Scottish walks: Hill of Tarvit, Fife

Picture: Nick Drainey
Picture: Nick Drainey
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SNOWDROPS are here and the appearance of the little white flowers never fails to create excitement at the coming of warmer months.

VisitScotland is hosting a snowdrop festival with many places across Scotland where you can see the blooms – go to www.visitscotland.com/snowdrop to find out more.

Hill of Tarvit is one such place, an Edwardian mansion which was once the home of the Wemyss family. A monument on top of the hill of the same name was built in 1897 to commemorate the Treaty of Garlie Bank. Signed in 1559, it saw Mary, Queen of Scots, promise not to attack Cupar.

The view from the top is worth the exertion as it takes in all of Fife from the Lomond Hills to the west and the Eden Estuary to the east. North are the hills and mountains of Perthshire and Angus. This route combines a number of the waymarked routes at the National Trust for Scotland property.

DISTANCE 2 miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED 250ft.

TIME 1 to 1∫ hours.

MAP OS Landranger 59.

PARK Take the A916 south from Cupar and after about two miles you reach the entrance to Hill of Tarvit. The car park is down the drive, on the left (£2 charge).

IN SUMMARY Go back down to the main drive from the car park and turn right. Leave the drive after about 100 yards to go left, through a green gate next to a sign for Kingarrock Golf Course. A grass path follows a fence on the right to a wooden gate.

Go straight ahead from the wooden gate, past a yew tree and the Wemyss family mausoleum. The path goes round to the left, through woodland then along the edge of the golf course and into more woodland. You emerge at a drive, where you go left, back towards the mansion. When the drive forks go right, then a few yards further on go right again, at a marker post. The path sweeps round in a loop to go up behind a walled kitchen garden. After following a beech hedge for about 150 yards bear left and then turn right, along a narrow lane.

Keep right at a junction to go past “West Cottage” to follow a track up to an “Edwardian Laundry Room”, where you go right. Keep the laundry building on your left and follow a path uphill between rhododendrons. At a junction of paths, go left to walk adjacent to a high wall. Go right at a marker post, then cross a stile before climbing steeply over a field to some trees. Turn left in front of the trees and go round until they end. Go slightly right here and up to a grassy ridge which you turn left along – the trig point, monument and view indicator are about 70 yards along the ridge.

Go back to the trees and turn right, going straight down to a stile further to the right than the one crossed on the way up. Once over it, follow a path through trees, down to the car park.

REFRESH The pretty village of Ceres is nearby. Try the Ceres Inn or Meldrums Hotel. After 25 March the house is open and there is a tearoom (www.nts.org.uk).

WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA Wemyss Pottery in Ceres produces the famous hand-painted cats, pigs and other animals sought by collectors (www.wemyss-ware.co.uk).