Near Springfield, Cupar are the remains of the gothic Crawford Priory, originally built in the 18th century but later rebuilt in the 19th century for Lady Mary Crawford. The building is supposedly haunted by the enigmatic Lady Crawford so watch out if you visit after dark.
Crawford Priory and Pitlessie
This pleasant walk takes you around farmland of the Howe of Fife. Apart from the section close to Crawford Priory it makes use of the Fife Core Path network.
- Distance: 6.8 miles / 10.8km
- Ascent: 550 feet / 165 m
- Terrain: Paths and tracks, but also some quiet road walking
- Start / finish: Springfield
Start from the village of Springfield, near Cupar. There is adequate on street parking or you could use the small parking area at the end of Muir Road where the walk starts.
From the main road walk along Muir Road next to the church to reach the track that starts at the end of the road. This first part of the walk is on a pleasant track which is well used by locals. The route initially takes you across open fields before reaching a small wooded area. When you reach the woods you have the option of detouring off the main path into the woods on your left. There are woodland paths with a carpet of pine and larch needles which provide soft underfoot walking around a pond. When you come out of the woods, if you are back at the track turn left but if you reach the railway line, turn right and follow it along the edge of the woods until you reach the area where the track crosses under the railway.
Go under the railway bridge and turn right onto another track which runs alongside the railway. When you reach the public road after about 650m turn left towards the village of Pitlessie. You now have a section of road walking but the road is quiet with little traffic. As you approach Pitlessie you will cross over the River Eden. Ignore the road on your left heading into Pitlessie and walk on past the playing field to reach a path. . The path brings you into Pitlessie where you turn right.
Follow the road through the village passing the Village Inn, to reach the main road. Cross over the road, taking care as it is fast and busy, to reach the farm access road on the other side. This next section of the walk goes slightly uphill and you will have views to right of the Lomond Hills and behind you across the flat fields of the Howe of Fife. After passing a farm, the road becomes an unsurfaced track. When the track bears left you reach the remains of the Cults Limeworks just before joining a public road.
Turn left onto the road which is quiet and forms part of national cycle route 1. Walk along the road for 400m until you reach an unsurfaced track on your left marked with a purple arrow marker post. This track initially follows a field edge. Keep dogs on the track and don’t let them wander across the field if there are crops in it. When you reach some trees the track becomes more of a path and then joins the access road to the large house at Lower Bunzion. Follow the access road back down to the main road.
Take care crossing over the main road, turn right and walk along the pavement for about 150m to reach a track on your left hand side again with a purple arrow marker post. This track will take you into a wooded area and past some houses. After passing Cults Mill on your left go straight on at the junction onto a grassy track. Don’t follow the purple arrow marker which points right. At the end of the track pass through a gate into the woods and then go left again through another gate opposite a house. Keep straight on, on this pleasant track through mixed woodland which brings you to Crawford Priory.
The house is in a dangerous condition and is fenced off with warning notices. However, you can still get close enough to photograph it and appreciate its grandeur without crossing the fence. After the priory you pass the old stable block which is also an impressive building in its own right. Continue onwards along the track which has now become an access road until you reach the public road just outside Springfield. Turn left and walk back into the village.
Lady Mary’s Tomb
Lady Mary’s tomb is situated in Lady Mary’s Wood on the opposite side of the A914 from Crawford Priory. Access into and through the woods is easy enough via tracks from roads at NO 352 107 and NO 353 100 and there are rough tracks in the woods. A detour to Lady Mary’s Tomb can be added on to the above route by following the paths/tracks shown in blue on the route map. This will add approximately 3km to the walk.