- Connor Beveridge
Balbirnie Park is a great option for an accessible walk in the ancient capital of Fife. Although it's best to enjoy it on a bright day, the grounds are bursting with nature and it's a great stress reliever.
The carpark is on your left-hand side as you enter the grounds. There are shamefully no disabled however the carpark is usually relatively so I just take up two standard bays so I've enough room for my wheelchair (as long you show your blue badger you will be fine to do this).
Directly opposite then car park you will notice a red-stone gravel path. This is where the walk starts, so be cautious crossing the road and enjoy.
There are a myriad of different paths and it's good to spend time In nature exploring them, certain one's weren't manageable for me but you might find they're fine for you.
If you come into any difficulty then just turn back to the main path which is the route I followed. See at the bottom of this post an image that highlights the main 2.95Km route.
If you choose to go down the hill, you will cross the first of three available bridges. The scenery is beautiful as you wander down the rivers edge, I find it so relaxing listening to the flow of the water and looking at all the nature around you (when it's sunny).
The path takes you inland a little before returning back to the river and before long there is a second bridge you can cross. I would advise doing so as the paths camber isn't great and the surface becomes quite lumpy and bumpy. There is quite a sizeable lip on this bridge though so keep an eye out.
If you think the path is manageable for you and you decide not to go over this bridge, in about 100 yards there'll be a third bridge. You have to cross this one, the lip is totally fine on this one, and you come back onto a main path afterwards.
As you emerge from the woods you come into the carpark of Balbirnie Park Golf Club, there is no footpath but just keep to the side and stay aware and you should be fine. There is an accessible toilet inside the golf club building, I'll get pictures of it soon. Continuing at the edge of the road another building comes into sight, and it is the award-winning Balbirnie House Hotel. A path now becomes available at the side of the road as it winds round a corner until you get back to the carpark, skirting past a few holes of the golf course on the way.
Below is an image of the 2.95km route through the Balbirnie woods. Unfortunately it won't be appropriate for everyone but those who use scooters or electric wheelchairs should be fine.