Humbie Woods and Balram

These little frequented natural woods at the back of Aberdour must surely be the jewel in Aberdour’s crown! Delightful decidious woods that are a riot of colour in May.

There are a number of routes you can use through the woods, this 3 mile route is just one suggestion. The map shows some other paths around the woods that you may wish to explore. Be aware that after heavy rain the paths can become muddy and in Summer they tend to be very overgrown with bracken which makes them difficult to follow. There are pheasant feeding stations in the woods so might be worth avoiding during the pheasant shooting season (October to February).

Distance: 3 miles / 4.8 km

Ascent: 420 feet / 125 m

Start / finish: Aberdour

Other walks in the area:

Start from the main street in Aberdour at the east end of the village and walk up Murrel Road to its end. At this point a rough track goes northwards from the road end. Follow this track which can be muddy in places for about 1km. You will pass a farm on your right hand side and a ruin on your left. As the path progresses it becomes more overgrown. At the end of the track/path it reaches an area of gorse bushes on a hillside. The easiest route from here is to go through the gate on to the hillside and walk up hill slightly before turning right to follow a grass path through the bushes. Take the most obvious route through the gorse bushes in an easterly direction. Enjoy the views over the Forth from here. Keep to your right to follow the path as it runs parallel to a field fence across to the ruin of Balram. This is a slightly different route from the path shown on some maps which would have you fighting your way through the gorse bushes!

From Balram there is a rough track across the fields which takes you to the edge of the woods. There may be livestock in these fields so best to keep dogs on a lead at this point. Follow the track through a gate and keep to the edge of the woods as the track now becomes more defined. The track bends round to the right to head in a south easterly direction and shortly after this point you reach a gate into the woods at grid ref NT 199 869.

Go into the woods and follow the path which may be indistinct at times, in a south west direction for about 80m. The path curves right (ignore a path to your left) and starts going more westerly. After about 250m you reach a path junction at NT 196 868. You could go either way at this point and the right hand option may be advisable if you are unsure of your bearings as it stays close to the northerly edge of the woods. However, the better route is to turn left for 120m to reach another junction at a feed station (note the feed stations are moved around from time to time) at NT 196 867. Now turn right to follow an obvious path with an open area to your right. The path rises slightly to reach a high point in the woods at NT 194 867 then descends the other side of the hill heading in a generally west direction. When you reach a junction at NT 192 867 close to some rock, keep right. In May there are a multitude of bluebells in this area. Continue onwards initially north west and then south west and south east as the path curves round the edge of the woods. You will pass a stile leading out of the woods into a field that you walked passed earlier.

Proceed now in an easterly direction past the rocks. The path again becomes fairly obvious. This next section of the path leads back into the woods in a roughly east direction until it reaches a burn. There used to be a small bridge across the burn but it is now damaged, so make your own way across. Now follow the path southish and then east as it curves left. The path is now close to the southerly edge of the woods. Keep to your left at a junction at NT 195 865. A useful landmark is a fallen tree to your right. The path curves right and you reach a clearing with a rope swing in it at NT 197 864. From here follow the path as it continues to curve right to head southwards and out of the woods.

You are now on a farm track and can go straight on down to the main road leading out of Aberdour. There are some cottages to your right and a farm to your left.

When you reach the main road, be VERY CAREFUL crossing over as there is a blind bend. Once across the road turn right and walk on the verge which becomes a pavement at the corner. You can now follow this road back into Aberdour.

View / download this route on Viewranger.

View / download this route on Ordnance Survey website.

The red route shown on the map below is as described above. All these paths were able to be followed in May 2016. The blue lines are the routes of other paths that I have followed through these woods in the past. The yellow line is a path around he edge of a field to reach a stile. After crossing the stile you will need to cross a burn which may be awkward as the bridge is damaged. The green blob represents another gate into the woods.

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© 2016 – 2017  Fife Walking.  All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source.

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