There are many varied walking, cycling and hiking routes across North Fife’s countryside and along its coastline:
The Tay estuary is one of the defining areas ofNorth Fife, providing visitors with spectacular views and rewarding walks. White-tailed sea eagles can be spotted along the estuary and in the Fife forests. These eagles, the largest bird of prey in the UK, were re-introduced to east of Scotland in 2009
The North Fife stretch of the Fife Coastal Path along the south of the Tay estuary, is one of the ,most diverse on the 150 km route. The route is well signposted with wooden signs, fence markers and stickers on lamp post and poles.
In Newburgh the path follows the shoreline before crossing farm fields and rising to the crest high land giving spectacular views of the the Tay estuary. Rough grass tracks and steep climbs not suitable for cycling will appeal to more energetic walkers.
From Glenduckie to Balmerino the path moves inland and continues along grassy tracks across undulating farmland. Steep hills cut through dense woodland on Ayton Hill. The path skirts Norman’s Law before descending to follow quiet country lanes towards Balmerino. A demanding rural stretch.
From Balmerino Abbey, the path crossed farmland and woods and is narrow and undulating, requiring careful navigation at times. Several gates to negotiate and two sets of stairs to make it unsuitable for cycling. The eastbound route offers great views of the two Tay Bridges and becomes suitable for all abilities from Wormit Bay eastwards through Newport-on-Tay.
At The Tay Road Bridge the Coastal Path merges with the Kingdom Cycle Route as it follows the river to the harbourside village of Tayport, with a cafe, pub and public toilets. From Tayport the path stays close to the Firth of Tay as it heads along a trail into Tentsmuir Forest, skirting the sands of shoreline. Ideal for cyclist and walkers to enjoy the natural terrain of Tentsmuir Forest.
The Lomond Hills are Fife’s most prominent landmarks. The Lomond Hills Regional Park is the centre of 25 square miles of moorland, lochs and farmland. The area was designated as Scotland’s first Regional Park in 1986. It is a vast area with numerous access points and huge network of paths and interesting features.
The Falkland Estate takes in native woodlands, an organic farm and countryside just below the Lomond Hills, with many walks and cycle trails. The estate is managed by the Centre for Stewardship, which runs volunteering programmes and learning opportunities around its key theme of wood, food and crafts.
For gentler walks , go red squirrel watching in the woodlands of Ladybank forest.
I f you enjoy bird watching, explore Birnie and Gaddon lochs, Collessie, for over-wintering ducks; and the Eden estuary, Guardbridge, for wailing birds. If you are here in winter, search for snow buntings in Tentsmuir forest.
Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve near Tayport is an internationally recognised habitat for plants, birds, insects and animals, such as masking seals, red squirrels, deer, wildfowl and otters. Thousands of grey and common seals come each year to moult, breed and have their pups and it is a truly memorable experience to see them basking on the snadbars. Look out for grey seal pups between October and December and common seal pups in June and July.
Trails and cycle tracks are clearly marked to help visitors discover the vast woodlands, windswept dunes and stunning beaches. It is a perfect place for family expeditions, picnics, leisurely walks or exploring.
There are access poits at Kinshaldy, Tayport (closest to public transport) and Morton Lochs.
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