KINGDOM OF FIFE CYCLE ROUTE
Dunshalt to Drummy Wood (Section 9b)
The Kingdom Cycle Route (KCR) forms part of the National Cycle (NCN) Route 1 and is an integral part of the North Sea Cycle route.
The North Sea Cycle route connects mainland Scotland, to Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and England. In all 5,700 km or 3,500 miles of quiet roads and cycle tracks.
The 168 km or 105 miles KCR is a circular route linking the Forth to Tay Bridges, running from North Queensferry to Tayport and back by way of Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy.
This section covers the 11 km or 7 miles from Dunshalt to Drummy Wood
The NCN 1, in order to get closer to the North Sea switches between the north- bound and southbound portions of the KCR. My own preference is to continue on the northbound route to Newburgh and Dundee rather than the eastern portion with the extra climbing and the trail through Tentsmuir Forest. Though in saying all that it is a nice enough route for a cycle tour, in the end make up you own mind, decide between sticking to “the route” and perhaps a more suitable alternative.
The switching takes place between the village of Dunslalt (sometimes spelt Dunshalt) and a remote road junction in Drummy Wood, utilising quiet roads and even a country road with a cycle lane.
The good news is that the route takes in the historic town of Falkland, the bad news is “Cadgers Brae”, this steep hill to climb will be great news for loaded tourers.
1. The KCR turns left, off the A912 about a mile out of Strathmiglo onto a very quiet country road, follow this road all the way to a T-junction with the B936, out- side Dunshalt .
The northbound portion of the KCR goes left at this junction and heads to Auchtermuchty and Newburgh, while the NCN link route goes right at this junction. Note there is no KCR signpost directing you towards the NCN 1 link route at this junction.
Turn right and go through Dunshalt, follow the B936 around to the right and out of the village. At the far end of the village a cycle lane is marked out on the road, follow the B939 all the way to its end at a T-junction at Falkland.
2. Turn left and follow the road around the walls of the Falkland Palace, said to have the oldest tennis courts in the world, (played when Mary Queen of Scots was a lass.) Falkland is a well preserved historic town and worth a visit if you have time. Unless you intend to visit the town, continue through on the A912, and take the left turn just after the school onto the B936 for Freuchie.
3. Continue all the way through Newton of Falkland to Freuchie and the cross roads with the A92. TAKE CARE crossing this road, the motorists do not take any prisoners.
Cross straight over and pass under the railway line. To the right just before this staggered junction is a “safe” designated crossing point for cyclists for the crossing of the A914, this road is not as bad as the previous one, it is possible to cross with- out using the designated crossing point. Cross over and the fun begins. The gentle gradient develops into a serious climb as Cadgers Brae rises off the floor of the Bow of Fife. The only compensation will be the view from the top. All good things come to an end and the climb ends as you go into Kirkforthar then Drummy Woods.
4. The KCR joins up with NCN 1 at a staggered cross roads within Drummy Wood; the northbound North Sea Cycle Route turns left towards Burnturk and St. Andrews, while the southbound KCR will turn right and head for Star and Glen- rothes.
I would like to suggest a couple of alternative routes. The climb at Kingskettle is not as steep as the one at Cadgers Brae the only disadvantage of the Kingskettle climb is the cyclist must use a short stretch of the A914, which for a reasonably proficient cyclist should present no dangers, though for “Ma, Pa and the bairns” would present a serious exercise in road safety.
5. Freuchie, take the first left turning at what looks like a village green and fol- low the road around to the right, this road leads down to a cross roads with the A92. The same warning applies for this crossing point as it does in step 3. Take care in crossing straight over, follow the road up to then under the railway line then turn first left after the railway bridge, follow the road through Kingskettle to a cross roads then turn right onto the B9129. On the way up to the junction have a look at the wall of the house in the field to the left. Built into the wall is a very cleverly camouflaged pill box. This pill box fortification was part of the second line of de- fence against the threatened German invasion.
6. At the T-junction turn left then first right taking heed of traffic from behind. Climb up the hill and take the first left, follow this road into Burnturk.
7. Join the KCR at a T-junction, St. Andrews left, Kirkcaldy right.
An alternative route by-passing Falkland is available for those that would wish to take a quieter, flatter route. At Dunshalt, as you enter the village on the B936 go straight on (sign posted for Freuchie) rather than following the B936 around to the left. I would strongly suggest following this road all the way to Freuchie then taking the first left when you enter the village, cross the A92 and follow the route at step 5. to the railway line and Kingskettle
All Material Copyright Of Wallace Shackleton