- Created: December 1, 2017
- Distance Instructions
- Distance 7.23 km
- Duration 1 h 48 min
- AVG speed 4.0 km/h
- Min altitude 93 m
- Peak 276 m
- Climb 253 m
- Descent 216 m
The Sleeping Giant Pathway connects Lochore Meadows with Loch Leven and is a very enjoyable walk.
There are many walking routes around both lochs and some of these have been shared through Walk Fife.
This route brings the two sides of Benarty Hill together in a Grade 3 route that is suitable for the more adventurous walker.
The route can be approached from other end but in this route we begin outside the new visitor centre in Lochore Meadows Country Park - http://www.lochoremeadows.org.uk/. There are plenty of places topiary your car and the park can be reached by the local bus service. There is a cafe and toilet facilities available in the park.
Leaving the starting point, head West along the Northern shore of the loch. The views over the loch can be stunning especially when the sun hits the surface of the water and you get almost a double sky effect. Follow the loch edge for approximately 1.5km as it slowly heads away from the shore and at OS Grid Reference NT 1577 9596 take the pathway sign posted for Harran Hill.
Head through the gate making sure you close it after you pas through it and follow the path up the wooded Harran Hill. The path can be very muddy and in autumn these areas of mud are hidden by a carpet of fallen leaves so take care where you are walking and wear suitable footwear.
The path can be steep in places as you make your way up and over the hill. There are sign posts that will help guide you along the path which stretches over 1.5km until it meets the road leading to Ballingry and the parking spot for Benarty Hill. At the parking spot you will see a map board showing the Sleeping Giant Pathway. This map can be downloaded as a PDF from The Living Lomond website - http://www.livinglomonds.org.uk/trailheads-walks/lochore-meadows-trailhead/
Cross the road and 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 Benarty Hill. The views over the countryside below are stunning so make sure you bring a camera.
As the path approaches the Ballingry it veers left and upwards on a rocky vehicle track. 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 view that greets you as you follow the path out of the wood and around the hill is breathtaking. You can see the whole of Loch Leven and onwards towards the snow capped beyond.
This next stretch enters the RSPB Loch Leven reserve - https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/l/lochleven/ - and as such you are asked to be as quiet as possible so you do not disturb the local birdlife and annoy the many bird watchers that you will find on this side of the hill.
The path winds it’s way down the hill through the reserve and arrives at the visitor centre. This a good place to drop by to find out more about the reserve and you can enjoy a well earned cuppa in it’s cafe. There are also plenty picnic benches and seating outside the centre where you can rest your feet before heading back over the hill. The walk back is is less strenuous but is steep in the first stages of the climb back up the hill.
One way, this route is roughly 7.5km long and will take approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to complete at a good walking pace and it is a great route to walk with friends.
Route shared with Walk Fife by Sean Makin.
View route on OS Maps -
1. Lochore Meadows Country Park
Situated in the heart of Fife, Lochore Meadows Country Park has over 1,200 acres to explore. It's a great place to visit with a wide range of leisure and recreational activities that cater for all the family. There is cafe, picnic areas and toilet facilities are available.