Norman’s Law and Glenduckie Hill

Hills: Norman’s Law (285m), Glenduckie Hill (218m), Prospect Hill (188m), Whirly Kipps (167m), Emily Hill (154m)

At 285m Norman’s Law is the highest point in the north of Fife and the 11th highest hill in Fife. Both it and its neighbour Glenduckie Hill, are hill fort sites with panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.

A choice of routes is provided some of which can be combined to create your own circular walk. A track circles all but the south western aspect of the hill making it easy to create variations on the routes. It is also possible to incorporate one or both of the main hills into a walk along the Fife Coastal Path.

Norman’s Law from Pittachope (near Brunton)

Distance: 1.5 km / 1 mile (if using option 1, 2 or 3)

Ascent: 140 m / 460 feet (if using option 1, 2 or 3)

Start / finish: NO 31008 20950 near Pittachope

Facilities: Layby for parking

This is the shortest and easiest route up the hill via the Fife Coastal Path starting from near Pittachope. After 600m the path splits with the coastal path going right and the direct route to Norman’s Law going left. There is now a choice of four options.

1              For the most popular route, keep left on the track for a further 450m (passing through a gate) to where the path from Luthrie approaches from your left. From this point, a grassy (and eroded in places) path heads steeply up the hill to your right. This is the busy side of the hill.

2              Again keep left but after passing through the gate, follow a grassy path on your right around the back of the hill alongside a wall to meet up with the path coming in from the north and ascend the final 40m from there

3              Keep right on the track following the coastal path for a further 500m alongside forest to reach a stile on your left. Hop over the stile and follow the path across the field to reach another wall / fence. From here a grassy path winds its way up the final 40m to the summit.

4              Again keep right on the coastal path following it for 1.3km round to the west side of the hill through forest. At grid ref NO 302 200 close to a wooden marker post, turn left up a rough track, climbing a wooden gate onto the open hillside. Negotiate a fallen tree to your left and follow a grassy path up to the summit.

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Norman’s Law from Glenduckie and the west

Distance: 3.5 km / 2.2 miles

Ascent: 230 m / 750 feet

Start / finish: Glenduckie village

Facilities: Parking in layby on A913 opposite Glenduckie turning (NO 28250 18349 ) or at the village hall, next to the school on A913 (NO 29002 18369). There is an off-road path from the school to the village.

This approach is via the coastal path from Glenduckie and can be combined with an ascent of Glenduckie Hill.

From Glenduckie village head north east to join the waymarked coastal path at a signpost where you turn right towards Norman’s Law. If you have come over Glenduckie Hill to reach this point turn left, also towards Norman’s Law

Keep to the coastal path for 2.5km across open farmland, past a row of cottages and through Ayton Woods. The path turns north and at grid ref NO 302 200 you will reach a wooden marker post on your right hand side. Just before this post turn right, off the main track on to a rough track through the trees. Climb or squeeze through the wooden gate to reach the open hillside. Turn left, negotiating a fallen tree to follow a grassy path uphill. When the forest comes to an end, a path strikes off to the right up the hill to reach the summit.

Alternatively, you can keep on the coastal path and follow it round to the northern side of the hill to approach the summit by one of the routes described above.

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Norman’s Law from Glenduckie / Ayton and the south

Distance: 5.3 km / 3.3 miles

Ascent: 290 m / 950 feet

Start / finish: Glenduckie village (or Ayton)

Facilities: Parking in layby on A913 opposite Glenduckie turning (NO 28250 18349) or at the village hall, next to the school on A913 (NO 29002 18369). There is an off-road path from the school to the village.

As above, use the coastal path from Glenduckie village to reach the row of cottages at Glascairn. After the cottages turn right at the next signpost leaving the coastal path. Keep to the track heading south east towards Ayton passing some scattered houses. At Ayton go left to the farm at Denmuir where you then turn right (east). 350m beyond Denmuir the track bears sharp left to cross grassy fields where you may encounter livestock.

An optional detour to the summit of Whirly Kips on your right is possible.

The route now heads uphill on core paths passing through a couple of pedestrian gates. The path turns right to cross the top of a field prior to turning left through a gate towards the eastern side of the hill. The grass path up the eastern eroded side of the hill is 300m further on.

This route can also be started at Ayton on the A913 by walking up the signed track that leads to Ayton and then Denmuir. This shortens the route to around 3.2km with 230m ascent.

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Norman’s Law from Luthrie via Emily Hill

Distance: 3.2 km / 2 miles

Ascent: 270 m / 885 feet

Start / finish: Luthrie

Facilities: Parking at village hall

Follow the signed core path from Lower Luthrie Farm with Emily Hill to your right.

For an optional ascent of this hill there is gate access into the field at NO 32851 19450. From here you can reach the summit via grassy fields. Although there are fences, there are also conveniently placed gates! From the summit descend north west and then west to rejoin the core path track where you need to turn left followed by a further right at a marker post (nb: in December 2020 there was some construction work taking place here so stay alert).

If not including Emily Hill, simply keep to the track, turning right when you reach Carphin and then left at the marker post. Continue west(ish) across fields and scrubland with the option of including the craggy summit to your right if desired. After passing through a pedestrian gate the eroded path up the east side of the hill starts almost opposite you. Alternatively, you could walk round to the north or west of the hill for a less eroded ascent (see Pitachope route above).

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Norman’s Law from Luthrie and the south (with Prospect Hill and Whirly Kips)

Distance: 5.2 km / 3.2 miles

Ascent: 290 m / 950 feet

Start / finish: Luthrie village

Facilities: Parking at village hall

Follow the signed core path from Lower Luthrie Farm turning left when you reach Carphin. The path turns right for a 2km section passing Wester Kinleith.

From here it is possible to include Prospect Hill, however it does involve a barb wire fence and some rough woodland walking. The easiest place to cross the fence is where one of the strands is “missing” at grid ref NO 311 190. Once in the woods walk eastwards crossing a broken fence to reach grid ref NO 312 189 where it is then possible to pick up a track that goes up to the summit.

Returning to the main path, after a double set of gates go right towards Norman’s Law.

If you want to include the optional Whirly Kips, head up the grassy hillside to your right, after the gorse bushes, to reach the summit. Descend roughly west to rejoin the path.

Keep to the path heading north across fields and through a couple of gates. Although a bit indistinct in places the path bears right to follow the edge of a field and reach a further gate. Once through the gate you are on an obvious track which meets up with the route coming in from Pittachope to the north and Luthrie from the east. Opposite a pedestrian gate go left on an eroded path to the summit. Alternatively keep to the track and follow it round to the north or west of the hill and ascend from there.

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Normans Law route map

Paths to Norman’s Law: Red from Pittachope, Yellow from Glenduckie/Ayton, Blue from Luthrie, Grey useful link paths


Glenduckie Hill

Distance: 4.7 km / 3 miles

Ascent: 200 m / 650 feet

Start / finish: Glenduckie village

Facilities: Parking in layby on A913 opposite Glenduckie turning (NO 28250 18349 ) or at the village hall, next to the school on A913 (NO 29002 18369). There is an off-road path from the school to the village.

Starting from Glenduckie village this hill can easily be ascended on route to Norman’s Law.

From Glenduckie village follow the green sign for Bankside (not the Newburgh path). After passing a farm, take the right hand fork in the road ahead which leads past an old quarry.

The track now starts to go uphill through deciduous woodland for 500m to its termination. From here there is a narrow path to the right which leads up the hill fort (not the actual summit) with views of the surrounding area. A bench and a stone mark this summit.

Return to the track end and look for a path on your right (roughly north) leading into the trees. The path is rather dark and gloomy for a while as it takes you through dense spruce trees. If you want to include the actual summit of Glenduckie Hill this will require a rough, steep detour to your right to reach its pine clad top. Return to the path and continue to follow it round to the right as it starts to circle the hill.

When you see a more open area to your left, head toward the gap in the wall and turn right keeping the wall to your right and some young trees to your left. Norman’s Law will now be visible ahead of you for a short while. Keep on the path as it leaves the fence and heads towards some larch trees to join a more obvious forest track. Go downhill for about 300m to reach a Fife Coastal Path marker post where you turn right. Continue through the plantation and open woodland following coastal path signs at junctions. Soon after leaving the woodland you reach an obvious junction with a signpost.

To continue to Norman’s Law, turn left at this signpost and choose one of the routes from Glenduckie village. If you are doing Glenduckie Hill by itself, turn right to head back to the village.

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Glenduckie Hill route map
Glenduckie Hill

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