Geo-Trips :: The Braes Loan Trail

Fife

A walk from Markinch, Thu, 25 Jun 2020 by Bill Kasman

The Braes Loan Trail incorporates several historic elements going back to the 12th century and beyond. Part of the trail is believed to be an old pilgrim's route which used to pass through Markinch and along which Edward I led his invading army into the village in 1296. The trail also makes use of old cattle routes used to drive cattle to and from grazing at 'The Mires', a former boggy area which, in prehistoric times, was a loch stretching from Markinch to Kennoway and later was an important area for peat cutting and the gathering of reeds for thatching. The trail passes medieval ruins and sites of historical interest including the place where the founder of St Andrews University, Henry Wardlaw, was born.

Stretching for approximately 2½ miles (4 km) the Braes Loan Trail is a circular route which starts and finishes in Markinch and can be walked in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Walking the trail in the clockwise direction saves the best views for the latter half of the trail. It can be connected with several other routes which offer interesting and historic walking including the long-distance path of the Fife Pilgrims Way LinkExternal link The going underfoot is generally good following rough tracks, field margins and grassy paths with only relatively gentle inclines but proper walking boots or shoes are advised.

Information about the Braes Loan Trail can be found here LinkExternal link

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NO3002 : Railway Bridge, Markinch by Bill Kasman
Railway Bridge, Markinch
Near the end of Northall Road, Markinch, this railway bridge, which carries the... more

NO3002 : Northhall Cemetery by Bill Kasman
Northhall Cemetery
The mound of Northhall Cemetery is believed to be 'Dalginch', ancient Fife's place... more

NO3002 : Information Board for Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
Information Board for Braes Loan Trail
Located at the beginning of the trail near the entrance to Northhall Cemetery.

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
The beginning of the trail passes to the right of the building.

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This early section of the trail is narrow with tall vegetation and overhanging... more

NO3002 : Tree stumps by Bill Kasman
Tree stumps
These sawn stumps on the Braes Loan Trail were not the only pile of prepared wood... more

NO3002 : Cuinin Hill road by Bill Kasman
Cuinin Hill road
This ancient track is believed to be the pilgrim way used by Edward I when he... more

NO3002 : View towards Markinch by Bill Kasman
View towards Markinch
Seen from the Braes Loan Trail which runs through the trees on the right.

NO3002 : Path to Cuinin Hill by Bill Kasman
Path to Cuinin Hill
This path branches off the Braes Loan Trail, crosses Cuinin Hill and reaches the... more

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This seat was a welcome sight after the long plod up the gradient from Markinch!... more

NO3002 : North Lodge by Bill Kasman
North Lodge
The Braes Loan Trail passes this isolated house which has a great view southwards... more

NO3002 : House sign by Bill Kasman
House sign
The isolated house of North Lodge lies on the Braes Loan Trail. Vehicular access... more

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
The trail here is also the access road to the isolated house of North Lodge... more

NO3002 : View across farmland by Bill Kasman
View across farmland
From the Braes Loan Trail.

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This junction of tracks marks where the Braes Loan Trail turns south. It isn't any... more

NO3002 : Braes Loan Trail signpost by Bill Kasman
Braes Loan Trail signpost
This signpost at a junction of tracks points the way.

NO3002 : View from Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
View from Braes Loan Trail
Looking towards Whitehill Plantation with East Lomond visible in the distance.

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This part of the trail was once used to drive cattle from the common grazings near... more

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This part of the trail was once used to drive cattle from the common grazings near... more

NO3002 : View towards Markinch by Bill Kasman
View towards Markinch
Over farmland from the Braes Loan Trail.

NO3002 : View towards Markinch by Bill Kasman
View towards Markinch
The trees mark the location where Brunton House once stood.

NO3002 : Horse droppings! by Bill Kasman
Horse droppings!
On the Braes Loan Trail. I didn't meet the culprit though!

NO3101 : Drainage channel by Bill Kasman
Drainage channel
On the Braes Loan Trail. Drainage channels like this are common on hill paths and... more

NO3002 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
At a strategic point on the trail a great view over the Fife countryside towards... more

NO3002 : Information Board by Bill Kasman
Information Board
On the Braes Loan Trail this information board harks back to bygone days.

NO3102 : Not the Braes Loan Trail! by Bill Kasman
Not the Braes Loan Trail!
This path branches off from the Braes Loan Trail and heads to Dalginch Farm. The... more

NO3102 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
The trail heads towards The Mires where cattle were once grazed.

NO3101 : Plank bridge by Bill Kasman
Plank bridge
This simple bridge carries the Braes Loan Trail over what was the outflow of the... more

NO3101 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
The trails takes a sharp right turn here.

NO3101 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This gate marks the junction of the Braes Loan Trail with the long-distance path... more

NO3101 : The Fife Pilgrims Way by Bill Kasman
The Fife Pilgrims Way
This long-distance path connects with the Braes Loan Trail (behind the camera).

NO3101 : Fife Pilgrims Way signpost by Bill Kasman
Fife Pilgrims Way signpost
Near where this long-distance trail meets the Braes Loan Trail can be found this... more

NO3101 : The Back Burn by Bill Kasman
The Back Burn
This was the water source for Brunton Mill. The Fife Pilgrims Way runs to the... more

NO3002 : Brunton Barns by Bill Kasman
Brunton Barns
This was the former home farm of Brunton House. Brunton House was demolished in... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This farm access road forms part of the trail which continues along the treeline.

NO3001 : Water pumps by Bill Kasman
Water pumps
This water pumping machinery was drawing water from the Back Burn and irrigating... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
The trail is used by cyclists as well as walkers.

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This group of trees marks the location where Brunton Mill previously stood. The... more

NO3002 : Brunton Barns by Bill Kasman
Brunton Barns
The buildings just visible on the grassy hill are those of Brunton Barns - the... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
Looking back along the trail to the lands of Brunton in the distance. This part of... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
On the final leg of the journey to Markinch. The track to the left leads to the... more

NO3001 : Notice on Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
Notice on Braes Loan Trail
This part of the Braes Loan Trail is also part of the long-distance trail of the... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
Open countryside near Markinch.

NO3002 : Brunton Barns by Bill Kasman
Brunton Barns
The building is the cottage of Brunton Barns which was the home farm of Brunton... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
The trail approaches Markinch. The tower of the parish church can be seen.

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
Looking south towards the buildings at St Drostans Cemetery.

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
Through the arch to Markinch. The main east coast railway line passes over this arch.

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
These two huge concrete blocks adjacent to the railway arch at Markinch are... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
At the end of Brunton Road, Markinch, this railway bridge, which carries the east... more

NO3001 : The Braes Loan Trail by Bill Kasman
The Braes Loan Trail
This direction and information sign stands close to the railway arch at the end of... more

All images © Bill Kasman and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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