East Lomond, Fife

Gazing across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh or East Lothian the pointed summit of East Lomond can usually be picked out, unless it is particularly foggy

Looking from the other side of the water, at the top of this great little hill the outline of Arthur’s Seat can be picked out, and further along the coast North Berwick Law can be observed. It is only 1,391ft (424m) high but the hill is a really good walk for a winter’s day – short enough for the lack of daylight and steep enough to warm you up when it is frosty.

The route starts in the pretty village of Falkland which was used as Inverness in the blockbuster TV series Outlander. For non-fi ction fans there is Falkland Palace, in the centre of the village, which is a wonderful Renaissance building once used by the Stuart monarchs and containing the oldest real tennis court in existence, built for James V between 1539 and 1541.

Go up Cross Wynd, which starts at the Bruce Fountain – in Outlander, Jamie’s ghost looked up at Claire’s room from this point. At the top of the road follow a track into woodland, keeping right when a track goes left to a cottage. Shortly after this go left, up steps which lead you to a path past a Scottish Water plant.

Keep going uphill and at the next junction go straight ahead, following a sign for “Footpath to Lomond Hills.” After a few hundred yards a series of steps lead up to the top of the woodland and a gate. Go through this to reach open hillside and follow a path to the right which heads straight for the obvious dome of East Lomond ahead.

The path leads to a gate and on the other side there is a steep climb up. You can go straight up the hillside in front of you or head left before turning right for an easier gradient. Either way leads to the view indicator at the summit, and the views are tremendous – there was a hill fort here in the Iron Age and as a lookout it is perfect. As well as Edinburgh and East Lothian across the Firth of Forth, you can gaze up to Highland Perthshire and Angus, across the Firth of Tay. Some continue to West Lomond from here but for a short winter walk it is best to go back the way you came.

In summer the Falkland Hill Race takes place, from the Bruce Fountain to the top of East Lomond and back. The runners may be thought of as being fi tter than most but they don’t have the time to enjoy the scenery in the same way as a simple walk does. TC

Distance: 2½ miles
Time: 1½ to 1½ hours
OS Landranger: 58 and 59
Start/finish point: The centre of Falkland, where there is plenty of parking.
Published: November 2017