This page gives details about upcoming walks in the Guided Walks Programme. See the About the Walks page for general information. Please do let me know if you are coming on a walk, so that I can keep you informed about any changes to these arrangements.
Saturday 24 February 2018 10am St Andrews to Kingsbarns
A wild section of the Fife Coastal Path that includes some superb geology including folds, volcanic vents and amazing sea stacks on the raised beach. Group walk for the Fife Sea Kayaking Club, 5 hours, £12, Non-members welcome, £14.
THE WALK: A beautiful section of coast where the road keeps inland, and the Fife Coastal Path skirts the cliff top, sometimes descending to the raised beach and rocky shore. Total distance 12 km. I have classified this as a Moderate Walk: not always on paths, may be rough or slippery underfoot at times. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
THE ROCKS: The first section of the coast displays many clear examples of intense folding of sedimentary rocks formed in the Carboniferous Period. Then we come to a sudden interruption to the pattern, where the Rock and Spindle volcanic vent has punched through the existing rocks. Near Boarhills we reach the Buddo Rock, a great stack of red sandstone. On the final section of coast we cross over many sandstone layers and will find millipede trackways.
MEET: at the Kingsbarns Beach car park. Grid reference NO 602 126. We will leave some cars here and drive to St Andrews, OR meet at 10:15am at the East Sands in St Andrews (Woodburn Place, beach parking outside the Oceans Institute). Finish by about 3pm back at Kingsbarns, if there aren't enough cars there for everyone, it is only a short walk to the village for the bus back to St Andrews.
Route map: www.plotaroute.com/route/564527
Saturday 17 March 2018 10am Linlithgow to Muiravonside Country Park ** sorry, walk postponed until later in the year, due to ground conditions **
Stroll along the Union Canal and follow the River Avon upstream for a circuit through Muiravonside Country Park, finding a mix of sedimentary and igneous rocks and enjoying the wider scenery of West Lothian. Day walk, 5 hours, £14
THE WALK: A gentle, fairly level walk on good paths, following parts of the Union Canal, the Avon Heritage Trail, and the John Muir Way in a 12-km circular route. I have classified this as an Easy Walk: on good paths, there may be steps and some climbing. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
THE ROCKS: although the geology isn't always visible along this walk, we will discover a selection of sedimentary rocks from the later part of the Carboniferous period, the Scottish Coal Measures that have been heavily exploited in the past for coal. And long after the sedimentary rocks were formed, magma seeped into this area, part of the massive Midland Valley Sill, forming tough dolerite that helps shape the landscape and the character of the River Avon.
MEET: Linlithgow Train Station (car park on the south side).
Route map: www.plotaroute.com/route/537143
Sunday 15 April 2018 10am Lomond Hills, Fife
The two summits of the Lomond Hills are sites of ancient volcanoes, with a thick layer of intrusive dolerite forming the high ground between them. Starting in the village of Falkland we'll climb gently through a quiet wooded valley into the open moorland and then to the summit of East Lomond. Day walk, 5 hours, £14
THE ROCKS: The scenery of this area is dominated by the high ground of the Lomond Hills, underlain by igneous rocks. The peaks of East and West Lomond are the remains of volcanic vents, active during the Carboniferous Period. The high ground between them is underlain by dolerite, part of the Midland Valley sill, and representing a very different type of magmatic action. The icing on the cake is a strip of limestone, surrounded by igneous rocks, and exploited in the past for its mineral richness.
THE WALK: This is a moderate walk along good paths, involving an ascent of 400 m over the course of the day and a steep descent. From Falkland we'll climb on a good path up the Maspie Den, visit Maiden Castle between East and West Lomond, then climb over East Lomond to return to Falkland. Total distance 9 km. I have classified this as a Moderate Walk: not always on paths, may be rough or slippery underfoot at times. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
MEET: Back Wynd car park, Falkland, Fife. From the High Street / East Port, turn south on to Back Wynd and then turn left. Grid reference NO 254 073. Car sharing encouraged, please get in touch if you need a lift or can offer one.
Route map: www.plotaroute.com/route/537147