Kilrie and Balmuto

This is a 4 mile circular walk starting from Kilrie Community Woodland near Kirkcaldy. The walk is very much in two halves with the first section being on unsurfaced paths which can be muddy and slippy when wet. The second half is on better tracks. There is about 120m of ascent in the first half but very little in the second half.

For a shorter and easier walk round the second half please see the Balmuto circuit walk.

Start from the car park at Kilrie Woodlands on the B9157 Quarry Road at grid ref NT 239 893. Unfortunately the car park has been somewhat neglected and is not the most attractive place from which to start a walk.

Leave the car park on the surfaced path (which is actually a cycle track) heading in an easterly direction. After about 400m a grassy unsurfaced path leads off to your right at a cycle path sign post. Follow this path passing a gate across to your left and keeping on the path as it curves round to the right with a fence on your left hand side. If there is no fence, then you have curved right too soon. You should now be heading back westwards.

The path leads along the edge of the woodland staying close to the fence and can be overgrown in late Summer. The path starts to go uphill. A cluster of gorse bushes can be avoided by keeping right. After the gorse bushes there is path on your left that crosses the now broken fence to go uphill. Follow this path steeply up the hillside keeping to the right of some gorse bushes. Stay on the path as it turns sharply right to turn back on itself.

The path leads across the hillside but if you want to make a diversion higher up the hill look out for a small post with an arrow on it. At this post there is a grassy path off to your left going further up the hill. Take this path to reach a T junction on the path where you turn right on to another grassy path. You will pass another arrow post on your right hand side in the gorse bushes. Soon after this point, turn left at another path T junction.

If the above sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry too much. There is a network of paths on the hillside and in the trees and it doesn’t really matter which ones you use provided you eventually end up at the north west corner of the woods.

As the path goes downhill it reaches the treeline. Pass through some young oak trees to reach a wall where the path turns right. Follow the path downhill which can be a bit slippy after rain. The next section of the path is not so obvious but it should still be possible to follow it as it passes through the broken fence.

You are now back down in the Kilrie Woodland. Keep left when you reach a V junction in the path as the path starts to widen and you reach a clearing in the trees with a broken picnic table. Keep to the left of the clearing and follow the path which now provides easy walking as it veers round to the right. Soon you reach the surfaced cycle path at a cycle path signpost.

Turn left onto the cycle path and follow it to the exit from the woods. Take extreme care and cross the busy and fast road. Turn left for a short distance to reach a track on your right hand side. Take this track and then turn left onto the tarmac public road.

The road is relatively quiet but keep a look out for vehicles. Turn left on to a track opposite a large farm. If you have a dog with you, take note of the notice asking you to keep dogs on a lead at this point. Follow this farm track across open fields for just over a kilometre to reach a junction with another farm track. Turn right onto this next track.

Follow the beech hedged track northwards for about 500m until you reach Balmuto Castle (now a private house) on your left. At the castle turn right onto another farm track. This track initially passes through a wooded area until it reaches Gamekeepers Cottage (don’t worry about the private signs – this is a core path) after which it passes through unfenced fields so again if you have a dog with you keep it close to you or better still, on a lead. The track then goes downhill until it reaches the public road.

Turn right on to the road which initially goes uphill before flattening off. After about 1km you will reach the large farm that you passed earlier. Keep straight on at the farm until you reach the track to your right (signed as a cycle route) which leads down to the main road. Carefully cross the road and turn left to reach the entrance to the woods on your right hand side. You are now back on the cycle track through the woods. Follow the surfaced track which will bring you back to your starting point.

View / download GPX route of this walk on Viewranger.

View / download GPX route of this walk on Ordnance Survey.

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