Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lower Largo, Keil's Den, Lundin Links

I'm not in the habit of repeating myself but this walk was worth doing a second time. If you have a look at the blogsite for last September we did the same walk today but with more folk this time. Given that we are on 31st October we expected to be feeling the cauld but some of us were actually down to T-shirts, it was such a beautiful day. After parking at Temple car park we took the ascent via the Serpentine Way which led us to Upper Largo. Bob took us to the kirk there to see a headstone, now protected within a cage in the kirkyard, which dates from around 500AD. You can just make out some signs and figures on horseback - fascinating.
(Spot the bogeyman in the pic)
Onward we wend then with Largo Law up ahead looking wonderful and inviting today, but we thought better of it.
We walked along the side of the fields past the residential caravan site and past the place where Bess lies. Bess, we imagined was a much loved canine friend who perhaps regularly walked the same route as we were doing. Her master chose a most beautiful spot to lay her to rest and attach her name tag for all who pass to ponder on.
( There's that bogeymen again!)
Keil's Den was stunning. Autumn had turned the leaves orange and brown, yellow and amber, and the forest looked as if lights had been turned on within it was so bright. There were a few slow coaches today blethering 19 to the dozen at the back but we gathered again as we reached Lundin Links and wandered through the wee town enjoying looking at the lovely houses. We passed a few with Halloween decorations up like the one in Bob's photo. Just before the descent to Lower largo we stopped and soaked up the view of the Forth only we did wonder where Arthur's seat had disappeared to...
Down at the harbour is really picturesque so we sat outside the Crusoe Hotel with our coffees getting the last of the sunshine on our faces before it dipped behind the clouds until tomorrow. Now Bob mentioned that he wanted to get back to Kirkcaldy to collect his lady wife so we picked up speed through the wee narrow streets of Lower Largo back to the cars. Actually I think he wanted home to get trick-or treating.
We couldn't have asked for better weather or company today. Blessed indeed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I'll bet all the followers of our blogsite were wondering where we got to in September. Well, for the record we did meet up, but did a Car Treasure Hunt instead of a walk. Not quite so good for the environment, but equally good for our health as we had a good laugh with happy company. Rona and friend Linda were the winners and I hear the consensus is that the winners do next year's Treasure Hunt. I'd start now Rona.
We ventured out of the Kingdom of Fife today beginning our walk at the carpark at Portmoak church. Our heart rates were pretty quickly raised with a steep set of approx thirty stairs which took us onto the Michael Bruce Way, one of the network of pathways around Loch Leven. The path was narrow so we went single file along the bottom of the Bishop until we reached the best spot to take in the magnificent view. Although a bit misty today, we were able to see Benarty, which Fifers call the Sleeping Giant because its outline from the north side looks like a man on his back wearing a headdress. In the foreground of Loch Leven was St Serf's island and to the north, the Ochils. On a good clear day the Highlands can be seen from this point. So we stood in awe for a few minutes, getting our breath back from the climb and having it taken away again by the scenery. Onward then along the foot of the Bishop where autumn was in evidence and where the bracken had been burnt as a control to allow other forms of vegetation to flourish.
We didn't climb up the hill at all, but obviously by the photo on the left Joe and others were equipped with their skis just incase we got high enough to encounter snow. What goes up must come down and so we ended up in the old part of Kinnesswood and enjoyed looking at the wee houses, some of which have been very tastefully modernised. We saw the birthplace of Michael Bruce, whose name was given to the walk we did today. Michael Bruce, the gentle poet of Loch Leven, died of consumption and loneliness at the callow age of 21 having been a prolific writer of Gospel sonnets and paraphrases while a student of divinity at Edinburgh University. Plaques of some of his works are to be seen along today's trail, placed there by the Michael Bruce Memorial Trust.
Moving out of Kinnesswood and back to the countryside, this time on flat terrain so we were able to stride out. Above us we saw several gliders out on a jolly from the Scottish Gliding Centre, at Portmoak airfield just outside Scotlandwell, and we envied the view the pilots must have of the beauty surrounding us on a clear day. As we progressed through a wooded area called Portmoak Moss we were amazed at the enormous fungi and toadstools - a mycologist's field day you might say (and yes, I did look that word up in the dictionary). We also happened upon a shetland pony, Toby. Although Toby was in an awkward mood today according to his owners, I'm sure he enjoyed the compliments and petting he had from the walkers. By this time we were all talking about our rumbly tums and our pace quickened further when we were able to see our refreshment stop in the distance. In order to reach it though, we had to walk along the edges of fields which had recently been harvested and one field of healthy looking carrots, but we did not yield to temptation! It was here that a young deer was spotted, making off into a spinney to our delight.
Lochend Farm was a very welcome sight and we indulged in the delicious home baked fare there, and then off once again on the last part of the walk towards Scotlandwell. This time we had to walk on the road, and so one at the head and one at the tail of the single file wore High Vis vests so that motorists could see us well in advance.
We visited the Well in the village of course where the spring water was once thought to have healing properties and in 13th century a nearby hospital run by Red Friars used the water to heal leprosy and other diseases.Some of us drank the spring water which put a spring in our steps for the last few hundred yards uphill to where the cars were parked. Another great walk - 5.49 miles - and we expressed our gratitude before heading homeward, feeling peaceful and content.