Best of Falkland

Two routes that take in some of the  highlights of the Falkland area including Falkland Hill (East Lomond), the lime kiln, site of the Maiden Castle fort, Bruce Tyndall Monument, Temple of Decision, Yad Waterfall and the Maspie Den.

The walk is over varied terrain mostly on path with some steep sections on East Lomond. A short section over moorland may require basic navigation skills in poor visibility although a forest alternative is possible for this section.

If you don’t feel up to the ascent of East Lomond a shorter option is provided.

Both routes use the Maspie Den one of the highlights of the Falkland Area. However, the paths through the Den are becoming very eroded and are subject to closure. If a path is closed follow the signage and be prepared to deviate from the route as described. Contact the Centre for Stewardship at the Stables for up to date information.

Start / finish: The Stables, Falkland Estate. Alternatively you could use Craigmead as your start point.

Facilities: parking at the Stables (donations requested), refreshments at the stables, public toilets at Craigmead car park en-route, other refreshments and public toilets in Falkland

Distance with East Lomond: 10 km / 6.5 miles

Ascent with East Lomond: 500 m / 1600 feet

Distance wihtout East Lomond: 8.4 km / 5.2 miles

Ascent without East Lomond: 320 m / 1050 feet

Terrain: Steps up East Lomond followed by grassy hill paths (eroded in places), rough path on tussocky moorland to Maiden Castle, forest paths and tracks, maintained but eroded and often muddy paths through the Maspie Den.

With East Lomond

From The Stables, head back into Falkland. To avoid a road walk you can use a path on the north side of the burn behind the car park. Stick close to the burn until you reach a play area on the outskirts of Falkland. Walk through the village turning right up Cross Wynd and East Loan. The path to East Lomond starts from the top end of East Loan.

Follow the path up through woodland with the aid of steps and then through a gate onto the open hillside. There is now a further 150m of ascent on grassy path to reach the summit view indicator.

Descend in a westerly direction to Craigmead. The main path is very eroded and steep, you may find it easier going, to keep to the left aiming for the trig point on the southern slope, before turning west to rejoin the main path. Continue downhill on a well used path to reach a gate. At the gate, a short detour to your left to view the well persevered lime kiln is recommended. Back on the main path it is now an easy 1km walk to the Craigmead picnic area.

Without East Lomond

The shorter walk starts immediately opposite the car park at a pond. Follow the path through the gate towards the Crichton Stuart Memorial Chapel where you can either walk through the chapel ground or bypass it. Beyond the chapel the path across fields is marked with yellow marker posts. Follow the path into the woods behind Falkland House, now a special needs school. The woodland path initially follows the Mill Burn and you should stay close to the burn, ignoring side tracks, until the path starts to go downhill at a marker post.

You will soon reach the Maspie Burn, one of the highlight features of this walk. Cross the burn on a bridge and turn left. At the stone marker keep left so that you go under a stone road bridge on a wooden footbridge. Follow the path upstream frequently crossing the burn on wooden bridges. This section of the walk can be a bit slippy when the ground is wet and there are rocky steps to negotiate so wear sensible footwear. There are wooden benches from time to time if you want to stop and enjoy the tumbling waterfalls.

Eventually you will reach the Maspie Den’s best known feature, the Yad Waterfall where you can walk behind the fall. Cross the burn at the fall and proceed up the path on the opposite side to join a higher level path. Turn left on this path and follow it uphill through the Coalpit Woodland to reach the Craigmead car park with its picnic tables and toilets.

Both Routes

At the far end of the car park follow a path through the trees to a grassy track. Follow the blue arrow (path to Falkland) through some gates to a grassy landrover track. Turn left onto this track for 200m. When the trees on your right come to an end, go right on a rough path out on to the open tussocky moorland. Head north west aiming towards the forest in front of you but don’t go through the gate (see alternative).  Follow a path along the forest edge to the corner of the forest.  From this point head north west to reach the grassy hummock of the Maiden Castle fort. Beyond the Maiden Castle the path continues across the moorland to reach a stand of three larch trees. If you can’t find the path, aim for the group of three trees (not the solitary pine). Once past the trees head north west to the corner of the forest where the pine trees in front of you meet the spruce trees on your right. At the forest corner, follow the grass path between the two forests, negotiating a gate arrangement (easily climbed). Hop over the wooden style on your left after the gate, on to a forest path.

An alternative to the rough moorland, which you may prefer if visibility is poor, is to go through the forest gate/style into the first forest. From here an easily followed (although sometimes muddy) path goes through the forest, exiting over a deer style opposite the wooden style mentioned above. The only tricky bit is to turn left at a crossroads on the path 250m after entering the forest. The remaining walk through the forest in a roughly northerly direction is approximately 700m.

Once over the wooden style, follow a path steeply downhill to join a surfaced forest path/track.  Turn left onto this track and go downhill to the Tyndall Bruce Monument. Turn left and then right on the tracks to reach the monument.

After leaving the monument return initially in the direction from which you came,  until you reach a junction with a red marker post. Keep left at this junction (you came from the right) to reach another junction where you now turn right following a marker post. 200 m after this junction you will reach the remains of the Temple of Decision.

Continue past the temple ruins on a good path for 150 m to a point where the path turns right. At this point a rather muddy path leads off to your left through the trees. Follow this muddy path to reach an open field (may have livestock grazing). Cross the field (diagonally downhill) to reach a gate on the far side. The gate and a short path section lead to a well made path above the Maspie Den.

If you are doing the shorter route, the next section is a retracing of your outward route up part of the Maspie Den. If you don’t want to retrace your footsteps you can turn left on to the surfaced path and follow it downhill keeping right to rejoin the Maspie Den at a stone road bridge where you should keep to the left hand side of the burn.

Otherwise, turn right on to the path and after about 50 m a steep path goes downhill to your left. You should by now be able to hear the sound of the Yad Waterfall. Go down the path to reach the waterfall where the path passes behind the fall itself.

The path now continues downhill following the burn, which it crosses on a number of occasions using wooden bridges. When you reach the lower glen and a stone bridge, keep to the left hand side of the burn (ignore a sign pointing towards the Stables).

After the stone bridge (with a wooden bridge underneath it) keep to the left hand side of the burn and you will soon reach the Tunnel, another feature of the Maspie Den. If you are not too keen on dark tunnels, it can be bypassed by keeping left and walking over it. Although short, the tunnel does curve in the middle so you cannot see all the way through it. After emerging from the tunnel you will pass under another stone road bridge with a double arch structure before the path crosses a stone footbridge to reach Falkland House. 

From here the route back to the car park is fairly obvious but if you want to avoid a stretch of tarmac walking then keep right at the Y junction but don’t go up the steps. The path will take you through the woodland parallel to the road for a while. When it joins the road turn right and then turn left over a bridge towards the cricket ground. Immediately go right on a path beside the burn. Keep to the north side of the burn until you approach the car park where there is a bridge to get you back to the other side.

Route map with East Lomond
Route with East Lomond
Route map without East Lomond
Route without East Lomond

View / download route with East Lomond from Ordnance Survey

View / download route with East Lomond from Viewranger

View / download route without East Lomond from Ordnance Survey

View / download route without East Lomond from Viewranger

© 2020 Fife Walking. All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk, or as the basis for publishing a route elsewhere please credit Fife Walking as being your source of information.