A short easy hill walk although some sections are steep in places. Excellent views of Lochore on the way up Benarty Hill and amazing views across of Loch Leven from the summit. In Spring, Harran Hill woodland is a carpet of bluebells.
If low cloud shrouds the hill you are strongly advised to carry a map and compass with you for this walk and to know how to use them.
Distance: 4.6 miles / 7.5 km
Ascent: 985 feet / 300 m
Start/finish: Benarty Bay (Lochore Meadows)
Other walks in the area:
Start from Benarty Bay car park on the shore of Lochore at grid ref NT 158 955. This car park is within the environs of Lochore Meadows Country Park, but is accessed from the west side of the park.
Turn left out of the car park to walk back for a short distance until you reach the gate on your right at the bottom of the Harran Hill track. There are two tracks up the hill and it doesn’t matter which you choose. The one to the right is the obvious one from here.
Follow this good track up the hill which steepens as it climbs. At the point where it bends round to the left it is particularly steep. Just take your time, you’ll get there eventually!. After a right turn the gradient eases off as you cross the top of Harran Hill. The path then curves round to the right as it descends down the hill. This is the point where the alternative path joins from the left. Follow the path downwards until it joins an obvious track known as “The Avenue” marked on OS maps as Ladath Stripe. Turn left on to this track which soons brings you out on the Ballingry Hill Road.
Cross over the Hill Road and start climbing the steps on the opposite side which are signed for Benarty Hill. If you want some entertainment you could try counting the steps! Part way up where the path turns sharply left there is a welcome bench with good views back to Loch Ore. Keep left at this bench and continue on upwards on the path. Recent felling has opened up the views on this stretch of the walk. New bulldozed tracks have been created by the forestry works and there are now a number of routes up the hill. At a junction with a choice of four paths, the original route takes the second left path, crosses a bulldozed track and bears right up the hill close to a fence. At an obvious crossing, cross the fence and pick up a well defined but unsurfaced path on the open hillside. A shorter but steeper route to reach the fence crossing point is to take one of the right hand paths (they join together) at the junction directly up the hill, also crossing the bulldozed track at one point.
A well trodden path now leads across moorland for about 0.7km to reach the summit trig point. At the trig point, walk over to the nearby fence to take in the views northwards across Loch Leven.
Turn left and walk along the ridge in a westerly direction on a grassy path. The path goes downhill and then goes steeply back up hill. Before the steep ascent however, you should be able to find a grassy track to your left which leads to a gate in a deer fence.
Go through this gate and follow the track down hill through a recently planted woodland area. At a junction you need to keep to the right (don’t go the obvious downhill route to the left). This doesn’t feel right but don’t worry. The path soon turns left to go downhill at field fence. Continue onwards down the hill and into a field which may contain sheep. A grassy track leads across the field to a gate in the far left corner bringing you out on to the Hill Road.
Turn left on to the road, then turn right through a gate past a lodge house. Follow this driveway but keep right instead of turning left to the big house. The driveway now becomes more of a track through woodland with pheasants. At the end of the woodland you will pass through some gates with a small housing development to your left. The track has now become a road and will take you back to the west access road into Lochore Meadows. Where you join the access road, turn left. After about 0.5km there is a gate and path to your right which forms part of the round the loch path. To return to the car park simply continue on the same road for a further 300 – 400m.
If however, you would like to extend your walk, you can turn right through the gate and follow the path round the loch. This will add about 3 miles on to your walk. There is a café at the Park Centre about 2/3rds of the way round for well earned refreshments.
View / download this route in Viewranger.
View / download this route on the Ordnance Survey Website.
© 2016 Fife Walking. All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source.