Surprisingly quiet, lots of historic interest, starts at Dunfermline.
The small royal burgh of Culross provides an interesting view of Scottish domestic life in the 16th and 17th centuries. Culross was then a thriving community, developed under the laird, Sir George Bruce. There was a thriving trade with other Forth ports and the Low Countries.
The Palace was built between 1597 and 1611 for Sir George Bruce and has many interesting items. In the west wing there is a collection of Staffordshire and Scottish pottery bequeathed by the late Mr William Steel. A reproduction 17th-century garden with raised beds, a covered walkway, a flowery mead and hurdle fencing, has been built to the rear of the Palace. It contains a variety of unusual vegetables, herbs and perennials, all available in 1600. Excavations in the Palace Courtyard have led to the restoration of a fine ornamental path and the footings of a former east range.
The Town House and The Study are both open to the public, while The Ark, Bishop Leighton's House, The Nunnery and other restored houses may be viewed from the outside, but are not open.
Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland from 1058 to 1436. There are many interesting things to see there including Dunfermline Palace, built on the site of Dunfermline Abbey which like many other buildings was destroyed by Edward I, King of England. Also worth visiting is the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie the well known philanthropist.
The villages by the first part of the route, Carnock, Oakley and Blairhall were originally built to house coal and steel workers many of these working at the Oakley blast furnaces.
This is a lovely little route, hilly at times but with very little traffic. The first part is on a converted railway line. The route runs from historic Dunfermline, capital of Scotland in early times, to the preserved 17th century town of Culross. Along the way there are fine views of the Ochil Hills and the Forth Estuary. There are pubs providing bar meals in Culross, together with a food shop and some attractive places to picnic. The route starts in Dunfermline from a small car park at the beginning of the West Fife Cycleway. This is at William Street.
There is a marked cycle route from Dunfermline train station to William Street via Pittencrieff Public Park. Leave the train station travelling west through an underpass. At the junction with New Road keep straight on into Priory Lane following signs for Andrew Carnegie's birthplace. Go to the left of this then enter the park. Follow the cycle route through the park then continue in the same direction. After four road junctions turn left at the junction of Ross Lane and Golfdrum Street. Turn right into William Street.
The railway path section needs no directions of course but you need to be aware of when to leave it. After five miles you pass over a viaduct near the village of Blairhall. This is the only tarmac surface on the cycle path. Leave the cycle path a mile after this where a bridge with a stone arch crosses over it. Turn left to travel south.
Soon there is a climb with good views of the Ochil Hills behind. Following this it is a gentler section, take care crossing the A985; go straight across. After this there is a rapid descent to Culross. The final part in Culross is over some picturesque but very bumpy stone cobbles. There are two pubs both of which do good bar lunches, also a village shop selling food items and ice cream. There are many things to see in Culross including Culross Palace and the Town House, more information about these is in About the Route.
Leave Culross travelling east (sea on your right) passing through Low Valleyfield and Torryburn. In Torryburn you pass under a railway bridge, there is a swing park for children by the sea. Turn right here, signed Crombie, following a little lane by the sea marked cyclists and residents only. At first this is a dirt track then it becomes Shoreside Road. Near Crombie Point the route turns away from the sea climbing through fields to the A985. At the A985 turn left and use the footpath for a short distance then shortly before the roundabout turn right to a minor road leading over the railway to Cairniehill. Turn right and cycle through the village (bike shop) then turn left on to Pitdinnie Road. You pass a golf course on the right, fields on the left. After a little over a mile you will meet the railway path again. Turn right on to it to return to Dunfermline.