On Wednesday 24th August, 8 ladies from the Biggar ramblers set out to walk the 13 miles of the Loch Leven Heritage Trail which is also a well used cycle path. It was a truly beautiful day with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. We started at Kinross Pier where it is possible to take the Ferry to Loch Leven Castle on the island where Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner until she managed to make her escape.
We made our way in the direction of Kirkgate Point and Kirkgate cemetery which is full of interesting gravestones. The big mausoleum in the center is the Mausoleum of the Bruce family who built Kinross House. You can see this imposing house through the trees further along the path.
The Trail has many items of interest, hides where you can look for water birds and many lovely and welcome seats some with interesting inscriptions in old Scots on their backs. We had a welcome lunch break and ice cream at the Loch Leven Larder which has a very nice shop, restaurant and picnic tables with lovely views of the loch.
The path then led away from the Loch side through pleasant woods with some welcome shade, we passed The Scottish Gliding Centre where we saw several gliders in the sky above, we continued toward the RSPB at Vane farm where we had a short break overlooking their wetlands trails.
We now continued on the last leg of the walk which included the East Brackley Viewpoint a beautiful structure where we could see not only the whole Loch but the physical landscape in which the Loch is set. It is hard to imagine that this was once the floor of the ocean 300-400 million years ago. The hills are capped by columnar rock derived from Volcanic activity one is called Carlin Maggie where a witch called Maggie had a disagreement with Old Nick. He threw a thunder bolt and turned her into stone.
We finally passed the Loch Leven Mill which still produces Cashmere and back to Loch Leven Pier. Some of us had dinner at the Boathouse Bistro and watched the sun setting over the Loch. A satisfying end to a beautiful day.
The Loch Leven Heritage web site has a huge amount of information about this walk including some shorter circular walks.
Walk Leader: Lesley Glidden