A choice of three differing length routes are available for this walk. All options take you along the seafront from Limekilns to Charlestown Harbour and then along a section of a disused railway before heading into Broomhall Estate, the ancestral home of the Earls of Elgin. The longer route goes inland before returning to the coast close to Rosyth whilst the medium and shorter routes head for Broomhall House. The medium route then joins the longer route for the final woodland and coastal section whilst the shorter route returns directly back to Limekilns.
Distance (long): 7.5 miles / 12 km
Ascent (long): 525 feet / 160 m
Distance (medium): 6.2 miles / 10 km
Ascent (medium): 500 feet / 150 m
Distance (short): 3.5 miles / 5.6 km
Ascent (short): 330 feet / 100m
Start / finish: Limekilns
Facilities: Parking in Limekilns car park on the promenade, buses to Limekilns, cafes and pubs in Limekilns and Charlestown.
Most of the walking is on paths and tracks with reasonable surfaces although a few unsurfaced sections on the long and medium routes may get muddy at times. From time to time some of the routes across the estate may be closed for shooting and information signs will be posted when this is the case. Dog owners please note that there are signs requesting dogs to be on leads on some sections of these walks. You should also take care to keep dogs on the path when walking through unfenced agricultural ground.
From Limekilns car park on the seafront walk westwards along the road towards Charlestown to reach a fork in the road where you go left down Saltpans. You will soon reach Charlestown Harbour which it is worth spending a few minutes having a wander around. Immediately after the harbour are the remains of the limekilns on your right hand side.
Continue on along the road into a housing estate. If you want another view of the harbour, turn left and make a short detour. Otherwise, turn right to continue on to the end of West Harbour Road. At the end of the road a path leads into the woods. Follow this path, the Lyne Burn path, along the shore with views across to the MOD Crombie Pier.
Be careful not to trip over the railway lines which join the path. This old line is part of the Charlestown (or Elgin) railway built to serve the industry in the area. The railway itself if you follow it will take you to the MOD site but look out for a set of steps at NT 059 838 on your right hand side. Go up these steps and over a bridge passing through some more woodland and the back of a house before emerging at a road.
Walk up this road to its junction with the main road and turn right. This next section of road walking is not paved so take care and be alert to passing traffic.
At the end of the road where it turns right to go down to the village and harbour, turn left on to the Rocks Road. The old granary on your right hand side now houses the post office and shop. This section of the route is signed for a cycle route. When the road / cycle route turns left at NT 065 842, go right into Broomhall Estate. Note the sign at the gate about keeping dogs on leads.
Short (3.5 mile) and Medium (6.2 mile) options
At the junction with the estate road turn right. You now pass through the Broomhall Estate which is a working estate with some unfenced fields. There may be sheep in the fields. As you approach the big house there are a number of signs with arrows indicating a diversion route around the outside of the house.
Short (3.5 mile) option
Don’t follow the first arrow to the left but stay straight on and then follow an arrow to the right onto a path that diverts around the side of the house.
The path joins a track where you turn right through more woodland. You will probably spot pheasants around here. Stay on this track which will eventually bring you back towards Limekilns where it runs parallel to the road but high up on the cliffs.
At the end of the track you leave the estate at the Queens Hall / Bowling Club. Walk alongside the white cottages on your left hand side (keeping the parking area to your right) until you reach a gap in the wall with some shallow steps leading down to the main road. Turn left and walk back alongside the road to the starting point.
Medium (6.2 mile) option
Go left at the first arrow following the path that diverts around the front of the house. Then go left when you reach the estate road, passing through open fields until you reache the main Kincardine to Rosyth road at a lodge house. Take extreme care and cross the busy and fast road to reach the quieter road on the opposite side (slightly right). The next section of the walk follows the pavement along this road for for 600m. Turn right when you reach the trio of South Cottage, Mid Cottage and North Cottage, on to a farm access track with woodland to your right and fields to your left. After about 170m turn right into the woodland on an obvious path.
From this point the long and medium options use the same route back to Limekilns.
Long (7.5 mile) option
At the junction with the estate road, turn left. The estate road takes you past a house and over a railway bridge to meet the main A985 road. Turn left and walk along the off road cycle track until you reach the sign post for Pitliver. Take extreme care and cross the road which is fast and busy.
Once safely across the road walk up the quiet Pitliver road past a farm until you reach the entrance to Pitliver Estate. At this point go right through a gate onto a farm track. Note the sign on the gate regarding hens and keeping dogs on leads.This track leads through trees along the edges of fields and although unsurfaced is fairly dry underfoot until you reach a house (East Lodge on Ordnance Survey maps). At this point the track crosses a burn and turns right. Unfortunately as vehicles have been up the track to this point the surface becomes more uneven and muddier.
The track joins the public road at a poultry farm where you turn right. Use the pavement for 200m until you pass under a railway bridge and then turn immediately left onto a signed cycle track. The gravel surface of this track makes for dry underfoot conditions and the views are across open fields. When you reach Gallowridge Farm, keep left to follow the track around the outside of the farm and join the tarmac access road to the farm. There are views towards the spires of Dunfermline and at the end of the road where you meet the public road you should be able to spot Pittencrieff House and the glasshouses.
Turn right onto the road and walk along the pavement for about 350m round the corner to reach a farm road on your left with a purple arrow core path marker. Walk up this track to Wester Gellet Farm and again take note of the notices about dogs if you have a dog with you. Follow the purple arrows as they take you through the farm buildings and turn right.
If you are good with OS maps you may spot that there a few options for this next part of the walk. The route suggested below uses the core paths.
450m beyond the farm, where a woodland starts, a core path marker post points you to a path on the left at the side of the woodland.
From this point the long and medium options use the same route back to Limekilns.
Medium (6.2 mile) and Long (7.5 mile) Options
Follow the unsurfaced path for a pleasant walk through deciduous woodland. From time to time green arrow posts and purple arrow posts confirm you are on track but the path is easy to follow anyway. During the Summer months it might be an idea not to wear shorts as nettles line the path in a few places! Exit the woods via a wooden gateway with another purple arrow marker and continue onwards along the path. When you encounter a marker post that appears to point you to the right you need to stick to the obvious path which is straight on and is left of the marker post (a wee bit confusing).
The path takes you past Douglasbank Cemetery and joins a short section of road which will bring you to the A985. Again take extreme care as you cross this busy and fast road. Immediately opposite is a signed and surfaced cycle path.
This next section of the walk back to Limekilns is both a cycle path and part of the Fife Coastal Path so it is well used. The path takes you steeply downhill and offers a good view across Rosyth Dockyard to the Forth Bridges. A few sharp corners go round the edge of woodland and bring you to the sea front. You will pass the remains of Rosyth Old Church and its graveyard with Commonwealth war graves
An alternative route from the main road to Rosyth Old Church is via the Windylaw Coffin Road. This route starts from the main road slightly to the right of the coastal path route and is signed with a green signpost. This route is a mix of woodland and open fields taking you down to the seafront. When you reach the coastal path turn right to head back to Limekilns but if you want to have a look around the church go left.
The coastal path joins a road at Brucehaven Harbour on the outskirts of Limekilns. From here you can walk through the yacht club and follow a path in front of a wall, or you can go straight on staying with the cycle path which soon turns left to bring you back to the shore. Follow the cycle path for the final section of the walk along the sea front and back to the car park where you started.
View / download 3.5 mile route from Viewranger
View / download 3.5 mile route from Ordnance Survey
View / download 6.2 mile route from Viewranger
View / download 6.2 mile route from Ordnance Survey
View / download 7.5 mile route from Viewranger.
View / download 7.5 mile route from Ordnance Survey.
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