The Old North Road and Cullaloe

A popular circuit with local walking groups this route takes you along the historic Old North Road and across the Cullaloe Hills passing two follies along the way. Although this is an easy walk in most places, the section through of the Old North Road through the woodland can be very wet in places. Wear boots or be prepared for wet feet.

Distance:  9 miles / 14.5 km

Ascent: 1150 feet / 350m

Start / finish: Aberdour

Facilities: parking at Aberdour Station, public transport (bus and train) to Aberdour, refreshments in Aberdour

A convenient starting point is Aberdour Station where there is both parking and public transport.

From the station car park head eastwards along the path between the railway and Aberdour Castle. At the end of the path go left and then go right along the main road. Walk along the pavement beside the road heading out of the village. When the pavement peters out, cross over the road taking extreme care as it is busy and there is a blind corner. On the opposite side of the road is a farm track.

From the farm track, go right following the green signpost for Dunearn. This section of path is known locally as Kemal’s Cut after a Dalgety Bay man who has carried out path maintenance in the area. After heavy rain, this area can be a bit muddy and can also become overgrown in late summer. The path soon improves and levels off before reaching a group of cottages. After the cottages it becomes an access road providing easy walking and good views south across the Forth.

At the end of the track where it meets the Burntisland to Cowdenbeath road, cross over taking extreme care as it is a fast and busy road. To the left of the road end on the opposite side is a field gate. You may need to climb this gate if it is locked. Cross the field to reach the gate in the opposite corner and go through it into the trees. A feint path leads down through the trees to another gate where you turn left on to a grassy track. Follow this track up to the road and another gate. After the gate go right onto the track signed for the fishery.

Follow this track above the reservoir to the house (don’t go down to the fishery). Pass in front of the house and follow a continuation of the track to Balmule Farm. Keep right of the farm to reach the main Kirkcaldy road. Cross over the road and walk up the quiet road opposite signed for Puddledub. After 600m the road turns sharp right but you go left at this point following a sign for the Old North Road.

Initially you are walking on an unsurfaced farm track which is reasonable underfoot. When the track veers left to enter a field, go through the pedestrian gate in front of you onto a grassy footpath. After another pedestrian gate the path enters woodland and will start to get a bit wetter underfoot. After the second section of boardwalk keep right to walk through the grassy firebreak. Some Scotways marker posts and white ribbons tied round trees help with route finding.

After a stile the path becomes much less obvious and a lot wetter. Pick your way the best you can through the rather swampy ground following the direction of a wall and overhead power lines. When you reach an abandoned caravan the ground starts to improve. After the caravan make sure you are on the south side of the wall (a large gate post marks a convenient crossing point) and do not follow the grass track north from the caravan. The woodlands are now a bit drier and soon you will find the route of the path. Keep up high for now as you come out of the woods to join a grass track which will wind its way down the hill to meet the main road at a sheep fank.

A stile takes you out to the main road which again is fast and busy. Go left and cross over, taking extreme care, to reach the forestry entrance on the opposite side of the road. There is space to park a couple of cars here so it could be used as an alternative starting point. From here the easiest walking is on the forest track although there are some muddy and rough paths in the forest which you could use as an alternative.

After about 1km on the forest track you reach an open area where a comms mast used to be sited. At this point you have the option of doubling back on the track/path on your right hand side to take a detour to Cullaloe Tower. The detour is about 1km there and back.

Having returned to the open area continue on to the next landmark which is Cullaloe Temple. From here it is worth taking the indirect route by heading along the track to the right of the temple to enjoy views to the north and west. This track does a loop and brings you back to the main track where you turn right on to a path. The path now follows the edge of the disused Goat Quarry and is a bit muddy in a few places. However it does soon dry out a bit and a reasonable track takes you downhill to meet the Crossgates / Aberdour road.

Turn left on to this road and walk down the road to its junction with the Kirkcaldy road. Although this is a quiet road you will probably meet a few vehicles on the road.

From here the simple and slightly shorter option is to cross over and walk alongside the road signed for Aberdour for 1.2km to return to the village.

An alternative that misses out some of the road walking though, can be had by turning right and walking along the grass verge of the main road (take care as there is no pavement) for 400m to reach a farm track on the opposite side. Follow this road past Nether Bouprie Farm (keep it to your right), over a railway bridge and into Aberdour at the west end of the village. Walk through the village back to the station car park.

route map

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View this route on Ordnance Survey.

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