Dunino Den

Fife | Dunino | Ritual site | ★★

[Dunino Den]

Dunino Den fits comfortably into the "unusual" category of places to visit across Scotland. Here in a strip of natural woodland - rare in eastern Fife - a pre-Christian ritual site is found alongside a deep section of the Kinaldy Burn. The nearby church graveyard contains an ancient sculptured stone and part of a Neolithic stone circle, so it's tempting to suggest that the location has had significance since at least Pictish times. The den itself, accessed by a woodland path, is on two levels. On the upper level is a rock-cut well and nearby carved footprint. Some sources claim this spot was used for human sacrifice by druids. Unsettling enough, but uneven stone steps descend to a natural, burnside amphitheatre with Celtic knotwork and crosses carved into the rock walls, and hundreds of coins wedged into nearby cracks. Offerings of ribbons, buttons and other craftwork have been left hanging from trees, though there were fewer of these on our visit than appear in some photos online. What you take away from your visit (and perhaps what you leave behind!) probably depends on your own beliefs.

[Offerings left on branches around the den]

Location & info

📌 Dunino Den ★★
Off B9131 at Dunino, G.R.: NO 540109 ///scrap.waters.paddlers
Always open | Free

💬 Follow signs for Dunino Church along a minor road from the B9131, turning left after crossing a bridge. Park in the large car park at G.R.: NO 541110 ///widen.dare.radio. The "den" is a 5-min walk west from here, on an occasionally muddy path first between two graveyards and then through forest, with steep and uneven steps to reach the lower level.

[Rock-cut pool or well on the upper level]

[Celtic knotwork carved into the rock]

[Steps leading between the two levels]

[Path leading through the forest to the den]


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