Sunday, December 15, 2019


We had a lot to get through today so as soon as we could, the ‘15 walkers walking’ set off like an added addition to the 12 days of christmas on our local walk leaving Dianne and Ian behind at the church to make the preparations for the crafting we had to look forward to on our return. 

We set off from the church heading towards the old  Forth Park Maternity Hospital briefly pausing to have a look at the demolition work that has been started on it’s transformation into luxury flats.  Heading towards Longbraes we carried on, uphill all the way until we reached the top stopping to look downwards over Kirkcaldy, then downhill and a left turn bringing us onto Oriel Road. Here we began the journey back to the church, weaving through various streets until reaching our destination. Thanks to Hilda for planning our walk.

Crafting time was about to begin


Stephen and Ian had been tasked with creating a rustic christmas tree from old pallet wood with a very successful end result. 

Luckily Dianne had already started to prepare our wooden boards with stag templates for our string art session saving us a fair bit of time and showing what we should be doing. 

It certainly wasn’t as easy as it looked and unfortunately most of us ran out of time as our food was due to arrive. However we were able to take our crafts home to finish at our leisure. 

Valente’s delivered directly to the church, a variety of puddings, fish and chips which was enjoyed by everyone. 

We still had our fun quiz arranged by Ian and Sybil to look forward to. Allegedly easy but only easy if you knew the answers (which I didn’t). Once the quiz came to an end, it was time to tidy up the church hall and wish everyone a Merry Christmas before we headed home. 

Yet again, another great day spent with lovely people. A big thank you to everyone who arranged a part of it and to all those who attended making the event as enjoyable as it was. And yes, when I got home I did finish my stag!

See you all next year. Merry Christmas Everyone!


And the finished articles - well done Kerry and Isobel

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Sunday 24th November,

Twelve walkers set off a bit earlier than usual at 12.30 and made our way to the car park behind Boots in Glenrothes where we intended to start our walk. When we got there we encountered our first problem as sneaky Fife Council have introduced a 3 hour limit on car parking in Glenrothes car parks. I might add that they have done this without any consultation with our group whatsoever. We decided to take the chance that we would be back within the time allowed and set off. We had agreed to begin by stopping in at Studio 8 as there was a craft fair going on but once we got there we were all keen to get off again due to our tight schedule. We crossed over Lidl's car park and into Town park passed some unusual looking totem poles no doubt erected by a tribe of Indians in the early 1900's. Actually the 14 poles are a sculpture created by artist David Harding in 1976 to represent architectural styles of early civilisations including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Inca and Aztecs.  We carried on through the park alongside a very high and fast flowing River Leven before an impromptu photo while Dianne had her picture taken sitting on the back of one of the stone hippos littered around the park. 
A bit further on , after some muddy boots bits we came to the main Glenrothes to Leslie road and walked up to the roundabout by the giant irises which appeared first at the Glasgow garden festival of 1990. We had arranged for our coffeeand scones stop early in the Fettykill Fox except that they didn't do scones, but not to be outdone Dianne had brought a fine scone selection, some butter and jam with her. We all tucked into them while chatting about nothing in particular and were served tea/coffee by a very helpful member of staff. It was getting a bit when we got ready to continue with our walk and started to leave. As Janice was getting up to leave she got her foot caught on the leg of the table and fell onto the fireplace injuring her back. The result was that an ambulance was called by a staff member. However when the attending paramedics arrived it was decided that Janice was able to go home without a hospital visit as she thankfully wasn't badly injured. By this time it was obvious that darkness was falling and our walk should be cut shortThere have been some bumps and scratches on previous walks but this is the first time anyone has been injured during our coffee break. Roll on our next one.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Coaltown of Balgonie circular

Meeting at our usual spot, we were prepared for a bit of a wet one today, not at all like the last time this walk was done in June 2017 when looking back on the last blog we were wrapped in “hoodies and scarves” this time it was hoodies, scarves, hats and brollies! A bit of a dreich welcome for our two new walkers Elizabeth and Irene.

Parking on the Main Street of Coaltown of Balgonie we headed up the path running beside Lady Nina Cottages onto a farm track. We followed the track pausing briefly to stop at the bridge which takes you over the railway line just in time to give a cheery Bennochy Walkers wave to the train passing below us. Much to our enjoyment the driver recipricated by a toot of his horn! This farm track forms part of the Balgonie Estate which according to the signage is a conservation area for the grey Partridge which has suffered a 91% decline since the 1960’s.

We carried on battling against the rain, through the mud and glaur, slipping and sliding along the remainder of the circular route until we reached the housing scheme at Milton of Balgonie with its welcome mud free pavements. Before long we were back at our cars stopping for a quick photo before heading back to Kirkcaldy Garden Centre which was our coffee stop for today.

Once the tables were organised to seat the 14 walkers, it was time for our coffee and cakes. Whilst enjoying our refreshments we were joined by Ian and Sybil for the coffee and chat. 

One things for sure however damp the weather, it never dampens the Bennochy Walkers chit chat!

Until next time, 



Sunday, September 08, 2019

Pilgrims way stage 3

It was a lovely sunny day, just perfect for the dozen walkers who were about to embark on what was very possibly our shortest ever walk, the two mile stretch of the Pilgrims Way which runs between Dunfermline town centre and Queen Margaret Hospital.

The group reached the starting point after bussing it from Kirkcaldy to arrive at Dunfermline Bus Station. A short walk brought them to Dunfermline Abbey which was to be a feature of todays programme. Unfortunately, unknown to us it was closed due to Communion being held. Not to be disappointed, we opted for coffee and cake! A good move as there is definitely an obvious lack of refreshment stops on this Pilgrims Way although I am sure the original Pilgrims would have been hard pushed to find a suitable latte stop.

Once on our way, we ventured up to the High Street then weaved our way past the retail park which eventually brought us to Leys Park where the path to Queen Margaret begins. Again, not much to see on this stretch but a pleasant enough walk along the path which runs between the back of the cemetery and the back of the Dunfermline Football ground before reaching the end where a left turn brought us to the hill leading us to Queen Margaret Hospital where we went our separate ways. 
Until next time.

Pilgrims’Way Stage 3

Seven members of the Walkers Group boarded the x27 bus, a couple of stops further on Carol joined us, our bus group was completed when another three joined us at their stop. A warm welcome to Marion Lackie on her first walk with us.
On arrival in Dunfermline we headed to the Abbey , we met with Kerry & Stephen, then found the door was locked !!!
We managed to try to visit on a day that there was a special communion service being held in the afternoon.
It would have been rude not to visit the cafe in the Library, nice coffee & cakes, a bit earlier in the day than usual, but Hey Ho !!!
Grace left us to head home , we joined The walk , a tree lined avenue, passing behind East End Football ground, before we knew it, we were at QM hospital, where today’s walk finished, K&S went walking back to their car, we walked down to the main road, a minute later a Kirkcaldy bus arrived. Perfect.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Pilgrims’ Way Stage 2

Inverkeithing to Dunfermline

As Stephen and I waited at Inverkeithing Station for the arrival of the train bringing the rest of the walkers we tried to guess how many modern day pilgrims would be daft enough to turn up on such a dismal day. We were quite surprised to find another 10 ‘dafties’ appear including a couple of new walkers, Stan and Rhona’s nephew Alan, dragged all the way from Aberdeenshire to be soaked with the rest of us on his first (and probably last) 6 and a half mile trek with Bennochy Walkers. 

The walk itself was pretty non-descript although it might have been more enjoyable had it not been for the weather. We started at Inverkeithing Station and pretty much straight away we were hit by our first, but not last fairly steep incline. It has to be said that the pilgrims Way signage is not the best. Had it not been for Mary and Rhona's previous recce I would have carried on straight up the High Street in the totally wrong direction. Luckily we were kept on track as we walked up the steep hill. Had it been a nice day, the views behind us would have been spectacular but all we could see was mist, rain and fog!

We carried on following the path which was an odd mixture of housing, roads and fields, through Rosyth continuing past the back of the Dockyard. Downhill led us to the Kincardine Road leading to Pattismuir Cemetery taking us back to the shelter of the trees. At the end of these woods we arrived at Dunfermline where the sight of Pittencrieff House in the distance was a very welcome view as this meant our walk was almost at an end. By the time we reached Dunfermline Abbey, we were cold, wet and soaked to the skin but we were all still smiling as the exercise and company was as good as always. No coffee stop this time as it was almost time for us to head our separate ways until next time when hopefully the weather will be kinder to us


Monday, July 15, 2019

Pilgrim’s Way Stage 1

Todays walk was slightly different to our normal jaunts as we were about to commence the first few miles of the newly opened Pilgrim Way. The 64 mile walk (depending on where you start as it is billed as 55 miles from North Queensferry to St Andrews if you omit Culross) officially opened on the 5th of July so the 14 walkers about to set off in the sunshine were surely one of the first groups to be lucky enough to experience the new Fife walking route
The walk started at the small lighthouse situated just under the Forth Rail Bridge which gave a chance for the walkers who were interested to climb the steps of the lighthouse to see the unusual view at the top. Once on our way, we stopped for our group photo enabling us to chart the start of our Pilgrims adventure.

The 'Lions head Well' created a bit of a talking point as it seemed to depict a man and a woman engaged in a scuffle. On further investigation legend has it that it is actually a woman defending the wells water from a sailor.

We followed the path downhill leading us in the direction of Carlingnose Point Wildlife Reserve where there was a plaque commemorating Lt George Paton of the Royal Scots Fusiliers who was killed during the First World War saving his men from a grenade thrown during a training exercise nearby.

At this stage we had gorgeous views over the water and were quite envious of the owners of the houses overlooking the beach with their fantastic views. Continuing along the path we had a quick stop for a breather  (it was getting warmer by this time) at the picnic area where we were approached by other walkers alerting us to be on the lookout as Charlie was out and about with his wee dog Hamish and might be heading our way. By now we were almost at Inverkeithing with the not so scenic scrapyards ahead of us and the quarry to our left. 

On reaching Inverkeithing it was time for our coffee stop. One thing that has been noted is the lack of refreshment stops on the Pilgrims Way but I'm sure the Pilgrims were not as lucky as us since we were able to pop into Greigs the bakers for our takeaway teas and cakes which we were able to sit and enjoy in the lovely gardens at the Inverkeithing Hospitium, an old Friary building now used as a community centre.

A short walk from here brought us to the station where we said our walkers prayer before the majority of the group caught the train back to Kirkcaldy and Stephen and I walked back the route we had just come taking us back to our car at North Queensferry.

A great start to our Pilgrims journey was had by all. 


Monday, June 17, 2019

Stirling - 10 years of Bennochy Walkers

Day One - Saturday 15th June 2019

There was much excited chatter as the minibus pulled into Elgin Street. All 14 of us (15 counting our driver Dianne) waiting patiently with packed bags ready and raring to go on the special highlight of our walking year, Bennochy Walkers 10th birthday trip to Stirling. An overnight stay - a first for the walkers at Stirling Youth Hostel but a special birthday requires something different!

Arriving at our abode for the night, we stopped just long enough to deposit our foodstuffs before heading to our first stop "The Engine Shed" where we enjoyed our tea and coffee and a piece of birthday cake before heading off on our first walk to Bridge of Allan. Taking a slight detour past the new student accommodation which is being built, I wondered if this had been a deliberate plan of the organiser as surely the building would be ready in time for next years trip Emoji

Following the road through town we reach the bridge which will take us to the village of Cambuskenneth. According to the information board the bridge was opened on 23rd October 1935 replacing the original method of transport which was a small ferry service that had existed since medieval times. Once across the bridge we continue through the village onto a rural road heading towards the Wallace Monument. In the distance we could see the castle showing how far we had walked since the minibus was parked just below. We passed both the Wallace Monument and part of Stirling University before reaching our destination at Bridge of Allan, pausing to eat our packed lunch at Provost Park and for Janice to model her newly bought hat. It was at this point the rain decided to make an appearance.

It was time to press on as we still had the next part of our walk which would take us on to Dunblane ahead of us. Up to now we had walked approx 3.8 miles. We continued along the Main Street where we encountered the actual "Bridge of Allan" from where the village takes it's name. Turning right we headed alongside the river until we reached the path named 'Darn Walk'. At this point it wasn't so much of Darned Walk as darned rain since the heavens had by this time opened. Luckily once we were at the top of the hill we were shaded by the trees. it was just past here that the group encountered a beautiful deer who stood and watched us dafties out in the wet before running for the trees. 

When we reached the village of Dunblane we stopped at the golden postbox dedicated to Sir Andy Murray where we posed for photos and a few of the group posted their postcards. It was time for "refreshments" at the Riverside Pub, although this time, most opted for a form of fermented grape juice rather than the usual tea or coffee but this was a momentous occasion after all! Before we knew it, the time had arrived to head for the bus taking us back to base just giving us enough time to get ready for our evening meal at The Stirling Highland Hotel. A good choice as everyone seemed delighted with their food.

Back to the hostel for the festivities! There was plenty to keep us occupied as the gin and wine flowed freely along with the hilarity with quizzes and games and who could forget Mary and Audreys rendition of "Sisters?" (no-one was that drunk) much to the amusement of our fellow hostellers who were equally entertained!

It was also at this point that Dianne was presented with her goodies in recognition of getting Bennochy Walkers up and running 10 years ago  and for organising our birthday trip (after all her being driver, organiser and party planner   where would we all be without her? all left in Kirkcaldy, that's where!) Just before heading to bed there was another surprise in store for Sybil since it's very close to another special birthday! One by one the party headed for bed since day 2 was looming.

Day 2 - Sunday 16th June 2019

Up and ready at the crack of dawn our chefs had been busy preparing breakfast for all at 845 prompt. Packed lunches were made and bags packed and loaded onto the minibus. I should congratulate everyone at this point since, with a little forward thinking, we all had jobs to do and everyone pulled together, working as a team and helping make the Bennochy Walkers the great group that it is.

Unfortunately todays weather wasn't so kind. It started off rather dull before turning to rain. We headed off down through the city towards Bannockburn. It was at this point some of the group decided to do their own thing ending up at Stirlings Thistle Shopping centre. The group was now down to 11. We reached Bannockburn Visitor Centre and stopped for coffee. We walked to the Bruce Statue posing for photos (in the rain) losing another 2 members when Ian and Sybil decided to head back to the city centre. The remaining 9 braved the rain to finish an approximate 3.2 mile figure of 8 loop, starting and finishing at the visitor centre before bussing it back to Stirling to meet up with the rest of the group and jump onto the minibus to head home. Of course, the birthday party had one final stop to make at South Queensferry for delicious fish and chips from Grazianos, stopping to munch them whilst enjoying the views of the bridges.

Once loaded into our minibus we were ready for the final leg of our journey back to the church pausing to recite our prayer before heading our separate ways. Good times and happy memories made with a great bunch of people, old friends and new, all different but brought together by our shared love of walking. Here's to the next 10 years!


Sunday, June 02, 2019

Kinross/ Milnathort

13 walkers gathered outside Bennochy Church for todays dander which was Milnathort/Kinross. The weather was not looking promising at all as we were joined by dark, grey skies with the threat of rain looming.

Never put off by the thought of a little bit of the wet stuff we set off in our cars to our starting point, the boathouse, Loch Leven, Kinross. Where we were joined, not by rain, but Charlie and Christine bringing the total amount of our group to 15.

Following the path with gorgeous views of the Loch on our right, the day had decided to brighten a little. It certainly wasn’t cold.
We carried on through the wooded area with an immaculately kept golf course on our right. We passed the old wrought iron gate with ornate pillars known locally as ‘Marys Gate’ named after Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned on the Island.

Carrying on until we reached the top end of Kinross, we paused while it was decided whether we continued walking or stopped for our coffee stop. By this time the sun was out and we were getting warmer so coffee break it was.

Todays venue was the ‘Heaven Sent’ tearoom who were ready for us unlike some of the customers as we were greeted with a ‘Here come the ramblers’ which I can only presume was said in jest.
The table was set upstairs which was reached by using the most novel doorway we had ever come across, a fridge! ‘Just go through the fridge and upstairs to the left’ we were told by the waitress. We had a room to ourselves, the coffee, tea and scones were delicious and service was great. 

We were now ready to head up through the town back to the starting point where we said our prayer and jumped in our cars ready for home. Thank you Carol and Bill for another great walk.

No date has been set for our next walk as it’s now only two weeks (yes, two weeks, how did that happen!) until our Stirling trip. See you all then folks!

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, May 19, 2019


We set off as usual at 12.45, nine of us in two cars and drove up to the car park in Greenside place in Leslie. One of the group remarked that they once had hangings here but it wasn't clear if they were flower baskets, pictures or the very worst members of the area's underbelly. We left the car park and set off on a section of the Monk's Walk, so called as it was once used by the members of monasteries in south of Fife as they ventured off to carry civilisation and the Christian word to the out laying places to the North including Kennoway , Cupar and across the river to Dundee and Tayside. We carried on to the High street and then across the viaduct where we met some little kids who wanted to know what we were doing and why some of us needed sticks. We then joined the network of paths and trail via this Leslie trail as the sign said. The other sign that caught my eye was one saying FORP which I thought must be Fife Organization of Roads and Paths or something but it is actually Friends Of Riverside Park, who are group of volunteers who look after the park etc. We followed this rather muddy part of the walk till we came to the River Leven and followed its bank taking us under the B969 road, across the little bridge and into the main car park. From there we strolled ( it got warmer) up the other side of the river and on passed the derelict shell of Leslie House. We stopped here to have a longer look at its sad state and agreed that it must have been a beautiful building in it's time.
It was built between 1667 and 1674 for the Duke of Rothes and became the seat of the Rothes family. It was called locally Villa de Rothes and became the centre of the village. It was such a fine house and is said to have rivalled Holyrood in size and glamour. It experienced various refurbishment more than one big fire, the last of which coming in 2009 leaving it in it's present sorry state. It is now thought to be in the hands of a developer who intends to create luxury flats but safety and planning issues have this on hold. We returned to the cars and went off for tea and scones at Alfresco in Glenrothes shopping centre where we also chose the tasks each of us would carry out on our summer trip. We had to pick the tasks for those who weren't with us thus ensuring that they got the worst tasks. Just kidding. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and the weather stayed fine. Roll on the next 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Preston Island