“Welcome to the working forest of Tentsmuir,” I read aloud as I skidded to a stop by the sign.
“What so the other forests are unemployed?” J retorted with a grin as she pulled over beside me.
My groan scattered the birds from the trees.
It was a beautiful, wonderful, extraordinary day when we decided to zip across the bridge to explore the Tentsmuir Forest!
Unlike Perth and Arbroath this trail had a lot of options (thanks to the grid-like structure of the forest’s logging roads) and a lot of opportunities to go off the track. We had tons of fun skidding along the sandy trails leading to the beach and bumping across the rocky trains more inland.
Dundee to Leuchars
Level: Middle. If you have a hybrid bike it should be fine, but a city bike would um, damage the family jewels and equivalent area for women. It’s pretty bumpy and requires some stone dodging in spots.
Trail: National Cycle Route 1.
Condition: Logging trucks use the roads so there are some indents and potholes at times, but they are simple enough to dodge. The sandy tracks are made by walkers, but they are hilariously fun to traverse with the bicycle.
Length: About 10.7 miles (if you only follow the cycle route). We are slow so the predicted Google time of 56 minutes turned into around two hours.
Train Stop Points: Leuchars. This is also why I decided to rate this trail at a mid level. You have to do the whole thing.
You can of course turn around at any point (or if you have a car, start from Tayport and just bicycle around the forest). There are also short cuts through the forest—you can either follow the coast or cut straight through.
Our favourite part of this route was the little cabin by the Morton Lochs where we could snoop on the wildlife. We were even lucky enough to see a group of juvenile swans bathing at the edge of the loch! It was cool watching them preen and dip.
The contrast between the forest, beach and inland fields was also a plus for us! We really enjoyed admiring the changing scenery and thinking about the different ecosystems at play.
All in all it was a fascinating trip into nature and the question of whether humans are good for it or not. J and I were chatting about biodiversity and the antagonism or lack-there-of, according to J, between nature and humans as we casually pedaled through the forest.
Oh! And we also found a stretch of wild raspberries! Boy was I happy!!!! They were super delicious and very tiny haha. We’ll have to take a container with us next year!
Coming up! A showcase of firework pictures from Guy Fawkes Night! But with a twist 🙂 ehheehheeh let that simmer in your mind this week!
Age group: Confident bikers at any age.
Clothes: Layer up. The temperature varys between shade and sun.
• Bike shorts or leggings are super comfy.
• Short stints can be done in jeans or sweat pants, but can get caught in your chain.
• Comfy boots/runners.
Culture: Chill. You are basically alone.
• Respect walkers.
• Keep an eye out for logging trucks. This is a working forest.
Food: Tayport, Leuchars or Dundee. Or you can pack a lunch/snacks and save money!
• Nearest train station is in Leuchars.
• Parking available for cars in forest (but there is a £2 cost).
• Buses and bikes don’t work well.
Time: Anytime! Though maybe summer is better for comfort!