KINGDOM OF FIFE CYCLE ROUTE

An Introduction

PLEASE NOTE: Last Updated April 2001

 

[A Request from the Web Master. The Kingdom of Fife Cycle Route was last updated in 2001. Since then parts of it have changed, been upgraded, fallen into disrepair etc. If you can provide any additional infomation that will allow the following sections to be updated please get in touch with the web master via the contact page.]

Fife Council (with the help of the Millennium Commission) undertook a Herculean task, unparalleled among the other Scottish local authorities — the creation of an entire cycle network in one go.

Designing a cycle route suitable for riders with varying abilities is not an easy task, neither is making same the route “safe” for everyone. Experienced riders would think nothing of cycling parts of this route while others would baulk at the prospect. So if at times the route seems to be a little quirky, forgive the designers they have done their best with what they have. What the Council have come up with was a 168 km or 105 miles circular route linking the Forth and Tay Bridges, running from North Queensferry to Tayport and back by way of St. Andrews, Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy. The publication of the last issue of Cycle Clips, the Kingdom Cycle Routes newsletter and the reassignment of a key member of the Fife team can only mean that the project has drawn to a virtual end. This has left two incomplete sections; the off road sections linking Newport and Tayport (avoiding the busy B945) and the farm track upgrading between Kirkcaldy and Burntisland. Cycling on the B945 Road towards Tayport is not a pleasurable experience. I can not advocate cycling on the footpath, but it is there.... Just when the second section will be completed is anyone's guess, even when the go ahead for construction was given, the foot and mouth epidemic has put paid to any work for months to come.

What wise?
The general tendency of the KCR is to go clockwise around the Kingdom, this makes use of the hills. Going clockwise means that you can descend the hills at Cleish, into Newburgh, Balmerino and Dura Den. Going the other way around means some serious ascending. Following the route Do not feel forced into following this (or any other) cycle route “to the letter.” Look at the route and if something suits you better or is more interesting then do it, do not be constrained to follow a route just because it is there. Make detours, look at the sights above all enjoy the experience!

Maps
The following series of web pages could be used to navigate around the Kingdom. I would suggest buying the official map from Fife Council or one of their distributors or think big and buy the Sustrans / National Cycle Network Route 1 map, which covers the North Sea Cycle Route from Edinburgh to Aberdeen.

Sign posting
All cycle routes need signing, generally the signs around the KCR are good, but there are times when signs are missing, carry the wrong colour, or been turned round by the occasional rascal. Cycle the route but keep an eye out for the signs and where you should be going, try to memorise small sections of the route in advance and use your cycle computer in conjunction with the official maps to anticipate the route ahead.

All in a oner
To date I have not been able to complete the route in one go, the challenge of completing the entire route is there, it would be interesting to know if anyone has managed to complete the route and in what times. It took me the best part of a day to go three-quarters around, missing the turning for the diversion into Kinghorn and a lack of water was the death knell for my attempt. North Sea Cycle Route Three cycle routes: the North Sea Cycle Route, The National Cycle Route (NCN) 1 and parts of the Kingdom Cycle Route have been combined to connect mainland Scotland, to Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and England. In all seven countries, 5,700 km or 3,500 miles of quiet roads and cycle tracks. NCN 1 tends to use the northbound route to Kinross, then jumping over to the southbound section and continuing against the flow as it were, making its way north towards to Dundee by way of St. Andrews. Doing this exposes you to two steep hills and in my mind is unnecessary. Have a look at continuing northbound through Newburgh which has one major climb compared to two on the other route, in the end make up your own mind it is your sweat!

Wallace

 

All Material Copyright Of Wallace Shackleton [2001]