A while ago Scott and I decided that, with numerous cycle-routes covering the length of Scotland, it would be a fun way to explore the Scottish countryside. We chose this cycle-route (764), starting in Clackmannan and finishing in Dunfermline, Fife. Dunfermline is known as Scotland’s ‘auld grey toun’ – notable in Scottish history with attractions such as a royal palace; a 12th century abbey (where Robert the Bruce and other Scottish Kings and Queens are buried); a restored 15th century abbot, and the cave where St Margaret washed the feet of the poor, to mention a few.
If you are looking for a scenic cycle route though, this is beautiful. You will go past endless fields, the path is lined with a multitude of flowers. And then there are the woods for when the sun gets too hot. And the woods feel mysteriously endless but regular benches are placed perfectly for little breaks with occasional overgrown side-paths allowing you to explore down to the river, and stand watching the shining water. Here and there you might hear the dull roar of traffic as the cycle-route nears a main road, but mainly there is just bird song and the scents of flowers.
Then the woods end and you think you’re nearly at Dumfermline….but you’re not because the uphill gradient, though slight, is a little draining 8 or 9 miles in (if you rarely cycle like me). At this point Scott had to keep me motivated because I was seriously struggling.
We ended the cycle-route in a car park about 10-15 minutes from Tesco. Scott watched the bikes while I went in and got us a giant French baguette and a big tub of hummus. Can I just say you’ll never see a baguette disappear so fast in your life, we were famished. Afterwards Scott got us some boiled sweets to suck on the journey home at bits where we struggled for that extra motivation.
The cycle home was much more fun, at points we didn’t have to peddle and just flew downhill, creating a welcome breeze. I would do that cycle route again for the gratification of the journey back. Nevertheless, despite this, by the time we got home we just had to collapse on the couch.
For more information on activities to do in Dunfermline click here
For elevation profile and map click here.