Bishop Hill is a distinctive natural feature rising out of the flat country around Loch Leven which offers good walking and lovely views of the loch and the natural basin of Kinross-shire.
On a clear day the vista from Bishop Hill extends to the Ochil Hills, Fife and further south across the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh & The Lothians.
Known locally as `the bishop`, the hill is 1,500 ft (460 m) high with a signposted path leading up the hillside from the small village of Scotlandwell. In the early stretches this route passes through Kilmagadwood, referred to locally as `the cuckoo wood` and rich in native tree species such as oak, rowan and Scots pine. The wood is criss-crossed by cart tracks which were in use until the late 19th century by quarrymen bringing limestone down from the hills.
Both the slopes and the plateau of Bishop Hill are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of their unimproved lime-rich grassland and cliff vegetation.
Another interesting feature en route is the geological marvel known as Carlin Maggie - a weird basalt column, some 60 ft high. Known as `Maggie`, it stands in front of a small cliff and according to local lore, she was a witch who had an altercation with the devil, who unleashed a bolt of lightning, turning her to stone.
An alternative route up Bishop Hill starts from the car park at Holl Reservoir and winds its way up through farmland and forestry plantings to emerge on the grassy open hilltop. This is a perfect place for a leisurely picnic while enjoying the wonderful views of Loch Leven with its islands and castle far below.
Getting there by railway:- The closest rail stations are at Markinch, Gleneagles and Bridge of Allan. Car hire from there to Scotlandwell. Full details Kinross Tourist Information Centre.
Getting there by aeroplane:- From Edinburgh Airport follow the M90 north to Kinross, leave the motorway at junction 5. Take the B9097 and B920 to reach the village of Scotlandwell. For access to the hill from Holl Reservoir, turn right at the village of Scotlandwell to take the A911 for approx 3 miles, before turning left onto a signed posted Scottish Water road.
From Glasgow Airport head north on the M80/A80, at Stirling branch off to the east, taking the A91 and A911 to reach Scotlandwell.
Getting there by ferry:- From the port of Rosyth follow the M90 north to Kinross. Leave the motorway at junction 5. Take the B9097 and B920 to reach the village of Scotlandwell. For access to the hill from Holl Reservoir, turn right at the village of Scotlandwell to take the A911 for approx 3 miles, before turning left onto a sign posted Scottish Water road.
Transport within Scotland
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