Cupar to Kennoway Road
Start location: Little Muirhead (NO 373 083)
End location: Simpson Bridge, River Eden, FN214 (NO 364 128)
Geographical area: Fife
Path Type: Medieval Road
Path distance: 5.1km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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The northern end of the route can now be taken to be the ScotWays sign on the south side of the A914 at NO363122, which reads Hill of Tarvit and Chance Inn. A naturally-trodden grassy/earthy path leads gently uphill between bushes and trees, with fields on either side. After some 800m, this reaches the minor road known as ‘Sandy Brae’. A few steps along this road to the right/west, at a ScotWays waymarker disc on a wooden post, the path continues, still gently uphill, for a further 300m to arrive at Scotstarvit Tower and Farm, where there is a further ScotWays disc. The next section to the south - now a tractor-track and leading past the farm and some cottages - is festooned with notices/instructions: ‘10 mph’, ‘Beware children, animals, vehicles’, three ‘Private, No Entry’ signs, two notices re keeping off the grass verge, two notices re keeping dogs on leads past the buildings, all users to keep to 4mph, and cyclists to give way to farm vehicles! Once past the buildings, the tractor-track, defined by walls/fences and with woods then fields adjacent, continues straightforwardly for a further kilometre down to Chance Inn. At the first houses, the surface becomes tarred and the route meets the public road at the right-angled bend at NO373103.
Once in Chance Inn the road continues along the main road for a short while and then proceeds through quite an intimidating fence. Nevertheless this route is a right of way and one of the house owners was very friendly to this surveyor. There is nothing left of the surface of the road beyond this point but it follows the field boundary through a small plantation and over a burn till Muirhead.
OS Landranger 59 (St Andrews, Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes)
This was the main route north to Cupar from Kennoway and was probably used a lot by people taking the ferry from Lothian. It must have been very busy at one time, but is now almost guaranteed to be quieter than the top of any Munro. At Muirhead, this route meets the Waterless Road, the old road to St Andrews by way of Ceres. Unfortunately, although Muirhead apear to have been a key junction at one time, the onward route to Kennoway is not very accessible much further south from there.
It is a shame that the section south of Chance Inn is so quiet as there is a very nice little bridge that isn't marked on modern maps halfway down and there is also a very well constructed stile over the boundary wall slightly north of the bridge. As you're walking south you approach the remains of a very big wall, which must have been part of a substantial structure and on approach is the stile. It is odd that there is a stile on the approach to the large wall as horses and carts would not have been able to cross the wall and so perhaps this is part of a later diversion, by which time horses and carts would have used other roads to reach Cupar.
The road appears in many old maps including Taylor and Skinner's Survey and maps of the roads of North Britain or Scotland, 1776. The road is shown very clearly as part of the route from Edinburgh to Cupar by Kennoway.