KINGDOM OF FIFE CYCLE ROUTE
Balmerino to Tayport (Section 6)
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 13 km or 8 miles from the Balmerino to Tayport.
The Kingdom Cycle Route heads towards the towns of Newport and Tayport, while the North Sea Cycle Route continues northwards along the Tay Road Bridge Following Tayport, we reach the largest off-road portion of the route at Tentsmuir Forest.
Approaching Balmerino, one has the option of missing the steep descent to Balmerino by continuing to Gauldry then rejoining the route on the eastern side of Gauldry village, the choice is yours.
From Balmerino the KCR continues along a wooded road to a T-junction, turn left and follow this road over the railway bridge to another T-junction with the B946 on the outskirts of Wormit. Turn left and follow this road through Wormit, Woodhaven and Newport. All three seems to combine into one large town clinging to the south shore of the Tay.
The road gets busier around the Tay Road Bridge pays to keep your wits about you here. The KCR passes under the Tay Road Bridge, anyone wishing to cross the Tay should continue under the bridge and turn next right, then right again into the car park and viewing area. Continue toward the Bridge and enter the pedestrian tunnel, turn right, up the ramp onto the central reservation and it's downhill all the way to Dundee. There is a lift on the Dundee end of the bridge traveling in style!
Shortly after passing the junction there is a dropped kerb on the left which leads onto the gravel paved cycle way alongside the road.
The path comes to a lay-by, exercise caution entering the lay-bay look right for fast traffic entering the lay bay. The path resumes at the far end of the lay by, the path ends shortly afterwards at a no expense spared gate with a pin type lock and non self-closing gate, go through the gate and down to another gate of similar design, go through the gate onto the bed of the old railway.
The old railway ballast has become hard packed, bumpy and unpleasant to cycle upon as you descend towards Tayport, you may have to pass through a large farm gate. The surface then becomes earthy and rough as the track passes behind the cemetery. An unsigned detour is made off the railway and down the embankment and then a confusing choice of routes presents itself. Straight ahead or left under the railway or back up the embankment or left and down to the road.
Having had enough of the railway I opted to go left and down to the road, turning right outside the western lighthouse. Shortly afterwards you pass the eastern light, the cottage bears the inscription 1823 Erected by the corporation of Trinity House Dundee, William Nichol Esq. Harbourmaster. Both lights were built by Robert Stevenson, the eastern most light is disused and is closer to the original design.
The road from the lighthouse comes up and over what would have been a railway bridge to a T-junction. Turn left, go down the hill. Turn left at a junction, going down to the harbour.
The route continues alongside the harbour, at the end of the quay, turn left onto the shared use footpath and continue along-side the harbour. At the end of the shared use footpath turn right, going onto the road past the houses, when the road bends to the right, turn left here and follow the road along the esplanade, then continue through the caravan park, keeping the boundary to your right.
At the houses, you come up to a T-junction, turn left at the end of the road is a small car park and visitor information point, detailing the natural history of the sands. Beyond that is an access gate with a useless cycle access point, go around the barrier and continue along the tarred road for a short distance before turning to the left, continuing along the rough, stony and ill drained road alongside the compound, follow the road on the right towards the trees.
All Material Copyright Of Wallace Shackleton