Ochils Outliers 1

Hills: Lumbennie Hill (284m), Pitlour Hill (275m), Ormiston Hill (236m),

These hills, all of which have Innerdouny in the eastern Ochils as their parent Marilyn, make up the high ground in the north of Fife between Newburgh and Auchtermuchty.

For hills further east see Ochils Outliers 2

Ormiston Hill (Black Cairn Hill) (236m) – NO 20515 12701

Once the site of an ancient hillfort, these days the summit of this hill above Newburgh is well protected by gorse bushes. There is, however, a trodden path through the vegetation provided you approach from the right direction.

Ormiston Hill can be ascended via its northern shoulder from Banklands or Monkswell Road at the back of Newburgh. Alternatively, the core path from Newburgh to Grange of Lindores around Clatchard Quarry provides access to its eastern slopes from Ormiston. Whichever route is chosen, the key to the final section through the gorse is to approach via the stile at NO 234 172.

The circular route suggested below ascends the north side from Banklands and descends to Ormiston. The core path is then used to walk back to Newburgh.

Distance: 5 km / 3 miles

Ascent: 280 m / 900 feet

Terrain: grassy hillside, muddy paths/tracks

Start / finish: Banklands, Newburgh (KY14 6DN). Grid reference NO 229 178

Facilities: Refreshments in Newburgh, on street parking in residential area, bus service to Newburgh.

From the corner of Banklands there is a tarmac track uphill to a reservoir where a gate on the left provides access to a somewhat overgrown path. Keep on the path until after the 3rd gate (a double gate setup with both an old and new gate). When the path splits, go right up hill through gorse which gives way to open hillside where livestock may be encountered. Head up the hill with a wall / fence to your right. A gate which is awkward to open is reached after which aim for the stile at grid ref NO 234 172. Cross the stile and go through a pedestrian gate onto a trodden path. The path provides an easy means of negotiating the thick gorse to reach the summit cairn.

Return to the stile after which aim roughly eastwards to a small coll. Descend the grassy hillside in a south east direction picking up an obvious path / track down to a gate. Go through the left-hand gate using a path to cross the next field to reach a stand of trees on the far side. A gate leads to a wide and somewhat muddy track where you turn left (north), before reaching Ormiston. Keep to the path until you approach the quarry where a wooden pedestrian gate on your left provides access to a grass path that circumnavigates the quarry. The path is easy to follow as it skirts around the quarry to reach the north side.

The path splits at a bench with a purple arrow marker. The right-hand option heads up to a viewpoint with a picnic table and is worth a detour. The left-hand option turns north west through gorse to reach another marker. For Banklands keep left or for Monkswell Road turn right.

NB: In Autumn 2019 blasting times at the quarry were advised as being Monday, Wednesday, Friday between 1pm and 2pm.

Route map for Ormiston Hill

View / download this route from Viewranger.

View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.

Lumbennie Hill (284m) – NO 21736 15535

This is the highest point in Pitmedden Forest and the 12th highest hill in Fife. Again, it is a hill clad with forestry and the route to the summit is rather rough.

The shortest approach is along the track / cycle route from the road at NO 227 160 where there is room to park a few cars. Use the forest track to reach the northern side of the hill. From here there is a rough path through the firebreak under power lines to the unremarkable summit marked with an OS trig point. It is possible to descend to the south east and use the forest tracks to circle clockwise around the hill back to the northern side.

The hill can also be approached on forest tracks through Pitmedden Forest. There are good tracks / paths through the forest from Auchtermuchty (The Clink), Abernethy Glen and Abernethy.

Pitlour Hill (275m) – NO 20515 12701

The easiest approach is from the entrance to Pitlour Estate at NO 205 109. However as there is no parking in the area you might be as well starting at Strathmiglo and using the path network to reach the entrance gate.

Once in the estate follow the track, keeping left at the first junction heading towards the ruins of Wester Pitlour. Keep on the main land rover track following it up hill and left at an obvious junction. The track continues to climb, bearing to the right at a corner with three “standing stones”. Keep to the track circling a hillock until it enters a field. Cross the field on what is now a very feint track aiming towards a deer gate on the far side. Once through the gate it is now an easy walk on track to both the summit and trig point (the trig point is not at the actual summit).

The hill can also be approached from the Pitmedden side using field edges to reach a gate at NO 21353 12632. From here there are quad bike tracks to the summit. A few barb wire fences need to be negotiated on the lower slopes.

Pitlour is a working estate so ensure your actions are in accordance with SOAC. Access during the shooting season is probably best avoided as this is pheasant rearing country.