- Connor Beveridge
Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland for almost 3 centuries, and in its Abbey lies the most famous of Scottish Kings, Robert the Bruce. The former royal burgh is a place steeped in history, the world-renowned philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, who was born and bred just a few streets away from the Abbey - where there is now a brilliant museum (very accessible) that documents everything about his life - is but just another accolade of the town.
So even if you aren't fussed about going for a walk, I'd totally recommend going to Dunfermline for a day out. But if you are bothered about going for a walk, Pittencrieff Park is the only park in Fife that has a dedicated play-park for disabled children, and its natural beauty perfectly compliments the parks historical surroundings.
There are a couple of carparks to choose from, the largest is just off the main road and there are a couple of accessible bays. However, on a busy day when the sun is out this carpark can fill up very quickly, and if this is the case I would then drive through the gates of the park and onto another carpark where the road ends (the building adjacent houses an accessible toilet), there are a couple more disabled bays here (see photos below).
If you follow the road next to the building round it'll lead you onto the parks main path.
The building that has a wall off glass panels is an accessible cafe, with a ramp to get in, push-button main doors, plenty room to move around once inside, and with a good accessible toilet it's great for a bite to eat if you couldn't be bothered preparing a picnic.
Back to the path and you'll find yourself at a crossroads, there is no set route that you have to take, but in the pictures below I went straight ahead which takes you round the perimeter of the green space/gardens.
After you loop round the bottom-end of the park, the path brings you back up towards a tropical greenhouse - it was shut at my most recent visit and I can't remember if it's accessible from earlier memories (pre-disability). If it's shut or you find it inaccessible, you can sit on the plentiful number of benches and enjoy the outdoor gardens instead.
Continuing on the path, you will pass an old, orange-washed house known as Pittencrieff House, which is used as a museum providing lots of facts to develop your understanding of the local area.
Look for a path on your right which takes you down a steep gradient and onto a bridge. The quality of the path is relatively good, just watch your step for any lumps/bumps and potholes.
Once at the bottom of the steep hill, you'll see that the surface of the path continues in the same vein - watch out for lumps/bumps and potholes.
The scenery and environment is beautiful, and on one side of the bridge you'll notice a pretty Japanese garden house - there are steps down to reach it but you can still see it from the bridge.
If you quietly sit for a minute or two on the bridge you'll very quickly notice the red squirrels coming out from their hiding places (if you're there at the right time of year).
After you've fed the squirrels, the path increases in gradient and it leads onto the very picturesque and majestic Dunfermline Abbey - it is well worth a quick photo.
Turning back on yourself and towards the park, go straight under the bridge and take a right once you get up the steep incline. This will take you towards the play-parks.
As I mentioned already there is a play-park specifically for disabled children. I wasn't able to take any pictures up close but hopefully I'll be able to update this soon.
See below a map of the park with my walking route highlighted in red. The distance I went was approximately 2.5Km.