This circular walk on the northern edge of Dunfermline takes in Town Loch, Townhill Country Park and Townhill Woods. The full route is between 4.5 and 5 miles but it can be shortened to less than 3 miles. There is very little ascent involved but some of the paths can be rather muddy so walking boots are recommended if the ground is likely to be wet.
Start the walk from the car park at Town Loch Waterski Centre where there is an excellent cafe. The car park is accessed off Townhill Road, Dunfermline at grid reference NT 100 891 and the postcode for the cafe/waterski centre is KY12 0HT.
From the car park walk round the loch in a clockwise direction. Keep to the lochside and do not follow signs to the left for the bridle path after crossing the footbridge.When you reach the north east corner of the loch, turn left on to a road that leads up past the site of the old power station. Immediately after the cleared site, follow an unsurfaced path that strikes off to your left slightly uphill. This path is a short cut to join the bridle path where you should turn left.
A tarmac road crosses the bridle path and you should turn right past the gate heading towards an electricity substation. After almost 100m an unsurfaced path leads off on your left into the wooded area. Follow this path for 130m where a narrow and sometimes muddy path goes off to your right.This path takes you up alongside fields into open countryside. The path crosses the fields and you will pass through a number of metal pedestrian gates (please ensure you close them behind you) before you reach a road. Turn right onto the road and follow it for 300m to the sharp right hand corner. Although a “back road” this road does see a fair bit of traffic so keep into the right hand side as you walk along the road. After the corner, turn left onto an access road which leads to Highholm Farm. There is a scrap yard along this road and during working hours there are likely to be lorries on it.
After 500m you will be past the scrap yard and an unsurfaced path leads off to your right alongside the scrap yard fence. Follow this path trying to ignore the rubbish that has blown across the path. It soon improves and you will quickly enter Townhill Woods. Turn left onto the track that you join (if you go right it will take you back to the top end of Townhill village). This next section is on woodland paths which are reasonable underfoot. Stick with the main path through the woods (there are lots of side trails which can also be explored) which is signed up as the Pug Line.
After passing the cleared site of Muircockhall Industrial Estate on your left hand side, keep right following the signpost with the purple core path arrow. Stay on the main path, don’t follow the sign for Wilson Street to your right. At the next signpost turn left for the Forest Place Circular. Then at the following signpost turn right still signed for the Forest Place Circular.
Immediately after passing a fenced off reservoir on your left, pick up an unsurfaced path on your left hand side alongside the fence. Notice the garden connifers growing at this point. This next path leads to the area of Townhill Muir. Stay on the path, do not cross over the stile into the field. A bench provides a welcome rest with a view over the muir. After the bench the path turns right to cross heather moorland and then through birch trees. The path becomes a bit indistinct when it enters the beech trees but provided you keep roughly west you will soon join up with the main forest path again where you need to turn left.
Follow the path round the edge of the woods until you reach a metal pedestrian gate exiting the woods onto Forest Place. Turn left on to the street.At the bottom of the road turn right on to Muir Road. After almost 200m turn left up a track for another 200m to reach the cycle track/dismanted railway. Turn right on to the cycle track which follows the old railway line. Stay on the cycle track after crossing under the road and you will soon be back at Town Loch.
For a quick return to the car park you can turn left at the first sign for Town Loch which will soon have you back at the car park and water ski centre. However, if you wish to continue with the circumnavigation of Town Loch that you start at the beginning of the walk stay on the cycle track. As the railway line is elevated there are good views over the loch from this section. Just before the next sign post (after a red dog bin on your left) is a path leading down from the railway back to the power station area. Turn left to walk back past this area and onto the road. Stay on the road until you pass a house on your right and a railway bridge to your left. After this point, the lochside path strikes off right to allow you to continue with the walk around the loch and back to your start point.
View / download GPX route from Viewranger.
View / download GPX route from Ordnance Survey.
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