This short walk near Crook of Devon takes you to the site of Tullibole Castle Witches’ maze which was constructed by Lord Moncrieff of Tullibole Castle as a memorial to the 11 innocent witches who were executed in the area in 1662. After the maze the route then takes you up a gentle ascent to Hoods Hill before dropping back down hill to Crook of Devon. Most of the walking is on paths and tracks along with quiet roads but some pathless fields also need to crossed.
Start from the Village Hall on Station Road in Crook of Devon (KY13 0PG) where there is room to park although priority should be given to users of the hall. The walk starts at the end of the road where a continuation track is signed for a boarding kennels. Walk down the track to the kennels and then turn left onto a well made path. After about 1km the path turns sharply left and after a further 240m reaches the main road.
Cross over the road and almost immediately opposite turn into the quiet road leading to the small village of Drum. After about 260m the road turns left but you need to need right onto an access track. Keep straight on when you reach a yard on your right on what is now a path which starts to get a bit soft underfoot. Cross a broken wooden gate into a field (which may contain livestock) and walk round the left hand edge of the field to reach another broken wooden gate on the opposite side.
Cross this gate into the grounds of Tullibole Castle. Keep the burn to your right and go through the trees. At first there is no obvious path but if you make for a stone doocot structure and keep it to your right you will be able to pick up a woodland path which takes you to the area of the maze. Keep right at a Y junction for the shortest route. If you can’t find the doocot, don’t worry, just keep the burn to your right hand side until you reach a bridge and obvious track leading to the castle. Turn left here away from the castle and either walk to the left hand side of the doocot to join the path or walk across the grassy area to reach the beech hedge of the maze.
Tullibole Castle itself is a private house and function venue, and is not generally open to the public. Please stay away from the immediate vicinity of the castle.
Once you have finished exploring the maze, your next point of interest is the grave yard in the castle grounds. From the maze head in an easterly direction to a metal gate. Don’t go into the field but turn left in front of the gate and follow a wall/fence on your right at the edge of the field. Cross an old wall and follow the path into the grave yard. There are a number of yew trees which are a good landmark.
After the grave yard, walk out to the public road and turn left. 300m later you reach a busy and fast main road. Take extreme care and cross over to walk up the quiet road opposite. The road now starts a gentle ascent up hill and after about 500m reaches Gelvan Farm. Turn left opposite the farm onto the tarmac access road which has a green signpost for Crook of Devon. When you reach a T junction at a house turn right on to the track and keep left of a working yard.
Follow the track, still gently up hill with a couple of wind turbines in a field to your right. You will reach a gate on your right hand side when the road goes left into a driveway with stone owls. Go through the gate following the yellow core path arrow markers and walk across the grass keeping the mobile phone mast to your right (note that there may be livestock in the fields). After the mast continue in the same direction now starting to go down hill to reach a fence. Unfortunately a new piece of barb wire makes this a tricky crossing. There is a yellow core path arrow at this point if you are in doubt.
Cross over the next field and when you reach a gate in the corner turn right rather than going through the gate. Follow the edge of the field keeping the fence to your left and passing a house as you go downhill. At the end of the field is a gate that takes you into the field on your left at a rather muddy spot. Go through the gate and continue downhill with a fence now to your right to reach the public road at a gate. If you have short cutted and descended directly down the hill close to the trees you will need to turn right onto the road to reach this point.
Cross the road and pick up a track opposite which has a green sign for Crook of Devon. After 300m you will reach houses at the end of the track and be back onto the village roads. Go straight on following a green sign for Fossoway School. After passing the school the, now tarmac, road will bring you back to the main road through Crook of Devon close to the village hall.
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View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.
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