Glenrothes to Coaltown of Balgonie

This is a short walk (approx 3.75km or 2 miles) from Woodside (Glenrothes) to Coaltown of Balgonie, Fife.

Starting from Woodside Way in Glenrothes (the blue star on the map above), head eastwards along the tree lined footpath which starts at the bus stop.

Lady's Walk, Glenrothes

Photo 1 – Lady’s Walk and Woodside Way (looking southwards)

There is a hanging sign marking it, the ‘Lady’s Walk’. Lady’s walk is supposedly a medieval path first used at the time of Alexander III. It leads to Lady Nina Square in Coaltown of Balgonie, but I can’t find any reference to who Lady Nina was. If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments section below.

At the start of the walk, you go past the Carlton Primary School on the left, and the back of the Velux factory on the other side of the path. Beyond, there are open fields, which this year were full of Oilseed Rape, which is getting a very common crop for farmers to grow nowadays. Up until very recently, this crop was grown primarily as an animal feed, but the explosion of vivid yellow fields of rape that has occurred over the last few years, suggests that more and more is being now used to produce bio fuels eg biodiesel. As an amateur photographer, this eruption of yellow flowers during May and June, provides ample photo opportunities!


Field of Oilseed Rape

Photo 2 – Field of Oilseed Rape


Rapeseed Oil Plants

Photo 3 – More Rapeseed Oil Plants


As you head towards Coaltown of Balgonie, you can look northwards and see the village of Markinch. From this viewpoint, the largest feature in Markinch is the old red brick Haig whiskey distillery. St Drostan’s church can also be seen to the left of the distillery. The Norman church tower dates from 1180 AD.

Looking north to Markinch and the old Haig Whiskey distillery

Photo 4 – Looking north to Markinch and the old Haig Whiskey distillery


At the end of the tree lined avenue, the path bears right. Follow the lane parallel to the railway line (don’t cross the bridge), until you get to the school playing field. The photo below is of white dead-nettle, plenty of which grows on the side of the lane.

White dead-nettle

Photo 5 – White dead-nettle


Crossing over the playing field leads you to a small lane that comes out on the Coaltown of Balgonie Main Street, opposite the village hall.

Coaltown of Balgonie Village Hall

Photo 6 – Coaltown of Balgonie Village Hall


Turn right along the Main Street, this takes you past a typical Fife cottage (single storey cottages are the norm!). Take the next right turn up School Road, which takes you back to The Lady’s Walk.

Picturesque cottage in Coaltown of Balgonie

Photo 7 – Picturesque cottage in Coaltown of Balgonie


This is a short walk of approx 2 miles over flat terrain. See map for locations of photos.




11 thoughts on “Glenrothes to Coaltown of Balgonie

  1. Lady Nina: if you visit the small ‘museum’ in Markinch (in the old Haigs’ bottling plant) there should be an exhibit on the wedding of Lady Nina and the gift of the good villagers to her. I forwarded the documents a number of years ago to Mr Sutherland of Markinch. It is an uplifting story. ev

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you. Thank you for this extra information, I hadn’t realised that Markinch even had a small museum (unfortunately it appears to be shut now), and I am really pleased to know anything extra about the local area 🙂


  2. I guess you know by now that Lady Nina was the wife of the Earl of Balfour whose family owned the Balgonie Estate in the 1800 – 1900s. Milton of Balgonie was the village built for the estates mill workers and Coaltown of Balgonie was the village built to house the miners who worked in the first Balgonie Colliery which was Lochtyside or Balgonie No.1 pit, located just north of the oil Thornton Junction Station. The miners houses were called Lady Nina Square at the east end of the village and Lady Nina Cottages at the west end. In the 1900s many private houses were built and the village extended dramnically and again in the 1930s with rental housing at Milburn Avenue and later in the 1950s with Coronation Street. The first pit closed at the turn of the century to to flooding and was replaced with a new pit The Julian (Balgonie No. 2 pit), which was taken over by the NCB in 1948 and survived until 1960 when it was overshadowed by the more modern, but doomed Rothes Colliery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you Jim, this is really informative, I love it when I get to learn more about the area!! You mention that Milton of Balgonie was built to house the Balgonie Estate’s mill workers, do you know what type of mill?


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