scone To St. Andrews

From Coast to Coast

Route length: 34 miles

A church or sacred site

Destination hub

Balmerino Abbey

A fine example of a 13th-century Cistercian monastery. The abbey was founded by Queen Ermengarde in 1229. The site was known as a place of healing and still retains a calm, serene atmosphere.


Abernethy Round Tower

Parish Church of St Athernase, Leuchars

St Columba’s Roman Catholic Church, Cupar

The Scottish Episcopal Church of St James the Great, Cupar

St John’s Parish Church, Cupar

Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit Parish Church

The former Moonzie Parish Church

Kilmany Parish Church

Gauldry Church of Scotland

Balmerino Parish Church

Criech Parish Church

The former Dunbog Parish Church. Dunbog

Abdie Parish Church

The former St Magridin’s Church, Abdie

Newburgh Parish Church

Abernethy and Dron Parish Church, Abernethy

By Road

First go back into Perth and then leave by the A912, turning left onto the A913. From Newburgh stay on the A913 past Lindores to Cupar. Now take the A91 to Guardbridge and on into St Andrews.

By Cycle

Return to Perth.
An NCN route is planned for the future to go from Perth to Newburgh. Meantime, follow quieter streets until joining the A912 at Friarton. Stay on the A912 until Bridge of Earn. Here branch right for Newbigging and there turn left. Cross over the A912 onto the A913 towards Newburgh. Branch right a mile and a half before Newburgh, or carry on into Newburgh. Join NCN 776. Turn right on the B936, and right again to go past Grange of Lindores. Follow this road until meeting the B937 in Collessie Den. Turn left in Collessie to pass Monimail. At Letham go straight ahead, and right at Cunnoquhie. Turn left on the A92, and immediately right for Cupar. Leave Cupar on the B940. Bear left for Kemback where you join NCN1. Follow this to St Andrews

By Foot

Walkers can cut off at Bridge of Earn, going past Culfargie to reach Abernethy (5 miles).
They can also explore The Old Road to Macduff's Cross
 http://www.heritagepaths.co.uk/pathdetails.php?path=92 (1.4 miles each way)

By Public Transport

There are railway stations at Perth and Cupar.
There are buses from Old Scone to Perth and from Perth to Newburgh. This service carries on to Freuchie from where you can change for Letham and Newport on Tay, or for Cupar, Ceres and St Andrews.

Public transport information can be found on the Traveline website.

Crossing the Tay and travelling the last leg to St Andrews you follow the path of kings, queens, hermits, and thousands of ordinary people through the medieval centuries. The monastic round tower at Abernethy points your way. There was a very old Celtic monastery here dedicated to St Brigid, and perhaps founded by members of her community. Sacred legend retains a priestess tradition in the Abernethy story of St Donald and his nine saintly daughters, echoing even older Pictish lore of the nine maidens. There is an excellent local museum adjacent to the present churchyard, which is also the site of the monastery.

A direct route takes you by the market town of Cupar and its historic churches. Alternatively, staying close to the river by Newburgh you visit the peaceful monastery ruins of Balmerino. There are few areas of Scotland which retain so much of their medieval character as north-east Fife with its rich farmland surrounding prosperous villages and towns. On this leg the Tay broadens out into a sparkling sandy estuary to meet the bracing North Sea. The contast with the tree sheltered river banks at Dunkeld could not be greater.

By Leuchars and Guardbridge, you see your destination- a cluster of towers and spires where Scotland meets Europe by the salt-crested sea. Pilgrims, ancient and modern, are drawn to this spot where rock abuts the ocean, and time meets eternity.

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