Enjoy the tranquility of Monkstown Wood
The path that loops through this compact pinewood is wide, flat and firm, so it’s a great choice for a gentle stroll or bike ride. Look out for the unusual horseshoe shaped seat where a whole family or group can gather for a picnic or wildlife-watching. There’s a pond beside the path too, so you might spot tadpoles, frogs, waterboatmen and colourful dragonflies.
This easy circuit is easy to reach on foot from Ladybank and is ideal for stretching your legs and getting some fresh air. Take a look at the Monkstown Wood map. It’s recommended as a Walk4Life route too.
There are plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in nearby Ladybank village. You’ll find public toilets at Victoria Park on Beech Avenue and, during opening hours, at Ladybank Library and Ladybank railway station.
Mountain biking trails
Look out for a memorial cairn at the start of the path. It’s made from 370 million year old sandstone, which forms the bedrock beneath Ladybank. The cairn also contains twelve other types of rocks that were carried into the area by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Look closely to spot the different colours and textures of the stones.
The cairn and path are named in memory of Alan Crawford, who lived in Ladybank all his life and worked tirelessly for the community. The path, which was Alan’s idea, was created in 2007 in partnership with Howe of Fife Rotary, Ladybank Community Council and the Ladybank Forest Users Group.
Monks, marshes and a lady’s bog
Wondering why this wood is called Monkstown? When the monks of Lindores Abbey near Newburgh were given the rites to cut peat for fuel here in the 13th century, they named the peat-moss ‘Our Lady’s Bog’, later shortened to Ladybog. When the railway arrived here 600 years later, it was decided to call the new station the rather prettier name of Ladybank. The village that grew up around the station adopted the name too, while this corner is still known as Monkstown.
How to get here
Monkstown Wood is beside the A92, just west of Ladybank village, near Cupar in Fife.
The main entrance and small car park are off the B938, close to the junction with the A92, at grid reference NO 298095.
KY15 7JX is the nearest postcode.
There are regular trains and buses between Edinburgh and Dundee and Perth that stop at Ladybank Railway Station. Find details at Traveline Scotland.
Why not explore the rest of Ladybank Woods? Choose Heatherhall Wood for longer easy strolls, explore the informal paths to find ponds at Cairnfield Muir and Gravelpit Wood or discover an avenue of elegant old beeches amid the pine at South Annsmuir.
Alternatively, head to Devilla, another great red squirrel stronghold, or choose Benarty, where you can climb the wooded slopes of Benarty Hill for superb views over the Lomond Hills, Loch Leven and the Firth of Forth, or the atmospheric pine forest beside a sweeping sandy beach at Tentsmuir.
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