Bishop Hill Traverse

Distance: 10 miles / 16 km

Ascent: 1330 feet / 400m

Start / Finish: Scotlandwell

Other walks in the area:

A south to north traverse of the Bishop Hill ridge taking in Munduff Hill and returning via Loch Leven and Portmoak Moss. Grand views across Loch Leven to the Ochils and Gargunnock Hills in the west and eastwards across the Lomonds. This is a fairly lengthy walk and you should allow 5 – 6 hours inclusive of stops. If visibility is poor you should carry a map and compass and be confident using them.

Park in car park at Portmoak Church (may not be available on Sunday mornings in which case there is additional parking along the road next to the recycling bins).

At the north west end of the car park on the opposite side of the road you will spot a gate into a field with newly planted trees. A feint path leads up the hill through the field to reach another gate. In late Summer this field may be overgrown and you might find it easier to walk back towards Scotlandwell until you see a sign for Bishop Hill pointing up some steps. Whichever way you go you will arrive at this gate. From here you need to take the path that goes right heading up the hill. There are a number of paths and you need the obvious one that goes up the hill.

Follow this path which will zig zag and lead you past a viewpoint, then up through some trees to reach a new gate leading on to the open hillside. Head up the hillside until you reach an old quarry area on your right. At this point the path for Munduff Hill bends round to the right along the top of the quarry (if you go straight on it will take you to the area of Bishop Hill). Follow this path which will wind its way up to the hummocky area of Munduff Hill and the golf ball.

After enjoying the view, follow the path that leads north west across open ground (you can include the additional lumps and bumps around here if you wish) and an old quarry area. When you reach a junction with a well made path, go straight on through the gate directly towards the summit of Bishop Hill which you should be able to see unless visibility is poor.

Leave the summit in a westerly direction and head across to the fence. Turn right (northwards). If you stick close to the fence rather than staying on the more obvious path you will be rewarded with views of Carlin Maggie (an impressive rock stack, said to be the local witch turned to stone by the devil). The path and fence quickly join together and you can head northwards along the ridge.

Stay on the ridge ignoring an obvious path that goes downhill to your right. At the end of the ridge, the path descends steeply downhill into Glenvale. Before you reach the glen look for an “easy open” gate on your left leading into a field.

After the gate, cross the field and pick up a grassy track. Turn left (southwards) on this track which you can follow for just over a km passing a sheep fank and communications mast. About 250m after the mast, at the edge of a field on your right, is another track which follows field edges to Dryside Road.

Turn left onto the road and walk to its junction with the main road where you turn right. There is a bench on the grass area here if you need a rest. Use the pavement on the road to walk towards Loch Leven’s Larder, keeping left at the junction beside the pub. Before you reach the Larder, there is an obvious path to your left which will take round the outside of the buildings.

Leave the Larder on the path which heads down to Loch Leven. When it joins the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, turn left. Follow the path round the loch for just over 2km (about 30 mins) to reach the junction with Grahamstone Avenue. Turn right along the tree lined avenue, passing the farm and round to your left to reach a sign posted junction. As you walk up Grahamstone Avenue you will be facing towards Bishop Hill.

Turn right at this junction and soon you will reach Portmoak Moss 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 from Viewranger.

View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.

© 2017 Fife Walking. All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source.