Although better known for its coastal walks, Aberdour also offers some very fine woodland walking. In particular the area known as The Heughs along the coastal strip towards Burntisland and Humbie Woods at the back of the town are well worth exploring. Route 3 below, is a combination of both woodland and coastal walking bringing together the best the area has to offer.
Most of these paths are unsurfaced and can become muddy after rain. Some of them can also become rather overgrown in the late summer.
The suggested routes can all be started from the station where there is free parking or of course you could use the train! Other parking is available at Silversands (fee charged during the summer season) or on street. Aberdour also has a good choice of pubs and cafes for post walk refreshments.
Blue: The Heughs; Red: Humbie Woods; Purple: Hawkcraig Point
Route 1 – The Heughs (blue)
Distance: 2.8 miles / 4.5km
Ascent: 330 feet / 100m
Terrain: Unsurfaced (possibily muddy) paths in the woods
Leave the station car park at its eastern end on a path alongside the railway. Cross over Hawcraig Road and follow the path on the opposite side signed for Silversands. On reaching Silversands, follow the coastal path towards Burntisland until it passes under the railway. Head up the steps to the left (known as “Kemal’s Steps”) into the woods. Follow the unsurfaced path in a generally westerly direction. Do not take the path signed for Nine Lums. After about 1.5km of woodland walking the path meets the main road at the east end of Aberdour. Turn left to walk back to the station.
Route 2 – Humbie Woods (red)
This natural woodland at the back of Aberdour is perhaps the jewel in Aberdour’s crown. A good time to visit is in the Spring when the woods become a riot of colour with bluebells. Later in the Summer, the paths can become quite overgrown with bracken and hard to follow in places. As well as the route described, there are many other paths in and around the woods worth exploring. The woods are used for pheasant rearing so may be worth avoiding during the shooting season.
Distance: 3 miles / 4.8 km
Ascent: 420 feet / 125 m
Terrain: Unsurfaced paths that can be muddy. Can be overgrown in the summer months.
Leave Aberdour on Murrel Road at the eastern end of the village. From the end of Murrel Road a rough (and often muddy) track heads northwards. The track becomes more overgrown and terminates at an area of gorse on the hillside. The easiest route now is to go through the gate and walk up the hill turning right onto a grass path through the bushes (slightly different from the route shown on some maps which goes into the gorse). Follow the most obvious route east, through the gorse heading to the ruin at Balram. This area is used for sheep grazing so take care not to disturb them and keep dogs on a lead.
A rough track from Balram heads to the edge of the woods passing through a gate. Livestock may be grazing in this area. The track is more defined as it bears right to reach a gate into the woods at grid ref NT 199 869. Go into the woods and follow the sometimes indistinct path south west for 80m. There are now numerous paths in the woods and any of them could be used. Either explore them to find your own route or follow the suggested route on the map which uses the main path on the high ground to visit the attractive western side of the woods.
Aim to exit the woods at their southern end where a farm track leads down to the main road on the east side of Aberdour. There is pavement on the opposite side of the road for the walk back to the station.
Route 3 – Aberdour Coast and Woods Circular
Distance: 10 km / 6.3 miles
Ascent: 240 m / 775 feet
Terrain: Mix of surfaced paths, and unsurfaced (often muddy) paths
This route links together Humbie Woods, The Heughs and a loop around Hawcraig Point to form a slightly longer route.
Starting from the station use the route described above through Humbie Woods (or devise your own route using the paths in the woods). Exit the woods at their southern end and return to the main road using the farm track. Cross over the road (with caution – it’s not the best place for crossing) to pick up the pavement on the opposite side towards Aberdour. After the corner, on the left next to the Aberdour sign, is the entrance to The Heughs.
Follow the path through the Heughs, turning right to go down hill when the signpost for Nine Lums is reached. Exit the woods on to the coastal path via Kemal’s Steps and turn right to Aberdour. On reaching Silversands, continue on around the coast to Hawkcraig Point. A path goes right, up the hill, past a beacon, before dropping down the other side. Follow the coastal path around to Aberdour Harbour and Black Sands. From Black Sands use Shore Road back to the centre of the village.