Braefoot Woods and St Bridget’s Kirk

A short 3.5 mile walk around woodlands between Dalgety Bay and Aberdour that takes in the remains of Second World War fortifications and the ruin of 12th century St Bridget’s Kirk.

Distance: 3.5 miles / 5.6 km

Ascent: 410 feet / 125 m

Start / finish: Braefoot, Aberdour

Facilities: small car park at grid ref NT 180 844 on Braefoot Terminal road.

Other walks in the area:

Start from the small car park at grid ref NT 180 844 on the Aberdour to Braefoot Terminal road. The car park is on the left hand side about a quarter of a mile down the road. If you reach the large staff car park at the tanker terminal you have gone too far! The tanker terminal is owned and operated by Exxon and Shell and is used to export gas from the Mossmorran plant.

Turn left when you leave the car park and walk down the road to where the Fife Coastal Path crosses the road (both crossing and an underpass). Turn right on the coastal path towards Dalgety Bay. After about 300m you will reach steps on your left leading down to a path crossing the fields. Follow this path to reach the lower route.

Almost directly opposite you is an entrance into the woods. Go through this entrance and follow the unsurfaced and often muddy path up through the trees keeping Braefoot Terminal on your left. After about 350m you will reach the corner of Braefoot perimeter fence. Follow the path alongside the fence to your left (don’t follow the path on the right). The path descends steeply downhill through the woods and crosses a stile. Footwear with good grip is recommended for this section or you might find yourself having to hang on to the trees. Walking poles might also be helpful if you are a bit unsure of your footing.

Once you have descended this slope you will be at sea level and will have reached a small secluded beach area. If there is a tanker in at Braefoot, it almost feels as if you could reach out and touch it from here! Turn right to follow a feint path along the top of the beach to the far end. The path now goes round the right hand side of the rocks and follows the coastline through gorse bushes to Braefoot Pier. On route you will pass the remains of fortifications from World War Two.

After walking out to the end of the pier return to the shore and look for a feint path on your left hand side close to the shore line. There are a number of paths through Braefoot Woods which all converge on this point, you want to keep as close to the shore as possible. This next path can be a little bit rocky in places as it hugs the shoreline. Keep close to the shoreline until you join the main Braefoot Path at the entrance to the woods. An alternative from the pier is to choose one of the other paths/tracks through the woods all of which will bring you to the same point. The alternative routes lead past more fortifications including the remains of a barracks. Whilst walking through the woods you may be lucky enough to spot Roe Deer.

Once out of the woods, turn left on to a surfaced road. After about 400m a road leads off to your left going down to the shore. You could follow the road you are on for a further 450m to the edge of Dalgety Bay and turn left for St Bridget’s. However for for a more interesting off road walk, turn left (towards the sewage plant) and then look for a feint woodland path to your right. This path will lead you down through the woods to the shore and then along the edge of the woods until it reaches St Bridget’s Kirk.

After exploring St Bridget’s (there’s an Historic Scotland information board on site), take the road heading northward uphill away from the shore. Ignore the first turning on the right which is signed for Braefoot Terminal West Gate and stay on the road for about 250m keeping the houses on your left and fields on your right. Turn right on to a good track which is part of the official route of the Fife Coastal Path. This next section is at its best in March/April when a multitude of daffodils are in bloom along the verges. The road you are now walking on is known as The Avenue and once formed part of the main entrance to the Earl of Moray’s Donibristle Estate. Follow The Avenue for about 1.25 km to regain the junction with the Braefoot Road where you started the walk from.

View / download GPX track of this route in Viewranger.

View / download GPX track of this route from Ordnance Survey.


© 2016 – 2020 Fife Walking.  All rights reserved. If using this route for a group or organised walk please credit Fife Walking as your source.