Lucklaw Hill

Lucklaw Hill is a prominent landmark in the far north east of Fife. Although only 190m in height it does have the distinction of being a HuMP (a hill with a 100m prominence/drop). Its southern slope has been quarried away and this gives the hill is distinctive red appearance when viewed from the south.

A number of approach routes to the hill are possible and are described here. You can mix and match them to create your own circular walk or follow one of the suggested routes that are described. Balmullo is the obvious starting point for the routes.

Start / finish: Balmullo – parking available on street or at the Burnside Hall.

Facilities: Balmullo Inn or Tai Teak for refreshments. Dundee bus service serves the village.

From the south

The hill can be approached via a signposted path from the south west starting at NO 409 209 near the settlement of Logie. This route is grassy for the most part following a fence line across fields up to a gate. Beyond the gate an obvious path crosses scrubland to the summit with its communications mast, trig point and cairn of bricks.

A similar approach starts further along the road at NO 412 210 where there is a signpost for a woodland walk. A pleasant stroll through the woods brings you to a gate into a field where you join the route above up to the gate and scrub land.

Also from the south, is a route nearer to Balmullo starting from the quarry road at NO 423 213. This is probably the quickest route up the hill. Again the initial part of the route is on a grassy track across a field before entering the scrubland above the quarry to follow the rim around to the western side to meet with the path from the south west.

From Balmullo the south west approach paths can be reached via a walk through Willie’s Wood. The parking area at Cuplahills provides an alternative start point.

From the North

A very pleasant ascent or descent is via the woodland to the north of the hill. There is access into the woods from the end of the road in Lucklawhill at NO 419 221. When entering the woods at this point go left so that you are walking approximately south towards the hill.

Alternatively for a longer route you can approach from South Straiton via a track followed by field edge core path to NO 413 219 where there is access to the woods. Head east through the woods turning right (south) on to a woodland path when you approach the first house at Lucklawhill.

The woodland path heads south west towards the hill reaching an old gate / wall after about 500m. From this point there is a direct path up the scrubland to the summit. For a slightly longer route follow the old fence east through more woodland before turning south west at a field corner on a path for the summit.

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Routes to Lucklaw Hill (red from the south; blue from the north; grey access routes from Burnside Hall and Cuplahills start points)
Lucklaw Hill Circular

A short circular route to the summit of Lucklaw Hill including three different sections of woodland along the way.

Distance: 7.2 km / 4.5 miles

Ascent: 200 m / 650 feet

Terrain: Paths and tracks plus quiet road.

From Balmullo Burnside Hall, head west on a red ash path into open country. For a walk through Willie’s Wood, turn left on to a path across the fields and then turn right on the track to Cuplahills. At the farm, go right, through a gate into woodland (Willie’s Wood). A grassy path takes you uphill to a viewpoint with picnic tables. After the picnic tables the path continues though the woodland culminating in a “tree tunnel” prior to exiting the woods.

Bypass the cottages by turning left on the track followed by a right at a rough car parking area. When you reach the tarmac road follow the cycle sign to the right. Keep to the road ignoring the first signpost for a woodland walk. Pass the cottages and enjoy open views across to St Andrews. Approximately 150m beyond the cottages is a second signpost for a woodland walk.

Turn left at this signpost into Lucklaw Woods, another very pleasant woodland. There is a path through the woods and if you keep left, right and left at path junctions you can exit the woods at a wooden gate on your right into a field (not the gate directly in front of you). Follow the field fence line up the hill until you reach yet another gate. Once through the gate, the path/track on the other side takes you up through rough scrub land to the summit area with a cairn made from a pile of bricks, trig point and communications mast.

Descend on a path to the east (turning to north east) through heather. Follow it down the hill to reach woodland. At a corner where you meet a bit of old wall, turn left onto a trodden path into woodland. This next section through old birchwood is probably the nicest part of the walk. A woodland path (a bit feint in places) roughly parallels an old fence to reach an obvious junction 300m in to the woods. Turn right (away from the fence with an old gate) following a woodland path through mixed woodland.

After about 500m of delightful woodland walking, the path emerges at the end of a road. Turn right and follow the road down the hill, turning right on to the “main” road back to Balmullo.

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Route map for Lucklaw Hill circuit

View / download this route from Viewranger.

View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.

Lucklaw Hill and Surrounds Circular

This circular walk includes the four wee hills of Airdit Hill, Craigsanquhar Hill, Forret Hill and Lucklaw Hill. Variations on the described route are possible. This walk takes place in farming countryside and as well as recognised path/tracks also includes some field edges. It is probably best not to take dogs on this walk as there is a possibility of encountering livestock. Always stick to the edges when crossing cultivated fields. A number of gates need to be climbed as they are not openable. When doing so, climb them at their hinged end as this is less likely to cause damage.

Distance: 12.2 km / 7.6 miles

Ascent: 380 m / 1250 feet

Terrain: Mixed: mostly paths/tracks (can be very muddy), some quiet road, some woodland walking, some field edge walking.

From Balmullo Burnside Hall, head west on a red ash path into open country. When you reach Willie’s Wood turn left into the wood for Cuplahills. Walk around the right hand side of the farm following the track round to the left to reach a crossroad junction. Turn left towards Airdit with Airdit Hill to your right. The hill can be accessed through the woodland on your right without going near the house. There are paths in the woods with the main one passing very close to the summit. The summit area is an interesting rock formation, perhaps the remains of a small quarry.

Descend west on the path to open fields. You can walk down either the left or the right hand side of the wall. If you choose the left you will reach the road at a “no right of way” sign referring to the route you have just come down. If this worries you, use the right hand side of the wall instead. Climb the gate on to the road and turn left for 270m to reach the corner. Go right onto the farm track. After it bears left you can detour to Craigsanqhuar Hill (159m) to your right. There are gates enabling you to access the field which may contain livestock. If you don’t want to do the hill, just stay on the track.

The track now becomes rather muddy as it heads west to a junction. An overgrown path to your right gets you off the mud for a short while before it too turns into a muddy track that circles the base of Forret Hill before ascending. Once up though, the going becomes easier on grass and the summit is off to your left through a gate. There is a small cairn on the 173m summit.

Descend north east to a gate and cross the next field to reach a further gate on the north side. From here you can use a grassy track to descend the northern side of the hill to reach a pedestrian gate on to a path close to Easter Forret. Turn right and approximately 30 mins walking along this path/track will bring you to the settlement of Logie.

On reaching the road, turn left for 700m to reach a crossroads. From this point follow the sign for Lucklaw Hill across grassy fields uphill. After going through a gate, the path turns right on scrub ground to the top of Lucklaw Hill (190m). Descend initially in the direction you came from but quickly turn left so that you are crossing the top of the quarry. A path descends the hill around the quarry and through a field to reach the road. Turn left on the road to head back to Balmullo (take care as there is quarry traffic on this road).

If you want to extend the walk, descend from Lucklaw Hill through the woods to the north before making your way back to Balmullo along the road.

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Route Map for Airdit Hill, Craigsanquhar Hill, Forret Hill and Lucklaw Hill

View / download this route from Viewranger.

View / download this route from Ordnance Survey.