Tread gently through Benarty’s hillside wood, or you might wake the sleeping giant


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.

Walking Viewpoint

Life’s essentials

There’s a café and toilets at the RSPB Loch Leven nature reserve, and places to eat, drink and shop in Ballingry or Kinross.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

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.

Contact: Forest Enterprise Scotland

Address: Five Sisters House, Five Sisters Business Park, West Calder

Postcode: EH55 8PN

Telephone: 0300 067 6700


How to get here

Benarty Wood lies just to the west of Ballingry village in Fife.

Take Hill Road out of Ballingry, passing 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.

Using SatNav?

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.

Public transport

The nearest railway station is at Lochgelly and there are regular buses from Lochgelly station to Ballingry. Find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

At Cardenden you can discover an ancient tower and a meandering burn in an attractive wooded ravine. Blairadam is a lovely wood in a landscape designed by the famous Adam family.

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.

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