dunfermline To Falkland By Loch Leven

Forth To Tay

Route length: 34 miles

A church or sacred site

Destination hub

Dunfermline Abbey

The first church on this site was founded by St Margaret in 1072. Its remains can be viewed through a hole in the floor of the nave of its successor, built from 1128 on for David I, Margaret’s son. The buttresses seen in this view were added in 1620-25. The spire dates from about 1500, and the other tower from 1811, when it was added to designs by William Stark. On the right is part of the church built in 1818-21 to replace the long-demolished choir of the abbey church.


Dunfermline Abbey Parish Church

Edenshead Church, Gateside

Falkland Parish Church

Strathmiglo Parish Church

Portmoak Parish Church, Scotlandwell

Orwell Parish Church, Milnathort

Kinross Parish Church

Kelty Parish Church

By Road

From Dunfermline it is suggested that drivers return to the M90, turning North as far as junction 6. Enter Kinross, following signs for the loch. Leave Kinross southwards on the B996, and at Gairneybridge turn left on to the B9097. After passing Vane Farm RSPB centre stop in the car park/picnic site on the left. Walk down to the edge of Loch Leven to see St Serfs isle.

Continue and turn left on to the B920, and left again on to the A911 to go through Scotlandwell. You may wish to stop to see, and taste the waters of, the healing well as did Robert the Bruce.

Continue, and branch right on to the B919, and turn right on to the A91. In Strathmiglo turn right on to the A912 to reach Falkland.

By Cycle

From Dunfermline cyclists will take route 764 eastwards to rejoin NCN 1, and here turn North. The route goes over the Cleish Hills. Continue to follow NCN1 in to Kinross, there turning right to reach the pier.

Leave Kinross southwards on the B996, and at Gairneybridge turn left on to the B9097. You are now on the road to Vane Farm RSPB centre. At Vane Farm go off the road to join the Loch Leven path. When cycling on this route please give way to walkers. Follow the path round the loch, with several views of St Serf's isle. The path goes all the way to Kinross, but you will leave the path before this in order to cross the A911 and take the minor road/track past Wester Balgeddie and Glenlomond. You have now rejoined NCN1 which went round the East and North sides of Loch Leven.

Before reaching Strathmiglo you may like to walk up to the base of West Lomond to see the 'Bunnet Stane'.

From Strathmiglo follow NCN 1 to Falkland.

By Foot

There is a very pleasant walking and cycling path round Loch Leven from Kinross to Vane Farm. http://www.lochlevenheritagetrail.co.uk/

Walkers may also like to follow the cycle route from Wester Balgeddie to Strathmiglo, and make the short detour to see The Bunnet Stane.

There is a pleasant walk, also sharing the cycle route, between Strathmiglo and Falkland.

By Public Transport

Dunfermline, Kinross, Vane Farm, Kinnesswood, Westerbalgedie, Milnathort, Strathmiglo, and Falkland are served by bus routes. (Check timetables for other stops).

The nearest railway station to Falkland is Ladybank. There is a bus service from Ladybank to Falkland.

Public transport information can be found on the Traveline website.

St Margaret honoured the older Celtic traditions while also encouraging the best of modern European monasticism. Loch Leven brings these worlds together. At Kinross, at the head of the promontory is an ancient chapel and burial ground looking out to the island where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Lochleven Castle. Coming back along the near side of the loch you look out from Vane Farm Nature Reserve to St Serf’s Island where a Culdee monastic refuge was succeeded by a medieval priory, of which little is now visible. Further on you reach the village of Scotlandwell with its remarkable healing well. There was a major pilgrim hostel here which has disappeared, and historic Portmoak Church is sited at the other end of the village. If time allows a full circuit of Loch Leven by foot, bicycle or car is a rewarding experience.

Continuing to Falkland, the hunting palace of the Stewart Kings here has been magnificently restored with a Roman Catholic Chapel, associated with Mary Queen of Scots. This is another of the restorations supported by the Marquess of Bute and the Crichton Stuart family.

We would love to hear about your experiences on this route - please post your comments below