Walk: Benarty Hill - surprise view from the Sleeping Giant

Fife | Ballingry | Short walk | ★★★★

[Loch Leven from Castle Craig]

This is surely one of lowland Scotland's most underrated small hills. The trig point on lowly Benarty Hill sits at the northern edge of a broad area of high ground. The hill's profile when seen from the north side gives it the nickname Sleeping Giant, but this "giant" is a fairly amiable one when tackled from the south. A short, steep ascent through trees soon leads to a straightforward amble across the plateau with great views looking back. But nothing compares to the surprise view of Loch Leven, only revealed upon arrival at the summit. For the most straightforward route, return the same way. If you fancy a little more of a challenge - and something a little off the beaten track - rougher paths trace the edge of the escarpment to Mulla Crag further west, returning through farmland.

[Benarty Hill from Castle Craig]

📌 Walk: Benarty Hill - surprise view from the Sleeping Giant ★★★★
Start / finish at small layby on minor road (more space further along the road - don't block gates or tracks) half a mile west of Ballingry, G.R.: NT 159970 ///inversion.formed.fragments

▶ 6 km / 4 mi | ▲ 270 m | ⌚ Short | Moderate
Features: △ Benarty Hill (356 m, sub-2000')
Terrain: Paths and tracks almost throughout. Ascent is steep but on clear paths. Remainder of circuit has fainter paths and brief pathless sections.

Route & map

Layby - Benarty Wood - Benarty Hill - Castle Craig - Mulla Craig - rejoin road at G.R.: NT 152966 ///vivid.shun.hush - start

Route credit: Walkhighlands

On our visit

Wildlife: 2020: Sheep and cows on descent; small birds. 2014: Lots of robins, other woodland birds.
Weather: 2020: 5°C, sunshine above low level fog. 2014: unbroken sunshine, just above freezing with frozen ground and a few snow patches.

Chronological photo guide

[Woodland path ascent]

[Sections of woodland have been cleared, allowing views across Fife]

[Loch Ore]

[View from the plateau at Seamark]

[The good path skirts marshy areas on the hill]

[Approach to Benarty Hill summit]

[Ochil Hills seen from Benarty Hill (15/12/14)]

[Cloud-covered Loch Leven, seen from the summit]

[Continuation to Castle Craig]

[Loch Leven from Castle Craig]

[Familiar view?]

[Benarty Hill from Castle Craig]

[View back along the escarpment]

[Path to Mulla Craig]

[Benarty Hill from Mulla Craig]

[View west from Mulla Craig]

[Descent route]

[Descent route]

[Descent route]

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