KINGDOM OF FIFE CYCLE ROUTE

Kinross To Strathmiglo (Section 3)


MAP AND ROUTE COMPILED BY WALLACE SHACKLETON OF THE FIFE & KINROSS DA

 

The Kingdom Cycle Route (KCR) forms part of the National Cycle (NCN) Route 1 and is an integral part of the North Sea Cycle route. The North Sea Cycle route connects mainland Scotland, to Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and England. In all 5,700 km or 3,500 miles of quiet roads and cycle tracks. The 168 km or 105 miles KCR is a circular route linking the Forth to Tay Bridges, running from North Queensferry to Tayport and back by way of Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy.

This section covers the 16 km or 10 miles from the Kinross to Strathmiglo

 

The description of the third portion of the Kingdom Cycle Route features two diversions from the sign posted route. The main problem is the surface of the railway path, this is not very comfortable for bikes with narrow tyres or laden tourers. While the path was built to Sustrans standards the surface dressing has almost disappeared leaving the rougher surface underneath. Fine if you are riding a mountain bike but not so good with other kinds of bikes. Alternative routes: My personal choice is to cycle on the A922 from Kinross to Milnathort, turn right at the mini-roundabout and follow the B996 towards St.Andrews. Turn right, sign posted Arlary. This road will connect with the end of the railway path, continue straight on to the B919 cross-roads and turn right. Second choice to the railway path would be follow the KCR out of Kinross, but instead of turning left to the Water Treatment Works continue straight on, then turn right at the T-junction. The road passes the Balgedie Toll Tavern and turns left at the top of the small hill. This route is the shorter of the two but uses a busier road.

a - The KCR leaves Kinross on the Kinnesswood road, then turns off onto a service road for the Milnathort Waste water Treatment Plant, before connecting with the railway path. Turn right and follow the path which leads up to the A911. Carefully cross the road and continue on the other side. The next section of the path has a number of gates and is a shared use path with agricultural vehicles. At the end of the railway, turn left and continue alongside the field boundary to the road, turn right and continue to the cross-roads.

b - Published maps of the KCR or NCN 1 feature the route going straight on, which is the shortest route onto the Dryside Road. Unfortunately access problems prevent the use of this track. Until the track is opened, turn right onto the B919, and follow the road to the Y-junction at the Balgedie Toll tavern.

c - Go straight on and up the small hill then turn next left towards the Levenglen Nursing Home. Follow the narrow road through Wester Balgedie to the nursing home. The track surface degrades as you continue on the Dryside Road, eventually the surface degrades into a sandy farm track strewn with puddles. Just after a small holding the track descends to a small ford to cross a burn. The burn marks the boundary between Kinross and Fife, the difference between the two counties is enhanced when the track surface becomes tarred once again. Millennium money well spent! The Dryside Road descends to cross another more substantial burn, on the far side after a short climb is a picnic place and an information board detailing some places of interest. The Bonnet Stone is one such place of interest. This weathered stone formation lies 500 m to the east. Look out for a water storage tank just off the road, a track beside the tank runs nearly all the way to the Bonnet Stone, the final part is across an open field. The stone is covered with initials and dates, possibly made by locals and patients of Levenglen Nursing home when it was a convalescent hospital.

d - Shortly after the water tank is a T-junction, continue straight on, and it is nearly down hill all the way to Strathmiglo, a much welcome break.

e - Take care entering Strathmiglo, the KCR turns right, without effective sign posting, into Skene Street. If you have time have a look at the key stones (the top most stone in an arch) of the hall to the left as you enter the village. Unusually the year the hall was built is cut into each of the four key stones. Continue all the way along Skene Street to the junction with the A912 where you turn right. The village has a shop and a bakery (well recommended) turn left, about half way along Skene Street, near some playing fields and turn right at the T-junction. Either retrace your tracks or continue along the main street to the T-junction and turn right. The church on the right has a fragment of a pictish stone just outside the cemetery.

f - The A912 is not pleasant to cycle upon, luckily you have a mile or so before turning off this road onto a quieter one, turn left, and follow the KCR signs for Auchtermuchty.

Note: The North Sea Cycle Route, NCN 1 deviates from the KCR at this point, the NCN splits in two, the eastern route (being closer to the North Sea) continues onto Falkland and Freuchie, crosses two very busy roads, then climbs “Cadgers Brae” to rejoin the St. Andrews to Kirkcaldy leg of the KCR. The catch is Cadgers Brae is a hard climb, and other hard climbs lie in wait for the traveller. The route through Auchtermuchty and Newburgh is easier and does not feature any hard climbing. Going south on this route is a different story, where it is easier to use the St. Andrews / Kirkcaldy leg of the KCR. Study the maps carefully before deciding upon a route.



All Material Copyright Of Wallace Shackleton [2001]