Explore the hillside of Benarty
Seen from the north, the long ridge of Benarty Hill looks like a sleeping giant – so be careful not to disturb him as you explore the lovely woodland on its southern slopes. It’s a steep, rough climb up through the trees to the heathery ridge, but well worth it for the panoramic views over Fife, Loch Leven, the Lomond Hills and the Firth of Forth.
Please note, forestry operations are now underway within the woodland. For your safety please follow any onsite signage.
There’s a café and toilets at the RSPB Loch Leven nature reserve, and places to eat, drink and shop in Ballingry or Kinross.
Mountain biking trails
Exploring Benarty Wood
There are about 4 miles (6km) of trails to explore through the wood, beginning with a set of steep steps leading up from the parking area. Look out for bluebells and wood anemones in spring, roe deer amongst the trees and buzzards circling overhead. If you’re feeling energetic, you can extend your route down the northern slope of Benarty Hill to reach the RSPB’s Loch Leven nature reserve beside the loch.
A panoramic viewpoint
From the ridge of Benarty Hill the views are spectacular. To the north you look out over Loch Leven to the Southern Highlands, the twin peaks of the Lomond Hills rise up to the east, and Loch Ore and the Firth of Forth glitter to the south. On a clear day, you might even spot the Isle of Arran 80 miles (130 km) to the west. You can appreciate why our Iron Age ancestors built forts on the ridge here – it’s a tremendous vantage point.
How to get here
Benarty Wood lies just to the west of Ballingry village in Fife.
Take Hill Road out of Ballingry, passing Benarty Community Centre and St Kenneth’s Primary School. Follow this road for about a mile (1.6km), then look for a layby on the right hand side at grid reference NT 159 969. You’ll see the path leading up some steps from the layby. Alternatively, park in Ballingry and walk or cycle to the start of the trail.
KY5 8LS is the nearest postcode. This is for Hill Road on the edge of Ballingry – the wood is another mile (1.6km) farther west along the road.
The nearest railway station is at Lochgelly and there are regular buses from Lochgelly station to Ballingry. Find details at Traveline Scotland.
Enjoy easy lochside trails at nearby Lochore Meadows Country Park, and watch for birds at the RSPB’s Loch Leven nature reserve. There are also great trails for walking, cycling and horse riding in the Lomond Hills.
Share your experience
For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.