A wooded ravine with an ancient tower and a meandering burn, close to the site of Scotland’s last duel


A wooded valley full of history

This wooded valley is an important link between the former mining communities of Cardenden, Dundonald and Chapel on the edge of Kirkcaldy. There’s an enticing network of paths through the mixed woodland of colourful broadleaves and conifers, including an easy stroll along the Den Burn, and the wood is full of history and wildlife. Find the remains of 16th century Carden Tower high above the burn and enjoy sweeping views across to the Lomond Hills. Our guide map of Cardenden will help you explore.

The 7½ miles (12 km) of routes through the forest are mostly earth paths with some loose gravel sections. There are gentle slopes along the burn; elsewhere there are some steep and very steep slopes.

Walking Cycling Horse riding Viewpoint

Life’s essentials

You can find places to eat, drink and shop in Cardenden and in nearby Kirkcaldy.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

History in the trees

Cardenden’s name comes from the Gaelic for ‘wooded valley’ and it’s thought to have been a royal hunting wood in the 12th century. Carden Tower, a fortified house in a commanding position high above the burn, is over 400 years old. It stands close to an open cast mine, a reminder of the area’s long mining history. Nearby Cardenbarns Farm is famous as the site of Scotland’s last duel, a fatal meeting between a banker and a merchant in 1826.

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

Cardenden wood lies to the south of the village of Cardenden in Fife.

The main entrance is off Carden Avenue. Turn off the B981 (Cardenden Road) onto Carden Avenue. After about ¼ mile (400 metres), look for a public footpath on the left, opposite the Corrie Centre at grid reference NT 225 948.

Using SatNav?

KY5 0EL is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

There is a railway station in Cardenden on the Edinburgh to Glenrothes line, and regular buses run between the village and Kirkaldy. Find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

Blairadam is a lovely wood in a landscape designed by the famous Adam family. Watch out for red squirrels, a ghost and an elusive beast! At Benarty you can climb the wooded slopes of Benarty Hill for superb views over the Lomond Hills, Loch Leven and the Firth of Forth.

From Cardenden, it’s easy to reach Lochore Meadows Country Park for waterside picnics, scenic strolls, cycling and riding beside the loch and links to Benarty woods.

For more information, see our Cardenden leaflet.

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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.