- Created: November 12, 2018
- Distance Instructions
- Distance 9.17 km
- Duration 2 h 18 min
- AVG speed 4.0 km/h
- Min altitude 180 m
- Peak 346 m
- Climb 327 m
- Descent 327 m
Benarty Hill is one of my favourite small hills in Fife.
This 9km walking route takes you a number of points on the hill where you can enjoy some beautiful views.
Benarty Hill has been mentioned several times on our website and through our podcast thanks to the wonderful Sleeping Giant Pathway which connects Lochore with Loch Leven.
While this is a great route to wander, the hill actually has a number of different routes across it where you can enjoy some magnificent views to the North into Perthshire and to the South across the Kingdom of Fife. I had a few hours to kill one afternoon so decided to explore some of these trails. Many of the older established trails that can be viewed on older maps of the area have been destroyed by recent forestry work but there are still some of these paths that have escaped and provided some easy going and rewarding walking.
The start point for this route is a little parking spot at the base of the Forestry Commission plantation. There is enough space for 4-5 medium sized cars but make sure you keep your car tight into the edge to avoid blocking the road. The start point can also be reached from Lochore Meadows Country Park.
Enter Benarty Hill Woods and head up the steep stepped path way. This part of the route will certainly get your heart and lungs working and is not for walkers who have limited abilities. The path begins to level out as it heads East around the base of Benarty Hill. As the path approaches the Ballingry it veers left and upwards on a rocky vehicle track. The Forestry Commission are working in this are so make sure you pay attention to signage and barriers as you navigate your way along the rough access road.
Pass through the gate (making sure you close it after you pass through) at the top of the slope and take the dirt path on the left up the slope (this is where you leave the Sleeping Giant Pathway). This path is muddy and will lead you up to the ridge of the hill itself. The trees give way to heather covered rough moorland and the path leads you along the top of the hill towards the Western side. The views down over Loch Leven are superb and don’t be surprised if you suddenly see a glider low overhead as the Scottish Glider Centre is nearby and they like to soar over Benarty Hill.
The walking is fairly easy going but uneven so watch your footing. The path leads you to a steep slope (OS Grid Reference NT 1502 97738) this may be where some people may choose to stop as it can be tricky to climb up and down the slope especially in wet weather but the views from this pint are still superb. If you choose to carry on up the slope then you are treated to some great views to the West.
After climbing back down the slope retrace you steps back along the ridge and head towards the OS Trig Point fowling the well established path. From the Trig Point follow the path through the heather and gorse South East to the large rock cairn that marks the top of Benarty’s adjoining hilltop, SeaMark. The views over Fife from this point are surprising and it is worth taking some time to enjoy the view.
Before the forestry operations it was possible to head down from Seamark back to the start point but sadly the paths have been destroyed and the access ways that do exists are only for those with sure feet and good balance (especially in poor weather) so I advice that you back track your rote back to the ridge and head back down the hill following the route you followed up.
Once you are back on the access track, half way down you can decide to carry on back to the car park following your steps or you can opt to head down the hill to the road that runs along the base of the hill (OS Grid Reference NT 1624 9745). This road is easy walking but care has to be taken as it can be quite busy especially at the weekend.
Walk Fife note: Please abide by the Highway Code for walkers - you can learn more by visiting http://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/safety/highway-code-for-walkers.aspx
While not the highest hill in the Kingdom, Benarty Hill certainly punches above it’s weight in terms of scenery and walking.
Route shared with Walk Fife by Sean Makin.
View route on OS Maps -