A wintry day hike up Fife’s East Lomond hill

Walking in the Lomond Hills, near Falkland, Fife

Winter in Scotland has been pretty half-hearted this year. We’ve had a few flurries, far more on the highest hills, but for those of us in Leith… well, it’s been non-existent.

So when snow is forecast, us city dwellers do the obvious — chase it.

Walk in the Lomond Hills, Fife

Last weekend, we took the car over the Forth Road Bridge and onto the Fife plains, direction Falkland.

It’s a very quintessential east coast village, the house fronts resting right on the pavement, and is famous for its Renaissance-inspired palace, which is managed by the National Trust for Scotland. You may also know it from its cameos in Outlander (it stands in for Inverness in Season One).

We parked in the village square with the fountain as background music and East Lomond Hill as the backdrop, grabbing a takeaway soup for walking fuel (£8 for two soups though, extortionate tourist prices). Following the Walk Highlands route you can read here, we headed south out the village and into woodland.

Falkland village square before walking in the Lomond Hills

Here the ‘hard work’ began. There were steps upon steps chopped into the soil, held back by wooden slats, and these continued until the trees gave way to moorland.

By this point, we were fairly high above Falkland, and could clearly see our route to the top of East Lomond. Plus, at this height, what we’d came for was lying. Snow.

Even the views at this stage of the climb were beautiful. Fife lay before us, its low ground bare and brown; the higher hills dusted with white.

Further away were the Ochils, bright in the sunlight and — as we thumped our way through the snow to the summit — we could spot rigs being transported on the Firth of Forth.

Looking over towards West Lomond , Fife

How can there be anything more spectacular than nature? Than views like this? For less than an hour’s effort getting up the hill, we were rewarded with perspective, fresh air, awe and wanderlust to see more of Scotland. We stood as the wind ripped around us and just took it all in.

Later, we took the tiny ribbon to the base of the hill, our shoes squealing on the packed snow. The path then ran towards West Lomond, a stunning Toblerone-shaped mound which I stole numerous shots of before I stuck my new walking boots in some dog shit. Sigh.

The sun begins to light the Lomond Hills, Fife

Forget that, though. We found snow, we stood on the top of Fife (pretty much) and we got some much needed perspective… which loosened our sometimes suffocating city lives for a little bit.

And isn’t that what is so wonderful about nature? The air, the landscape, the weather… it helps you forget. It puts things in their rightful place. Which — in this world of instant news and everyday updates — is just the kind of weekend fix we needed.

Where’s your favourite weekend escape?


8 responses to “A wintry day hike up Fife’s East Lomond hill”

  1. Your pictures are simply amazing ! I can’t wait to visit Scotland in april. Your country looks so beautiful ! By the way, it’s a real pleasure to follow your adventures, on your blog. See u soon !

    • Un grand merci Julia! C’est super que tu viens en Ecosse bientôt. Tu vas ou? Si tu viens à Edimbourg ce serait bien de te rencontrer et de voir un peu plus de la ville ensemble. Et si tu as besoin d’un coup de main par rapport aux endroits à visiter, n’hésite pas à me demander! 🙂

  2. Gorgeous photos! I love that first one at the top – it’s just wonderful and love the linear road in the middle! I’ve never been to Falkland but I saw they recently filmed Outlander there as well – it looks beautiful!

  3. What a gorgeous post – both in prose and photographs. I particularly enjoyed the last paragraph. I too adore getting out into nature and feeling the (in my case, first-world) burdens of city living lift. I love Edinburgh and would gladly move there tomorrow if a job presented itself, so am looking forward to reading and living vicariously through your blog.

  4. What a beautiful places! I´ve arrived to this page looking how to travel to falkland in train or bus (i´m going to Scotland in early february, and i did not figured it out -how to go there-) but seeing photos like those makes me want to know all of your country!

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