Coul Den Nature reserve and Formonthills in Fife, near Glenrothes
A fairly easy walk of about 3 miles from the Coul Den nature reserve then through the Formonthills Woodland to the north of Glenrothes in Fife. The walk as described takes you around the area, but there are many other paths that you could take, to shorten the route if you wish. The woodland has several carved wooden sculptures and a modern stone circle.
For SatNav, the post code is KY7 6FW.
Heading north out of Glenrothes on the A92, just past the point where the road turn to a dual carriageway, take the B969 on the left, signposed Glenrothes North and Central, Hospital. After about 250 yards, turn right at the roundabout, signposted Pitcairn. Follow this road for a short distance to another roundabout, then turn right again, along Tanna Drive. Follow this road round to the left for about 100 yards, then turn right into Calder court. The carpark is at the end of this short street, on the left.
You can see a map of the route here.
From the car park, take the path that goes behind the bungalow, then angles left towards the back of the houses. Follow this path behind the houses and then turn left down to the Pitcairn Ranger Centre. From here turn right onto a path by the recyling bins, into the woods. Cross over the burn by a small wooden bridge and turn right onto a path under the overhead cables. The path now snakes uphill through the woods, with the burn on your right. Turn right onto another path, then cross the burn by the bridge, and turn left onto a good path with black arrow marker posts. After a short while this path starts to bend right then loops back sharp left on itself. On the right you will see a modern stone circle with the stones carved with woodland animals.
Keep following this path round until you come to a sundial on the left side of the path. Take the path that leads up to the right here and follow this path around to Formonthills farm.
Walk past the buildings, with a car park on your right, then as the roadway bends left you will see a path leading off the the right. Take this path and keep heading west until you reach the park boundary. Now turn right and head north along the boundary line unitl you are level with Rhind hill. Climb up the hill and enjoy the views from the summit. Looking south towards Glenrothes you will see a totempole by the trees. Head downhill to this pole, then turn left and follow the treeline round for about half a mile, until it turns up and crosses the Coul burn, then crosses back again . Follow this path round, keeping the Coul burn just on your left, and the wonderfully named 'Hairyholes Plantation' on your right.
The path improves after a while as you enter the Coul Den nature reserve. Keep left where the path forks, and walk round the top of the reservoir and cross and recross the burn again at two bridges by a waterfall. Now the path turns south down the east side of the reservoir and splits into two. Either path will take you back through the reserve, and back to your car.
The Coul reservoir was built around 1890 to supply a bottling plant for John Haig's Markinch Distillery. The reservoir is now abandoned and partially-drained.
The Stone Circle in Formonthills is a nod to the ancient stone circles that existed in the area, for example the Balfarg henge and the Balbirnie Stone Circle.
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