Please be aware that the landowner at St Ninian’s may be carrying out site maintenance involving large machinery and significant groundworks.
The Dunfermline to Lochore Meadows section starts in historic Dunfermline. Scotland’s newest city was a chief draw for pilgrims to Fife for centuries. Today you can visit Dunfermline Abbey nave, which is under the care of Historic Environment Scotland. The Abbey overlooks picturesque Pittencrieff Park with its parkland, woods, river, café and resident peacocks! There is lots to see and many cafés and restaurants to enjoy.
The path leaves Dunfermline through open countryside and heads through the village of Kingseat to Loch Fitty and Blairadam Forest. The path at Loch Fitty can be very wet after heavy rain so please take care. Blairadam Forest is managed by Forest and Land Scotland and was once home to renowned Scottish architect William Adam. He planted woodland and mined for coal across the estate. There is still evidence of this area’s industrial past today.
The route passes through the former opencast mining site of St Ninian’s at mile 13 to 14. The American landscape designer and art historian Charles Jencks has created fascinating landscape art on its grassy mounds.
From there the Dunfermline to Lochore Meadows section of the path passes under the M90 motorway. An oasis of countryside leads to the charming hamlet of Keltybridge and on to Kelty. Then the path leads to Lochore Meadows Country Park, which has public toilets, a café, parking, a watersports centre and waymarked walks.
You can read more about Dunfermline’s Royal history in The Story of Fife Pilgrim Kingdom on our website.
Lochore Castle is near the country park’s entrance. It was established by Robert the Burgundian in around 1128 and was the Lochore family’s fortress home. Excavations in 2015 revealed medieval pottery imported from France, fine window glass, and a carved stone shot-hole.
The castle originally stood on an island, however a large channel was cut to drain Loch Ore in 1792. This island was a Celtic crannog dating to at least the 10th century. The castle’s medieval name was Inchgall, a Gaelic word meaning ‘Island of the Strangers’. This name refers to the French knights who took over the site.
The castle passed successively to the Vallance, or Valognes family, and the Wardlaws of Torrie in the 15th century. Many pilgrims may have been drawn to take the waters at Scotlandwell. But others may have travelled past Inchgall Castle due to the potential safety it offered from bandits!