide farm track intersects, turn up the wide farm track back to the road.

13. Craigsanquhar to Dairsie

Left of where you have rejoined the road there are cottages, between these cottages there is a road, descend this down to Dairsie, at the bottom you can either go up into Dairsie to use the shop or turn left along to Pitormie.

14. Dairsie to Cuplas Hill.

This is a rather flat wide road, it drops you off on the main road just short of Pitormie, if you aren't comfortable with the traffic flow the far side has a narrow excuse of a path.

Turn left onto the main road/path to the junction at Thai Teak where you can partake in some cakes and coffee.

At Thai Teak there turn up the hill and take a right onto a path, this starts as a decent field access before turning into a challenging climb on usually soggy single track, I've gone up here in the past wondering what it's like to descend, the answer is of course Fun!

Keep following this and it will eventually drop you onto an estate road at Airdit House, turn Right on this and look for the next right hand junction, you have a decision to make

15. Cuplas hill Decisions, decisions, decisions or how to get to Leuchars.

Option 1: Follow the track out to the junction on the road at the top of the hill, and pick up the track throguhh the fields to the top of Lucklaw hill, from the top of Lucklaw hill pick up the various tracks that drop you to the Lucklaw hill settlement, from here you can drop down to either the main road or Balmullo.

If you go for the main road you want to find the road over St Michaels golf course and then turn down the road into Leuchars.

Option 2. Descend into Balmullo on the farm road, and cut throguh the village, get down to either the Pub or the Spar (Lucklaw hillers can also do this) and then take the road down to Guard bridge, from there you can get along to Leuchars station and into the village.

I have mapped this option.

16. Leuchars - Tayport

There are 2 main routes into Tentsmuir, the first is to follow the roads and tracks beside the airfield and to dodge along the trails in the sand dunes before landing at the main car park in tentsmuir.

The other is to pick up the Coastal path route, this takes you along board walks through marshes and drops you onto the main access road in Tentsmuir.

There really are many routes through tentsmuir, the most technical being to pick up the single track from the car park, this can be found by finding the small rise between car park and path, and cycling along the top and dropping into the dips, you will soon see worn paths converging until it's a proper looking bit of wild single track cut in the rise, follow this, before landing back on the path.

I honestly can't describe how to find the rest of the single track in tentsmuir beyond telling you to scan the side roads and rises in the trees for worn out tracks.

What ever route you take through tentsmuir it will take you to the Lundin Links bridge at the Food Mech in Tayport.

17. Tayport to Tay Road Bridge

From here you have a couple of route choices, if you are knackered I'd recommend taking the road along the waterfront, through the caravan park, along to the Harbour and then pick up the cyclepath to the tay bridge.

If you still have some energy left you can cut up into the village, pass Scott & Fyfe, the Co-op and Fire station and turn left at the mini-roundabout, join the main road through the village and then take a left at Wilison motors, and climb Craig road (the left left not the straight on left), this road leads up into Scotscraig estate, if the farmyard is working you'll need to take the left route down to the Washer Willy's road and then take the next right back into the estate (you could also use the Washer Willy's road to get straight into the top of Newport) throguh the farm yard take the straight ahead route which drops down again for a bit before curving to the right at a junction (if you did drop to the washer willy's road you rejoin at the junction) before a brief climb back up to a summit where you get a good view of Dundee, you then descend the Serpentine to the main road, cross this road to join the cycle path to Newport.

Follow the cyclepath towards newport, and turn up to the bridge, cycle through the car park, into the tunnel to the bridge walkway access and then turn left throguh ther metal railings on the path, follow this path up to craighead road in Newport

18. Tay Bridge to Wormit

Where the path joins craig head road there is a path directly across the road, join this rather than the road and at the small copse turn right and then left onto the single track, this drops rapidly to another road, pick this road up and out onto Station Brae, turn left and then right but not onto the road but the track behind the last row of houses, this takes you past garages and drops you at a good angle to attempt to climb the railway embankment which is steep and rooty.

Follow the embankment to cupar road, unfrotuantely the nature trail doesn't go through tayfield estate, so pick up cupar road and then Kirk road, on Kirk road lookout for a gap in the wall on the right, go through this gap down the first steps and then look for a bit of single track on the left, follow this and it drops you out by a more challenging route than following the path at Newport West Station.

At Newport West station the path along to Waterstone Crook is very clear but just look for the Green walking signs marked N.T. (Nature Trail) go through the crook car park, do a loop of the old railway bridge and then hit the railway line through to Wormit, cross the road and back up the embankment, and blast along until the path takes you down to Birkhill Avenue, turn left, throguh the railway bridge gap and then look for Scotscraig Crescent on the left, not only is this not a crescent it's also a challengingly steep hill, climb this and get onto Crosshill terrace, turning Right, turn left at the cross roads and look for the path behind the houses at the end of Reserviour road, go along this path to the top of Mount Stewart road and turn into the field, follow the track left from the enterance and up to the top of the field, turn right here and go along the top keep left at each junction you come to until you find a descent looking over towards the sand quarry, descend this hill and join the path down to Wormit Farm, here cross the road and descend either through the decomissioned farm (if clear) or by taking the road slightly to the left from the junction, go under the railway in the "tunnel" and turn directly left, hack through the fields and when you reach a small bridge over the railway turn right and follow the trail into Wormit Den, follow the small water course to where there is a stile over the fence, either cross the stile and turn right to return to Wormit Bay OR climb up the side of the hill and drop into the play park and see if you can get up the other side of the "ditch" (make sure the fence at the bottom hasn't been fixed first) in the paly park turn left down the steps and down the path to the car park.


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Ports of Tay Loop


Viewed 412 times
Length: 10.6 Miles
Ascent: 340 m
Time: 2 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
Starting from the Tay Bridge car park head up the path to the bridge and under the road deck, at the top of the stairs (1) turn left through the barriers and follow the tar to Craighead road (2).

Cross onto the path directly across the road (on the corner) and follow this path to where it tails off in the Woods (3), turn right into the woods and take the single track directly on your left, this chutes you down to a private road, there is usually a motorbike parked directly across from the bottom of the chute.

Follow this road to Station Brae and turn Left at the cobbled junction, pass the tarred roads on the right and take the last right before the dual carriageway (it looks like a driveway), follow this track past garages to another public road crossing, directly across from the junction is a set of steps with adjacent rooty climb up onto the old railway embankment, make your way up here and follow the line to the junction with Cupar Road.
If you are suitably skilled and it is clear you could Danny Macaskil onto the pavement below the wall, otherwise you will have to push or carry through the steps onto the pavement.

Turn left (climbing) on Cupar road and after the double bends and Tayfield Estate North Lodge (If only the Nature trail went through the Den, and the bridge hadn't been dismantled...) turn right onto Kirk Road, watch out for a warning sign advising of pedestrians crossing, shortly after this on the right there is a hole in the wall with some slabbed steps, go down these and you have 3 route choices, there are 2 trails through the woods with some lifting over roots and fallen trees or continue down the path, in both cases you will be landed at Newport East station, keep following the path here to the east, eventually you will come to a road overbridge where it appears you are blocked by Garages, in fact there is a path width gap on the left, jink through the gap and follow the path where it gains the name "Station Path", cycle along here and across the "road gap" (it's bollarded here so the only traffic will be path users), before stopping to cross Castle Brae into the Sports Centre car park.

I always loop over the bridge, but however you wish to get through this car park, eventually go under the bridge and continue to follow the path to Flass Road in Wormit.

Here drop to the road and make sure you're in a short gear to get back up the other side, follow the path along here and then down to Birkhill Avenue, turn left between the bridge abutments and look out for Scotscraig Crescent on the left, turn up here and when you reach the summit turn right on Crosshill Terrace to the Cross Roads, turn left here and another short sharp climp takes you to the drive way of "the tanks" (old reservoir), turn right up what looks like someones drive and up the slope to the path, follow this path to the stub road and turn left into the field.

In the field follow the path left along the bottom then straight up, when you reach the top turn right and then follow all left paths until you find you are at the top of a steep slope, if you get it wrong the steep slope will tkae you back to the bottom of this field, get it right and the steep slop drops you at a t junction path, turn right to a fork junction and double back here on the lower path, climb this to the field edge.

At the field edge judge the field, the landowner has had issues with MTBers in Links Wood, follow the field edge round to the woods where you will find a wide path to a metalled road, turn right on the metaled road and follow the main line through St Form Home Farm down to the A92 crossing.

Cross the A92 and descend on the track to the left hand bend at the house, keep on the deteriorating track through puddles beside the woods and bearing right round to some cottages, from here the track is concreted, and follow it to the A914 crossing.

Cross the A914 and after the cemetery access on the right look out for the farm track up on the left, climb this and turn left round the house, keep following this track to a left hand bend with a track on the right.

Turn right and climb Roseberry hill to the fork, you can turn left at the fork to the shed, and then follow one of the tracks on the right for a multitued of wee tracks round the hill, if you come to a wooden gate on a track turn left to get back to the first fork.

Taking the right fork on the hill takes you to a cowp next to boundary stones marked C and F either side of a fence. Pick up the path (Right of Way) to the left here and this takes you down to a wicket gate at a field.

This field has a right of way running through it and unless it has been ploughed will have an obvious path trapised through it to another set of gates over the burn, once over the burn climb the hill and stile to the public road.

At the public road (Washer Willies) you can cut out the top loop by simply turning right, but turn left then right up to the houses higher up and follow the dirt track off the tar before them and round the back of the woods you climbed past, this takes you down throguh a wooded path and field edge to the houses a few meters to the right of the Stile turn left after passing throguh the gate.

Descend the road through the Washer Willy's double bend and on the left you will see a large metal gate at the first enterance to Scotscraig, cross this gate and follow the main track line up hill, at the summit there are 2 obvious roads slightly left and hard right, a slightly less obvious track is at slight right, this is the Serpentine.

Descent this snake like track down to Newport Road and head to the parking area to your left.
From here you simply need to follow the cycle track back to the bridge car park.


Alternatives and Extensions:

Wormit:
You could start at wormit bay and include the paths in Wormit Den, you can pick up my marked track from Wormit Farm by crossing the road and following the RoW sign past the houses and at Paterson's yard take the path to the left and then right (as indicated by the big Footpath sign), on return when you get to the bottom of the descent off the hill you turn right instead of doubling back.

Roseberry Hill:
You can replace this section with a blast round tentsmuir out by continuing on the road to the T-Junction and then cutting through the field straight ahead or turning right and then left down to in both cases the Morton Lochs car park.
to get back to Scotscraig and the Serpentine you then from Lundin bridge (tayport end of Tentsmuir) follow the roads up to the Fire Station, turn left, then right then left again onto Craig road and then follow the road throguh Scotscraig farmyard taking the left after the barns and following the main line of the track and after you have passed the last house turn right and right again to pick up the main track

Newport: There is a road down to the waterfornt below the road bridge, at the end of the cycle path stay on the pavement rather than crossing to the bridge car park side, and then take the first right. You MUST go left of the gate as it's a bit of a drop on the right, and when you get to the bottom head straight for the boundary wall of the house and the path should be obvious on the right. This goes over a bridge and down to a waterside path with some jetties, whne you get back to the grass turn left up the hill to the road in newport. I've gone further along, the next path up is stepped and any further on is just a dead end. You can then spin towards the centre of newport and then turn left up the hill at the house with the mural window.

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Pitmedden Forest (Fife)


Viewed 1043 times
Length: 10.3 Miles
Ascent: 391 m
Time: 2 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
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Description:-
You can spend as long as you like on this route – depends on how long you need to explore the trails in Pitmedden Forest.
Start i Auchtermuchty at the car park in front of the Sir Jimmy Shand statue (in Distillery Street, B936) and head north towards Newburgh. After a few yards turn left onto Mourniepea at a prominent white wedge shaped cottage (T1), and head up the minor road as far as ‘The Clink’ forestry car park (T2). Turn right into and through the car park then left at a pinnic table and pick your way through the woods on well defined single track to emerge back on to the public road just before it ends at Newhill (T3).
Up the wide forestry track to the top of the hill (T4) then hard left steeply down into the forest again. Cycle round Clamieduff Loch (just a bog now) and over the hill to get to the ‘Thirle Stane’ (T5 - bench). There are numerous trails in these woods so go where you like (map suggests a good way) but head generally north east until picking up the fire road near T9. Follow this down through ‘Seven Gates’ (T10) and turn right off the main track. Follow the fire road through the dense woods and carry straight on where the main track turns round to the left (T11) and exit woods at a gate above Pitmedden Farm (T12). Through gate, down through farm and back to the ‘Muchty – Newburgh road (T14) on farm and minor road. Turn left and up main road for about a hundred yards (T15) then right into the ‘Muchty common. Follow track through the Common (two gates) and downhill through Broombrae Farm. Carry on downhill on tarmac road into ‘Muchty – arriving at the Cycle Tavern at the bottom of the hill (T16) – nip in for a pint if you think you deserve it. Car Start point a few yards up the main road.


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St Andrews


Viewed 141 times
Length: 4.8 Miles
Ascent: 111 m
Time: 0.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
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Description:-
Town route

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