Sunday, December 14, 2014

Burntisland Christmas Outing

Christmas Outing

Sunday 14 December

Venue: Potter About Burntisland


Enthusiasm uncurbed by the drench day 15 walkers set out from Bennochy towards Burntisland stopping Beveridge Park to walk one circumference of the park anticlockwise (that's the route which has less of an incline). There was no dilly dallying at once back at the cars we headed to Burntisland parking at the Links car park


We were welcomed at the door of Potter About by Lorna and Pat, co-owners and the cafe was a lovely warm and welcoming retreat from the weather. Normally closed on a Sunday they kindly opened especially for us, thanks to them both for giving up their precious day off

Down to business. The tables were all set up for us with brushes, water and all we had to do was select the piece of pottery of our choice for painting and select our paints from a great range of colours


Silence reigned, but not for long as we all had 100% concentration while starting to paint. There were some examples of already decorated pottery and some of us used these for ideas. Some of course went totally off piste with great ideas for decoration.


Once our creations were completed we retired to the cafe and had delicious sandwiches, cake (massive) and teas and coffees and lots of chat.


We left our masterpieces in the safe hands of Lorna and Pat as they had to be glazed and fired and we arranged for them to be picked up the following week so we could have them for Christmas


Back to the car we said our walkers prayer, especially thinking of our friends who either by illness, family duties or work could not be with us today

                 "May the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way"     

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Michael Bruce Way

                                Sunday 9 November
Rona wrote:
Extracts from two songs immediately spring to mind to reflect today's walk and they are; "mud glorious mud" and "slip sliding away". Although we had a lovely day to walk, days of rain had turned the path into a bit of a mud slithering event. Thankfully most had walking poles to help keep balance.

 Stephen Sinclair Photography's photo.Photo: © Stephen Sinclair - The Well at Scotlandwell, Fife

This walk was last done on 10 October 2010, so look at that blog more a more detailed description.  Although a bit hazy today we were still offered lovely views over Loch Leven, the Sleeping Giant and the lovely countryside. Comments were made about the amount of flowers which continued to bloom in November and although it was a very still day we managed to see some gliders in the sky overhead. We also made comment on two figures climbing up the shoulder of the hill carrying what appeared to be very large packs. A short will later they were overhead - para gliders with their brightly coloured parachutes descending at what seemed a great speed.


Our coffee stop was Lochend Farm Shop where we enjoyed freshly baked goodies. As daylight as starting to fade we said our Walkers Prayer and headed for home 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Binnend, Burntisland

Janet wrote -
On a very windy morning nine walkers left by car for Kinghorn where we parked next to the Carousel cafe and gift shop.  We walked up to the War Memorial, crossed the High Street, into Baliol Street and up passed the school.   From there we turned towards and onto Kinghorn Golf Course which was, thankfully, empty of golfers so we suffered no bumps on the head or shouts of 'Fore'.

From the Club House it was a steady but steep uphill track that took us passed the caravan park on one side and the golf course on the other.   We passed Grangehill House, walked around the farm and when we reached the main road at Gallowhill we passed through a gate (held open by for us by a gentleman), crossed the road and went through another fence onto Binnend Path.   By this time some of us were peching a wee bit and the wind was certainly getting stronger.

Up the path we went and we reached a rest area (see photo) where we enjoyed a wonderful view over the Firth of Forth and a few sweeties from Mary's seemingly bottomless supply.   There were also visitor boards explaining what we would see and also giving information about who lived in Binn Village, why it came into being and we marveled at the fact that shale was mined so long ago, was discontinued and is now being talked about today.

We walked on and then when we were near the old ruins of the village we turned left down a steep narrow path to take us to Burntisland.   Here we found evidence of how strong the wind had been during the night as one of the trees had been broken and was hanging over the path.   We squeezed around it and continued downhill and then a ferocious sounding dog appeared with its owner; so 'ferocious' that it let us pet it as we passed!

Down passed the Golf Club and left behind the flats and into wood edge until we met Kirkbank Road.   Some of us felt they just had to have a wee look at a old and rather grand house.   There were many ideas of what it might have been and what it might be now but.....?  Anyway, we turned left down Greenmount Road South and when we met the main road across from Sands Hotel we had to make a decision.   Should we continue back along the main or cross over, down to the beach and walk along to Pettycur?   For the most of us it was no contest but three brave and sturdy walkers went off to check whether they could make it along the beach.   Alas the tide was too far in so they followed us along the main road back to Kinghorn, and, even with the deviation to the beach, they made it back as quickly as the rest of the group.

Then it was into Carousel where we had our usual tea/coffee, scone and a good old blether and then after a short prayer we all headed home.

We'd had no rain, lots of strong winds to blow the cobwebs away, steep inclines and declines to test our legs, lovely views and plenty of chat.

It had been another good day with good company! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Kelpies, Falkirk

We departed from the church at 1000 precisely in  Viewforth HS 's luxurious minibus heading for Falkirk to visit The Kelpies. A cloudy morning with a decidedly autumnal twist, we were dressed rather differently to the last time we met. It was an easy journey through, the driver having googled the whole journey the previous night. Again, right on time, we arrived at our parking spot at Falkirk football stadium where some if us felt the need to use the facilities before moving on to meet our tour guide, Steve.

Mary bought a postcard at the ticket office so I bet George D reads it out at church on Sunday. The Helix park is very exposed so it was bitterly cauld during our tour and we shared hats, gloves and scarves around. We walked about 15 mins before even reaching the Kelpies. They are magnificent. These were sculptor Andy Scott's vision 8 years ago and he must feel completely satisfied at the wonderful result.
The surrounding plaza,  Lagoon , Playground,  wetlands, cycle paths and lots more make this a tourist attraction not to be missed for Scots folk and a real pull to the central belt for visitors to our country. I expect it will be even better once the tourist centre opens in 2015. So many people of all ages and nationalities were having a great time. Steve told us the history of the Kelpies and took us inside Duke, the head down horse, it's neighbour being called Baron, named after two life models chosen by Andy Scott for the character of their faces. Two massive Clydesdales - a testament to the industrial past if the Falkirk area.  Made from stainless steel plates - each one different- the contours of the horses' faces clearly visible.
The tour lasted 45 mins then we had to walk back to the Falkirk stadium for lunch. Very nice it was too, and some say they will return with their families. Unfortunately we had to return by the same route after lunch to go on our walk, so past the Kelpies this time and into the community woodland, trying to follow a map which was neither use nor ornament. Seeking two pieces of community sculpture in the woods, we did find one.  Charlie offering himself as the sacrifice as you see. This was a human sun clock but as it was very cloudy we couldn't really check out the time. 
We got A little bit lost trying to  find the other sculpture until a kind man out for a daunder showed us the way to 'love and kisses'.
Massive lips made from corten steel. As you see the children in our party used it as a plaything.

Back on the bus we shared our admiration of the Kelpies and the whole Helix Park. A quiz  was handed round with a valuable prize at stake for the winners. Alison and John were the winners which was nice as they were the 'new walkers' today. We then played a variation of pass the parcel - Pass the Pawkie - which June won, then shared her prize out with  the rest of the bus. The average age in the bus by the way, was 65.
We had an east journey home and arrived back at the church just after 5pm ending our meeting as always with prayer

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Balbirnie and Markinch

Janis wrote -

Fifteen walkers left the church on Sunday 28th September for Balbirnie Park, we parked our cars at the hotel car park, it was busy because of a Wedding Fair.

We set off down the drive and our first stop was at the walled garden allotments,it was great to see all the wonderful produce and flowers and we even got some tips on growing and cooking veg from the allotmenteers.

On through the park and into Markinch and a stop at the church for a photo, then up the road to the east lodge entrance. Back in the park we had a good tour around the gardens and the woodland walks,having a look at the wild life pond  and taking a few wrong turns along the way! The weather  was just perfect as we waked along the bridle path to the north lodge, past the golf course arriving at the club house where we were having tea. As we had some time to spare us ladies just had to go and visit the wedding fair,leaving Joe, Charlie and Bob to check out the golf results.

Back to the club house to have tea and cake and a good chance to agree on a super walk,with great company and perfect weather. Finishing with our walkers prayer.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Holl, Ballo and Harperleas reservoirs


Rona wrote......
The Water of Life route in the Lomond Hills Regional Park saw 13 walkers setting off on Sunday
 It was a lovely day, some cloud and a gentle breeze as we parked the cars at the Holl Reservoir.Starting off with one of Mary's sookie sweeties we had a gentle start on a Tarmac road which took us around the north end of Holl Reservoir, through a kissing gate to start a gentle ascent on farm tracks which were mainly dry underfoot. Passing Drumain Reservoir on our right we headed through open grassland with grazing sheep towards a tree belt which once through led us to a fertile strip between Ballo and Harperlees Reservoirs. Crossing between the two waters gave us fabulous views of the West Lomond and we were just thankful that we weren't going to climb it. A gentle ascent from the reservoirs led us onto a firmer track with fenced fields taking care to stay on the track and not going near the territory which stated "danger bull in field". A brief stop was had at a lovely old ruin and this necessitated a photo call as the open views were just amazing.Discussion took place as to the origins of the ruin.
Striding onwards we exited the track on the south side of Craigmead car park and heading in this direction on the road we eventually took a track through a field to our left. This was rougher walking and walking poles were a boon here with Kelly taking the lead and shooing the sheep out of our way. Walking for a bit by the shore of Ballo Reservoir we again had a steep rise but stopped to say hello to two ponies, a Jack Russell terrier, billy and nanny goats and a field of cows. Who says we never see any wild life! They looked pretty wild to us.
Our final descent took us past the water treatment works which purifies our drinking water and a return road to our parked cars where we said our Walkers Prayer. "May the road rise to meet you " was very apt today.
The Fife Coast and Countryside Trust describe the following "From Buckhaven to Burntisland we drink the water of the Lomond Hills. Holl reservoir contains enough water for about 8 Billion (8,000,000,000) cups of tea". Now think of that walkers! Well stopping at Fettykil Fox for refreshments there's now a lot less water in the reservoirs

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hill of Tarvit/Ceres circular

Phil wrote:
The walk chosen was a distance of about four miles across mainly undulating farm tracks and paths. Starting from the Edwardian Mansion house at Hill of Tarvit, passing by Whitehill Farm, then picking up the old Moor road into Ceres. From there, the old track to Pettycur (Waterless Road) by Denhead Farm then down to and across the Craigrothie Burn and returning to the House.
Although the weather forecast was not favourable, the fresh wind kept the rain away and we enjoyed some warm bright spells. The ground underfoot was surprisingly dry with only one or two small areas showing sign of recent downpours. As it was, the rain held off until the last few minutes by which time we were able to take refuge in the attractive Mansion cafe for tea, coffee and fruited scones (irresistably smothered in jam and clotted cream). Wall panels in the cafe described the history and ownership of the house which was substantially remodelled by Sir Robert Lorimer in 1906 for the Sharp family.  Under present day NTS ownership, a 9 hole 'hickory club' golf course, putting green and Croquet lawn are available to visitors (maybe next time).  A short visit to browse through the NTS gift shop rounded off the day.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dalgety Bay

Charlie wrote -
On Sunday, 20th July, a hot and sunny afternoon, to be relieved occasionally by cloud cover and a  breeze, welcomed 18 members of the walking group to Braefoot Bay, to explore the delights in and around Dalgety Bay.   Joined the coastal path, aka Beech Avenue, for a short time before turning onto Braefoot Point path which runs between two fields and enters a woodland area to arrive at a disused Second World War stone pier.
From here can be viewed wonderful panoramas of the River Forth, Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Not to be missed.   This area was home to a Gun Batttery during the war and some of the buildings are still evident.   Exited the trees and moved west along the minor road to St. Bridget's Kirk, the ruins of a medieval church dating back to 1170.
  Turned inland and up and over a bit of a gradient in the road leading to the Cornerstone Church and in turn to the Eastern Access Road.
Then proceeded to take the first right into Ridge Way and through the Industrial Estate to the Garden Centre for a refreshing cuppa, goodies and a blether.
All too soon, it was back on the road again, the Western Access, that is, in the direction of the shore.
Regent Way was next to be traversed, soon to be followed by Moray Way South and an entrance to the coastal path with some different perspectives of the Forth and surrounding area.  Worth seeing.
The circuitous route revisited St Bridget's Kirk and then on to Beech Avenue once more for the final stretch to the Car Park.   The distance of 6 miles was a wee bit more than had been anticipated but most enjoyable nevertheless.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kilconquhar, Elie

Rona wrote -

Parking on the Main Street in Elie we set off eastwards along the high street heading for the drive to Elie House. Entering through some grand entrance gates we headed up the lovely meandering drive, passing Elie House on our right hand side. Shortly we left the Tarmac drive and walked on lovely dry paths through a woodland. Shortly we reached Kilconquhar Loch and stopped at the old jetty. When doing the recki a couple of weeks previously a couple of Herons flew up from a nesting site directly in front of us, but no such luck today. However the view over the Loch was lovely, looking towards Kilconquhar Church and village - so peaceful. Continuing thought the woodland on an old estate path we eventually reached a quiet road which meant a short stretch of quiet road walking which took us to the entrance driveway to Shell Bay Holiday Park. After a short stretch on this road we turned off into a forest trail and saw some giant hogweed between 4-6 foot tall. Glad it wasn't in my garden!
Time was rapidly running out and as it was a really warm day we were desperate for our coffee stop, so we cut the walk short and walked the perimeter of the holiday park before reaching a lovely farm track which took us into Earlsferry. Passing the golf course with lots of golfers out today, we then had a brisk walk along the Main Street towards Elie and our coffee stop the Elie Coffee Shop, where we partook of a great selection of delicious scones and tea and coffee. The perfect end to a day but thinking of our friends who for various reasons couldn't be with today. Look forward to seeing you back with us at the next walk


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Rameldrie, Cupar

Dianne  wrote –

The walkers were kindly invited to visit Margaret and Walter Simpson’s cottage near Kettlebridge today. We had to follow a map just to reach the cottage as it sits at the back of beyond. Just before we got there we had a wee panic driving through a muckle dub which was so deep we held our breaths till we got through to the other side. Such a lot of work has gone on at the cottage since we last saw it. Idyllic setting.
 Inside, Walter had one of the two  open fires blazing and we were enthralled by the bellows, wood saw and baskets of kindling hanging up to dry and the very old black kettle sitting at the fireside.  We were invited to look at the bedrooms in the attic space which we accessed by way of the staircase from an old double decker bus. Margaret and Walter told us the history of the cottage (1705) and how they came to have possession.  Margaret then led us on a beautiful country walk starting from the cottage which is named Dam’s Rameldrie (engraved above the lintel on the door). We could smell those country smells, especially the wild garlic, as we walked along the edges of fields, tracks the tractors take and bridle paths.   Through Devon Woods, past Hiltonhill Farm Coaltown of Burnturk and Cults, around 5 miles we think. Charlie knew this walk and took us a short detour for a ‘surprise’ which turned out to be Eastwood pets’ cemetery among some trees. Mmm…thanks Charlie.

We saw an eco house en route – very interesting until we discovered that the materials came from Sweden. Not sure how to balance out that long expensive journey with environmentally friendly views. Scotland surely could have provided sustainable materials to create such a building? Right. Off soap box.

Back on track we depended on Margaret’s directions passing by her neighbours who were tidying their gardens. A couple of us bought some eggs there. We passed Rameldrie Mill and the burn which runs down below Dam’s Cottage. Back at the start again, Walter had the kettle boiling for tea and coffee and we enjoyed some scones, gingerbread and a yummy fruitcake which Margaret had made for us. They are really such perfect hosts. They even laid on entertainment – indoor carpet bowls which the Reds v. Blacks played with a degree of skill but mostly with not a clue. So after our refreshments and a bit of fun we set off for home, only stopping at the cottage garden for a cutting of sage.

The weather was just perfect this afternoon – calm and warm with only a wee threat of the wet stuff at one point.  17 walkers and as always we had a great opportunity to talk, and importantly listen to each other, getting a flavour of what is happening in folk’s lives.  Sometimes when we get home we think of these friends who need our thoughts and prayers. Lots to be thankful for today.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Almondell country park

Charlie writes:
Today, the 10th of May, 13 members of the group travelled to Almondell Country Park, West Lothian to walk the Lin's Mill Loop, a round trip  of 4 miles. We proceeded via the Visitor Centre, across the suspension bridge, over the River Almond to follow the footpath by the canal feeder and encountered stiles on the way.  Illieston Castle was visible to our left. this was the ancient hunting seat of James 11 and James 1V. We climbed out of the wooded area to the Union Canal and the Aqueduct where splendid views to north and south were had. The canal opened in 1822 after 4 years of construction, and is used for boating, fishing, walking and biking. We left the towpath, a short distance from the aqueduct to take the minor road to pass Muirhead Cottage and Lookaboutye Farm before turning into the road to the park.
The Wallace stone is found in this vicinity and was erected in memory of William Wallace by the 11th Earl of Buchan. The next stop was Craigie's farm, perched on a hill midway between Kirkliston and Sth Queensferry, where refreshment was taken in pleasant surroundings accompanied by pleasant views down the River Forth. Altogether a most enjoyable outing.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Fourteen walkers set off from the Church at 1.30  pm for the walk starting at Fluthers Street Car Park in Cupar.   Through a couple of streets, we came to an uphill road at the top of which was the old Hawklaw Government Communication Centre.   From there on it was all downhill, past KingaskFarmhouse and Buildings, with some lovely views of the open countryside, towards Foodieash Village (stopping along the way to feed the horses)    Through Foodieash Village along a country track towards ‘B’ listed Hilton House (with beautiful drive adorned with daffodils)   Down the road now towards Cupar town centre and back to the car park.   A short drive to Muddy Boots for tea/coffee and lovely fruit scones enjoyed by all .

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Linlithgow Sunday 16th March 2014

Charlie wrote -

Twenty one walkers took part in today's walkabout in Linlithgow, a town bounded by the Union Canal to the south and the Palace and Loch to the north. 

  Setting off from the Station, East Car Park, and passing through an area called St Magdalene's, named after the local Distillery and now tastefully transformed into flats, we joined the Union Canal.   Proceeded via the Linlithgow Basin to Preston Road where we headed into town crossing the High Street to meet the Loch Trail.   Any connection with Rhona? 

 We circled the loch which accommodates sailing, fishing and a variety of wildlife, and with a minor deviation through The Cross, where the splendid Town House building stands, the Market Lane returned us to the loch side.   The Palace, a truly outstanding building, was next to be admired, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and home of the Stewart Kings.   On completion of the trail, refreshments were taken locally and a pleasant 5 miles walk came to a close on return to the car park with some window shopping along the way.



Sunday, February 23, 2014


Audrey writes -----14 of us got a bit wet on the first part of our walk from Leslie to Riverside / Town park  Glenrothes, on Sunday, but the weather soon improved, so we could all enjoy the snowdrops on our way back to collect cars, then off to Balgeddie hotel for tea and scones.

Thank everyone who didn't complain about the wee detour.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Abercorn to Blackness

Charlie writes...
Sixteen members of the walking group made tracks to the village of Abercorn which is near the shore of the River Forth in West Lothian, just three miles from the Forth Road Bridge.
 Abercorn once housed a monastery and a castle which are no longer evident, but the small church is, and has been since the 12th century. A small museum is housed in the churchyard.
The walk of approximately 5 miles to Blackness and return took us through woodland, over the Black Burn and across grassland.
Blackness originally served as a port for Linlithgow and is dominated by Blackness Castle, an impressive structure which was both a residence and a prison.

Although it was cold and windy at times it was refreshing to be in the midst of such beautiful surroundings with panoramic views of the Forth Bridges, Fife and the Ochil hills.
A pleasant walk was rounded off with refreshments being taken at a nearby Garden Centre accompanied by chat and a customary browse in the shop.
Thanks to Joe Stark for photos.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Johnny Marshall's Loan



The first walk of the year was a local walk with 14 walkers taking part. Leaving the cars at Kirkcaldy Health Centre car park we headed for what is locally known as “the Mid Den”. Many comments were made that although we all lived locally; few of us walked this way. It’s more commonly used by the pupils coming and going to Kirkcaldy High School and there are also 4 bike trails to test the skills of cyclists.
At the top of “the den” we crossed the B981 and headed West, past Kirkcaldy High and took a left into Rosemount Avenue which led straight ahead to Johnny Marshall’s Loan. Now a wee breather to allow us all to catch up sent Mary delving into Joe’s backpack. Oh sweeties we all thought but no, nothing less than 2 bottles of Mary’s home made Ginger Wine, disposable cups and shortbread. A Happy New Year to all our walkers. Jo seemed mightily relieved that it was only the empty bottles he had to carry home

Continuing up the Loan we skirted Dunnikier Estate on our left with Dunnikier Golf Club on our right until we reached the boundary to the A92. The track was muddy and slippery at points but a wee bit of frost the previous night had hardened some of the mud, so it was not as bad as originally thought. Turning easterly we continued until we reached the walkway over the A92, where we then turned left down a track which eventually took us out at Carberry Road which led onto Dunnikier Way. A short stretch on this and then we turned into Embo Street which led us to Dunnikier House Hotel for our afternoon refreshments.
A roaring log fire greeted us and we were shown into the dining room where we enjoyed tea, coffee and scones and as usual much chat. It was lovely and cosy and eventually with regret we had to say farewell and make our way on the path through the grounds and back onto Dunnikier way and a short hop, skip and jump back to the cars. We were all feeling the cold by this time, so gathering together we said our Gaelic Blessing before taking our leave. Cheers here’s to the next walk