The Newburgh Recreational Route

   
DISTANCE 28 km or 18 miles
   
GRADE

Some climbing required.
Offroad section through Pitmedden Forest.

   
UPDATED November 2001

 

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A circular tour of the hillier parts of Fife

The Newburgh Route is one of five recreational routes in the north east of Fife. This route travels through Strathmiglo, Pitmedden Forest, Newburgh, Den & Grange of Lindores, Auchtermuchty and Dunshalt.

This route involves some climbing; the climb through Glen Tarkie is one long slog, followed by a short steep climb into Pitmedden: on a good day the views from Pitmedden make the climb worthwhile. 28 km or 18 miles.

Starting from the Cycle Information Point (CIP) Strathmiglo, continue along West Road (Note - this route is not well signposted when going north bound on the Kingdom Cycle Route) to the junction with the towns High Street, on the left is the old Town House with its steeple and a little further beyond is Kinears Bakery - one of the best in Fife. At the junction cross straight over and continue along the lane beside the Hoggs of Fife shop, the road peters out and becomes a well surfaced track as it crosses the line of the old Kinross - Ladybank railway to come to the junction with the A91 St. Andrews Road.

Cross (very carefully) and continue on the Glentarkie Road. >From here the road to the top of the glen is one unrelenting slog, nothing steep just some climbing and then a lot more! Shortly after rounding the top of the hill there is a turning on the right, signposted for Pitmedden Forest, turn right and then right again, go through the gate and start climbing once more. This wee bit of a climb comes as a rude shock and it is steeper than the climb through Glentarkie, the only good thing is that is a short distance to the top. At the top there is to the right a small marker post, the arrow for the Newburgh route is POINTING THE WRONG WAY, do not go straight on, doing so will take you downhill to Auchtermuchty, the correct route is to the left.

Turn left, go around the gate and climb the final part of the hill, follow the main forest road onto the ridge fine views of East and West Lomond can be had from here. The road starts to descend, caution there is a gate across this road, which comes as a rude shock. Go around the gate, cross over the cross-roads and up the short hill on the far side.

As you approach the power lines, you come to a junction go straight on heading towards the power lines. The road surface starts to deteriorate as you near these power lines, it gets worse the farther you go down the hill you go. The descent is better suited to mountain bikes or riders with mountain bike skills. (In saying that, I managed to get a puncture by the time I reached the bottom on the track!) Half way down, there is a warning of a barrier ahead, this gate has been removed, be careful oneday Forest Enterprise may just rediscover their long lost gate.

The forest road ends at a gate in front of a T-junction with a quiet country road, the sign post indicates Newburgh and Auchtermuchty to the left, (Auchtermuchty is in fact to the right and a whole of closer than the stated eight miles). The road descends through a couple of sharp bends, briefly levelling out beside some fields. On the right is a collection of stones, this is Mc. Duffs Cross. A large sandstone boulder rests on a low mound surrounded by smaller stones. The top is marked with 8 distinct cups (formed, I'm told by the weathering out of iron pyrite nodules. There is no indication of a socket for a cross, despite the story that the cross itself was thrown down and destroyed during the reformation in 1559.

The Kingdom Cycle Route, KCR joins from the right, continue straight on, this place makes for a good viewpoint of the Tay and the Carse of Gowrie on the far bank. Descend the steep hill all the way to the T-junction at the bottom and turn right, continue along the High Street. For bakery aficionados the Tower bakery on the left can be recommended.

Continue all the way through the town, the KCR goes off to the left at a petrol station, while the Newburgh CR., continues straight on.

(One thing that I did not notice was a Cycle Information Point in Newburgh, I really would have expected to see one here.)

Not long after leaving the town there is a farm with a ruined castle, which this is not open to the public, continue straight on to the Den of Lindores. Turn right, go under the railway bridge then climb the long hill ahead. Near the top the KCR will join from the right, continue straight on.

The Ladybank CR. joins from the left shortly after you pass the imposing traditional Scots Country house at Pitcairlie on the right, continue straight on.

Auchtermuchty, the CIP is located outside the aptly named Cycle Tavern. Continue straight on to the A91 junction. Cross the A91, carefully and continue on the far side. Go over the old railway bridge and just before Dunshalt village turn right and follow this narrow road to the junction with the A912, turn right and follow this road all the way to Strathmiglo.

Before you enter the town, turn left just before the bridge and follow the road all the way to the starting point at West Road.

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