Michael Bruce Way

A 3.5 mile circular waymarked walk around the foothills of Bishop Hill. The route is named after local Kinesswood poet Michael Bruce. Unusually for this website, this route is not my own creation. The first half of the walk is through the Kilmagad Woodland on a rough uneven path. The second half is much easier walking through the village of Kinesswood and Portmoak Moss.

Start from Portmoak Church grid ref NO 183 019 where there is car parking available. An alternative start point is the small parking area at the entrance to Portmoak Moss grid ref NO 183 014.

From the church car park turn right and walk back down the road, past the church until you reach a set of steps on your left signed for Bishop Hill.Take the path up these steps into Kilmagad Woods. The path turns left so that you are are walking along the foot of Bishop Hill. Follow the path as it twists and turns, up and down through the woods and then open countryside beside a golf course.

As you approach the village of Kinesswood, ignore a gate to your left and stay on the main path. Ignore the next turn to your left at a small communication mast. When the path splits into two, keep left to descend quite steeply for a short section which is quite overgrown in late Summer. Pass through a wooden kissing gate and join a tarmac lane.

Walk down the lane with its quaint cottages, visiting the Michael Bruce birthplace museum on your right hand side if you wish. Turn left on to the main street of Kinesswood. Note the red telephone box library / book exchange. There’s also a small information point and “art exhibition” at this spot. After exiting the village look out for a well signed farm track on your right. Follow this track, turning left at a signed junction, to reach Portmoak Moss.

You are now in an area of woodland and raised peat bog managed by the Woodland Trust. Well surfaced paths take you through the area. At a path junction stay left to follow the official Michael Bruce Way route or go right for a slightly longer route that crosses the open peat bog area. After the open area, keep left at the two obvious path junctions (unless you chose the longer route in which case keep right) to exit the woods.

Walk along the short section of lane to reach the main road. Turn left and walk into Scotlandwell. After the road junction, you can detour to the well and wash house along a lane to the left. Return to the main road and walk along the pavement up the hill back to the church. This final section is full of colourful floral displays during the Summer months.

View / download this route on the Ordnance Survey website.

View / download this route on Viewranger.

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