The Location

Pittencrieff Park is on the western edge of Dunfermline in Fife

What's there

Pittencrieff Park, or 'The Glen', is a large park in Dunfermline town, with a cafe, museum, public toilets, formal gardens and the site of King Malcolm's tower. The winding paths through the glen are really picturesque and popular with dog owners. Dunfermline town with all its amenites is right at the entrance gates. The walk as described is not wheelchair accessible, but there are lots of paths through the park that are. The only potential problem for dogs, is the large numbers of grey squirrels in the woods.

How to get there

For SatNav, the post code is KY12 8QH.
Walking from the town, head straight down the High Street, and you will find the main entrance gates to the park at the bottom, where the road bends to the right.
By car, turn off the M91 onto the A832M, then turn right at the roundabout at the end of the motorway, signposted for Dunfermline. Follow this road up for just over a mile, then when you reach a roundabout under a railway viaduct, turn right and up to another roundabout. Take the second left here, signposted Kincardine bridge, and follow this road along above the town centre, past a couple of sets of traffic lights, and over the Glen Bridge. A short way past here you will see the main car park for Pittencrieff park on your left. There are numerous pay car parks nearer the town centre, but this car park is free.

The Walk

You can see a map of the route here.
From the car park, head left uphill to Andrew Carnegie's statue, then along to the main gates. About 20 yards before the gates, you will see a flight of steps on the right, heading down into the trees. Go down these steps, turn left, then bear right again down a pathway that winds down to the bottom of the Glen. Turn left at the bottom and cross the Tower burn by a stone footbridge, then follow the path along the left bank of the burn, through an archway under the roadway, and along to a wooden footbridge that crosses back over the burn. Now follow the burn down until you come to another footbridge, cross the burn again, and follow it down through some trees and back over another footbridge until you almost reach the bottom exit.
Turn right here and head back uphill again on the path between the grassy area and the wood until you reach the entrance to the formal Laird's garden. Walk through the garden, and maybe visit the glasshouse, then along past the Laird's house, which is now a museum. Just past the house, turn right at the path crossroads, down through the trees to the main drive. Turn left here and follow this path along behind the Italian Garden (toilets here) to the Pavillion Cafe. Turn right here and walk up the path past the engine and the children's play area back to the car park.

This is one suggested walk, but Pittencrieff park is a maze of paths and walkways. The 'red route' on the attached map shows the pathway from the cathedral up to Malcolm Canmore's tower. You could also chose a longer walk round the open grassy area to the south.

Meche by a tree in full autumn colour


There are at least three famous people associated with Dunfermline, Malcolm Canmore, St. Margaret and Andrew Carnegie.
Malcolm and St. Margaret lived in turbulent times, during the birth pangs of the kingdoms of Scotland and England. Malcolm's father was Duncan I, who was killed in battle by Macbeth, of Shakespear fame. Accounts of the time are sketchy, but by tradition Malcolm was sent off into exile, possibly to the court of Edward the Confessor in England. After about 17 years, Malcolm returned to Scotland and killed Macbeth, with some help from Edward the Confessor, and became king of Scotland. It may have been then that he got the name Malcolm Canmore, which literally means big head, but might also mean Great Chief. Malcolm moved the Scottish royal residence from Forteviot down to Dunfermline and you can see the remains of Malcolm's Tower on a hill spur above the ravine.
When Edward died, William the Conqueror eventually took the English throne, and the decendants of the Confessor fled, making their way to Scotland. Malcolm married Margaret, the great niece of the Confessor, and they had several children, founding a dynasty that lasted for hundreds of years. Malcolm led several raids into northern England, either for booty or to establish a claim to the northern counties. He was eventually ambushed just north of Alnwick and killed. There is a large cross on the site where he was supposed to have been killed, mentioned on the Alnwick River Walks page on this site. Canmore's body was brought back to Scotland and buried at Dunfermline Abbey.

St. Margaret was actually born in modern day Hungary. Margaret was said to be very beautiful, well educated and very pious. She helped establish a number of reforms in Scotland, including the idea that common people should not be made to work on a Sunday, She also founded a number of churches and monastries and organised a ferry service between the modern towns of North and South Queensferry over the Forth of Firth, so pilgrims could easily get to St. Andrews. Margaret died of a broken heart when Malcolm and her eldest son were killed in ambush at Alnwick. She was made a Saint by the Pope years later, based on her charitable works when alive, and miracles around her grave. Her bones were then exhumed and put into a reliquary, but when it was carried through Dunfermline Abbey past Malcolm's grave, it became too heavy for the bearers to move. Malcolm's remains were then also disinterred and the pair are supposed to be buried together next to the high altar.

Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 in Dunfermline. He was the son of a handloom weaver, but when powerlooms were introduced, his father was put out of work. His family then emigrated to the USA when he was 12, and settled in Pittsburgh. He soon started work as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory. He improved himself at night school, became a telegrapher (high technology in those days), then eventually became a superintendent in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He also invested in steel and railroad companies, and was a rich man by the age of 30. He foresaw just how important steel would become in the future of the USA, and in a visit to the UK, he saw how the Bessemer process would revolutionise steel making. He brought this knowledge back to the USA and built up a steel making conglomerate that he eventually sold for 480 million dollars. He then retired and spent most of his money on philanthropic works, including several for his home town of Dunfermline. Pittencreiff park is one part of the lasting legacy of a true rags to riches story.

Facilities on this Walk

Cafe nearby
Pub nearby
Poo bins available
Toilets available
Wheelchair accessible
Historical buildings near the walk

Walks Near Here

Tap or Click on the Icon to see a picture of each walk. Click below the picture to visit the walk page.


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