The Binn is the small (193m according to the viewpoint indicator on the summit) hill at the back of Burntisland. It is said that it shelters the seaside town of Burntisland from the cold north winds! From the summit there are panoramic views across the Forth.
Instead of a specific route up and down the hill I am going to describe eight different routes up the hill so that you can mix and match your own routes to produce either a circular route or just go up and down the same way.
Three routes start close to Burntisland and three routes start on the Standing Stane road to the north of the Binn. The final two routes start from close to Kinghorn Loch. There is not much parking along the Standing Stane road although there is a small layby on the A909 at its junction with Standing Stane Road (grid reference NT 209 870). There is adequate parking in Burntisland itself. There is also space for a couple of cars opposite the golf club where one of the paths starts. The routes from Burntisland will be described starting from the new primary school KY3 0LJ which is a useful central point. There are a couple of car parks around Kinghorn Loch that can be used.
Three routes from the west converge on a small reservoir, whilst four routes from the east converge on the ruined village of Binnend, home to workers at the nearby shale oil works. The seventh route is the Craigkelly access road and approaches directly from the north although it does join the reservoir routes for the final approach.
Each of these three routes involve approximately 90-100m of ascent to reach either the reservoir or Binnend village.
From the school head up Cowdenbeath Road and then go left along the path to a playing field at the pedestrian crossing. Then go right on to Church Street, left on to Dollar Road and right on to Grange Road. Before you reach the end of Grange Road go left on to Kilmundy Drive and follow it round to the right to reach the end of the road. Alternatively you could reach this point directly from the main road via Bendameer Road.
Go straight on at the back of a house on a narrow footpath alongside a field. After going up steps into the woods keep left. When the path reaches a grass field keep straight on to reach the Cowdenbeath Road. Take extreme care and cross over the road. Immediately opposite is the start of a grassy path that follows a field edge and then heads into the woods. Keep on the main path going uphill until you reach a green sign post on your right and the small reservoir on your left.
Approximate distance is 2.2 km from the school to the reservoir.
From the school head up Cowdenbeath Road and then go left along the path to a playing field at the pedestrian crossing. Then go right on to Church Street, left on to Dollar Road and right on to Grange Road. At the end of the road keep right (do not go into the new build houses) passing Distillery House and Distillery Cottage. At the end of this section of road there is a pedestrian exit on to Cowdenbeath Road.
Turn left and walk along the pavement for a short distance until you reach a set of steps on your right hand side sign posted for the Binn. Take extreme care crossing over the road as it is fast and busy. The path will take you up through the woods with the aid of steps in places and across a stile into a small field. Cross the field to reach the trees opposite where a green signpost is located at a path junction. The reservoir is just beyond the sign.
1.3 km from the school to the reservoir.
From the school head up Cowdenbeath Road and then go right along a cycle track before the pedestrian lights. The cycle track takes you round the back of the school and brings you back to the main road at the Toll Centre. Go left on the pavement alongside the main road until you reach the golf club. Just beyond the golf club is a verge where people park and a path going uphill through the woods. The path climbs steeply up the hill with the aid of steps in places to bring you to a path junction close to the old Binnend village.
1.2km from the school to Binnend.
From Kinghorn Loch
The Binnend path starts from the B923 road close to a track that leads round Kinghorn Loch and opposite the Grangehill track that goes over the hill to Kinghorn (grid reference NT 251 872). Although it goes uphill, it is a relatively gentle ascent and there is a picnic area mid-way for a rest! After the picnic area, a cycle track goes off to your left but continue straight on to meet the path junction at the old Binnend village.
Approximately 1km from the start of the path on the B923 to Binnend.
From the north side of Kinghorn Loch walk west past the Earthship building using the woodland paths around the lochside. When you join a surfaced track turn left heading down towards the main road. On your right hand side you will see a footpath signed for Roddanbraes. Take this path which leads to ruin at Roddanbraes via the Troll Bridge.
After Roddanbraes the path continues along the edge of an agricultural field (stick the path don’t walk across the crops) and then across a grassy field to join the Common Road path. Turn left and go slightly downhill to reach the path junction just after the ruins of Binnend village.
2.2km with 100m of ascent from Kinghorn Loch to Binnend
From Standing Stane Road
The Standing Stane Road is about 150m above sea level so not much lower than the summit of the Binn. These routes therefore do not include any significant ascent. However, if using these routes you will need to add on extra distance for walking along the Standing Stane Road.
- End of Standing Stane Road to Gale Slap stile: 1.6km
- Gale Slap stile to Craigkelly Road end: 500m
- Craigkelly Road end to Common Road end: 1.2km
The Common Road starts from Standing Stane Road at grid reference NT 239 881. It is marked with a green sign for Burntisland and a notice about being unsuitable for cycling. It is a pleasant walk across fields gently downhill to reach the path junction at the old Binnend village. Before reaching Binnend you will become aware of the industrial area to your left. This was a landfill site for the now closed Alcan aluminium works in Burntisland. It is currently being restored.
Distance is approximately 1km from the end of the Common Road to Binnend.
Gale Slap Plantation
This route starts at a stile on the Standing Stane Road located at grid reference NT 224 875. The start of the path is marked with a green sign for Burntisland. The path is initially “pathless” across the grassy field left of the stile to reach a gate into the woodland on the opposite side. Here you join a track for a short very muddy descent through the trees to a rough field. Once into the field a wall is initially to your right but at a wide gap cross over so that the wall is now to your left. The wall leads to a junction of fences where there is a small pedestrian gate. Go through the gate and a grassy/muddy path now follows a wall with the reservoir to your left. At the path junction close to the green signpost turn left.
Approximately 700 m distance from the stile to the path junction at the reservoir.
This route uses the surfaced access road to Craigkelly House and TV mast. The road starts from the Standing Stane Road at NT 228 876. Follow the road until you reach the mast. After the mast and before the house turn right onto a grassy track to reach a field gate. From the gate you can either go left directly up the grassy slope alongside a fence to reach a pedestrian gate, or for a more gentle ascent keep straight on under the power lines and then bear left across the grass with Burntisland to your right to reach the gate.
After the pedestrian gate a footpath leads directly to the summit.
Distance is approximately 1.7km from the road end to the summit
From the Reservoir
From the reservoir go through the gate to join a track up the grassy western slopes of the Binn. Keep right when you reach a green sign for the Binn still going up grassy slopes. The path veers left when you reach the trees and continues along the edge of the cliffs to reach a pedestrian gate. After the gate the path then heads directly to the summit.
Approximately 900 m distance from the reservoir to the summit with 65 m of ascent.
From the path junction at Binnend there is a stone stile in the wall to the left (south) of the village ruins. A well trodden path leads from the stile uphill along the cliff edge (not too close to the edge) to the summit view point. Approximately 600 m distance from Binnend to the summit with 65 m of ascent.
As a final point it is worth noting that if doing a circular walk it is not particularly easy to walk between the layby at the west end of Standing Stane Road and Burntisland. The A909 Cowdenbeath Road is busy and fast. Walking along it is not to be recommended. There is a path to the north east of the road that starts at a stile close to the end of the Standing Stane Road and can be followed all the way down to where the Kilmundy Drive route crosses the road. However, the path is overgrown with gorse bushes in more than one place which makes for some rather prickly walking.
The Standing Stane Road however is a very quiet road and is ideal for walking and cycling.
The routes above are the main routes and there are slight variations on them that you might discover. If anybody knows of any other routes that I haven’t included please do let me know.
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