Two short walks in woodlands on the west side of Kirkcaldy. The two walks could be linked together to form a longer walk of approximately 6 miles.
Route 1 : Wizard’s Walk and Raith Lake (red)
Distance: 2.8 miles / 4.5 km
Ascent: 275 feet / 85 m
Terrain: Mostly surfaced paths but area around Raith Lake can be muddy
Start / finish: Beveridge Park, Abbotshall Rd, KY2 5LZ
Facilities: car parking, toilets, refreshment vans, bus route, station nearby
Starting from the Beveridge Park car park, make your way to the “dog education area” in the southern corner. Here there is an information board explaining about the wizard. Leave the manicured park behind for the surfaced woodland path keeping right at a Y junction. Half way along the path is the wood carving of the Wizard of Balwearie. A T junction is reached at the end of the path. Go left here doubling back towards the wizard. Before reaching the wizard though, take the steep path downhill to the right (if this is a bit daunting, go right at the T junction instead of left so that this section is missed out). At the bottom of the steep slope turn right on to the Mill Dam Path. It is however, worth having a wee detour to the river at this location. At a Y junction with a wooden carved thistle, keep left alongside the burn and through woods. Keep right at the next Y, junction with the core path arrow marker, and walk out to the main road.
Cross over the road and immediately opposite is a path to Raith Lake (those who believe the Lake of Menteith is the only lake in Scotland, well it’s not true there are number of other lakes dotted about the country, Raith Lake being one of them). Follow the path around the head of the lake passing a wood carving of a bat. Keep left and cross the small burn with wetlands to the left. At the next junction the circular walk goes right but it is possible to go left to explore more of Raith Lake before returning to this point. The path can however be very muddy and overgrown at times. Exit the woods at a grassy area with a picnic table.
From here there are two options for continuing the walk (this is also the point where this walk can be linked to the Longbraes and Raith walk).
Option 1 is to turn right and walk down a residential street back to Boglily Road and Beveridge Park. This option has the advantage of avoiding 250m alongside a busy road. Option 2 includes another woodland section but to reach it necessitates using the pavement alongside the main road. Turn right on to the main road for 250m to reach the 30mph sign. Just after the sign is a path to the right into the woods (not the path behind the houses). On reaching the next road, walk out to the main road and cross over (pedestrian crossing) to reach the northern entrance to Beveridge Park.
Route 2 : Longbraes and Raith (blue)
Distance: 5.1 km / 3.2 miles
Ascent: 125 m / 360 feet
Terrain: Mostly surfaced paths
Start / finish: access track into Raith Estate on Dunvegan Avenue, KY2 5TG – opposite the recycling bins.
Walk along the access track into Raith Estate following an arrow marker, left, away from the big house. The arrow directs the walker onto a good woodland path at the back of houses. A rougher path is also available to the right of the main path. After about 1km the path bends round to the left to reach Oriel Road. Instead of following the path directly to the road, keep straight on using a rough path through some fallen trees to reach Dronachy Road at its junction to Oriel Road (this avoids a stretch of pavement walking).
If linking with the Wizard’s Walk this is the point where the two walks meet.
Cross the busy main road and go through a gate on the opposite side to pick up a bit of path which quickly improves into a reasonably well surfaced track. Follow this track through woodland for about 2km then turn left on to Bennochy Road to reach the main road
Cross over the road (pedestrian crossing available), turn right on to the grass and look for a path to the left accessed via a stile at a gate. Follow the path into the woods as it bears right. Keep to the path until it goes downhill, turning left back on itself. Continue onwards now in the opposite direction but at a lower level. On reaching a path junction at the back of houses take the not so obvious route up the steep banking which quickly becomes another easy to follow path. Soon the path reaches the entrance to Raith Estate from where it is a short walk back along the access track to the start point.