This 5.5 mile circular walk takes you through both mature and recently planted woodlands in West Fife. It’s a straightforward walk mostly on good surfaces with options to miss out a couple of potentially muddy bits. There is only about 100m of ascent in total spread across the walk.
The starting point is the Valleyfield Woodland Shiresmill car park at grid ref NT 004 876 next to the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre. From the car park there are woodland paths in the corners furthest away from the riding centre which take you slightly uphill into the woods (don’t follow the path signed for Blairhall – that’s the return route) with an open field to your right. Look out for a not too obvious path on your left hand side. If the path starts to flatten off and curve round to the right you have gone too far. If you can’t find the turn off, don’t worry, just make your way through the woodland to reach the north side of the woods where you will be able to pick up the path. There will be a patch of newly planted woodland on your left. At the edge of the woodland the path turns left and if you go through a hole in the fence you can walk through the new plantation with the fence on your right. When you reach the road you will need to squeeze through another smaller hole in the fence to get out on to the road. If you don’t like the thought of climbing through holes in fences, simply follow the Blairhall path until it reaches the road and turn right to walk along the road instead.
Once on the road turn right and after 200m turn right again at the junction. Go left up the track on your left hand side which is signed for Langleas and Linvid Pet Hotel.This track leads to Old Inzievar House passing Langleas and Linvid on the right. When you reach Old Inzievar House, turn left at the first wall to avoid walking past the house. A small path goes through the woods with the wall to the right and soon rejoins the track. Continue on along the track through woodland and farmland until it reaches the public road at Birch Cottages.
Turn right on to the road and almost immediately go through a gate on the opposite side into the woods. This next bit could be a bit muddy so if you prefer, you could walk along the road but take extreme care as there are blind corners. Once through the gate turn right to follow a rutted track that runs parallel to the road. There’s quite a network of tracks and it doesn’t really matter which ones you use provided you stay close to the road keeping it on your right hand side. When you reach an open field and can see a white church you will need to go back out on to the road. Turn left and walk a short distance along the road until you reach an gateway with pillars on your right hand side (this is before the white church).
Once through the gateway take the left hand fork at a Woodland Trust marker post but almost immediately turn right on to a woodland path (if you prefer to stay on a better surface you can simply stick to the main path) with a couple of steps and a wooden bridge. Keep right after a plank bridge, then keep left (don’t cross under the power lines) and cross another plank bridge. The next landmark is a couple of steps that lead back up to the main path that you were on earlier. Turn right on to this path to reach a road. Watch out for vehicles on the road as it is the access for a community sawmill. The path continues on the opposite side of the road and you are now in Inzievar Woods.
Follow the path until you reach a cross road at which point you have the option of turning right to do a loop through the woods.However, if you want a slightly shorter walk you can turn left to follow the path to the exit. Assuming you have turned right the path will take you through the woods to the area of the sawmill. Keep left when you reach the timber stacks and immediately on your right follow a woodland path into the trees which takes you to a viewpoint with a seat. The path continues onwards past the viewpoint to rejoin the main the path where you turn right. Almost immediately turn left onto a path heading into a newer plantation. Keep on this path crossing the outlet of a pond via some large stepping stones and then go round the north side of the pond. At the pond inlet is another seat. The path now goes back into the woods and will soon return to the crossroads where you were earlier. This time turn right and follow the path which will take you to the wood’s exit.
Turn right on to the road and almost immediately on the opposite side go through a metal gate. The track from this gate goes under an old railway bridge then up a few steps where you go right across some grass to join the Dunfermline to Alloa cycle way that now uses the railway route. Turn right on to the cycle way so that you are heading west. If you are following this route in reverse, your landmark for leaving the cycle way is the red metal fence work on your left with a purple arrow core path market post on your right.
Follow the cycle way for approximately 2km until you reach the Comrie Dean Viaduct. As you start to approach the viaduct there is a deep gorge on your right with the Comrie Burn. Just before the viaduct is an obvious path to your left with a purple core path marker post. Follow the path but look behind you a couple of times for views of the viaduct high above the burn.
After about 650m you will reach a path junction at a seat. Turn left here and again when you reach the next junction with a seat also turn left. At a third junction with a seat it doesn’t really matter which way you go as both join together again, the shortest path is the right hand one. The paths meet up at a gate with a sign post for Newmills. Go through the gate and follow the path along the edge of a field to your right. At yet another seat and a core path marker post, the path goes left between two fields. After the fields you will be back into a patch of woodland. Just before the path reaches the public road, turn left on to another path which will also bring you out onto the public road slightly to the east at a gate. Cross over the road and go through the gate opposite following the sign for Newmills. This next section of path skirts round the edge of the Shiresmill Woodland and soon reaches the car park where you started your walk.
If you are feeling energetic, why not add on a loop around Valleyfield Woodland Park? Early spring is a great time to visit when the snowdrops are in flower.
View / download GPX track of this route from Viewranger.
View / download GPX track of 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.