Just outside Gateside, Fife
Forget about joining hundreds of other people on the "motorway" from Craigmead, this is your opportunity to explore the quieter side of West Lomond taking in the geological oddities of the Bunnet Stane, Maiden's Bower, Devil's Burdens, John Knox's Pulpit as well as the summit of West Lomond.
Distance: approx 5.5 - 6 miles SILVER grade
Ascent: 400 - 450m SILVER grade
Terrain: grassy hill paths plus potentially pathless on descent plus a bit of quiet road SILVER grade
Estimated time: 3 - 3.5 hours
Grading explanation at http://www.meetup.com/fife-activity-and-social/messages/boards/thread/49725922
Start from just outside Gateside, head across fields to the the Bunnet Stane and Maidens Bower. Then steeply up the hillside on grassy paths before flattening out to meet the "motorway". From here we can either head directly up to the summit or follow the more gentle route round the back. Descend south from the summit to the area of the Devil's Burdens (rough path and a stile to cross), then down through heather to reach the main Glen Vale path. Head down the path passing John Knox's pulpit to reach the road. About 20 mins of road walking at the end to get back to the start point but it's a very quiet road.
Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring snack/drink with you. Footwear needs to have a good grip on grassy paths which could be wet and should provide ankle support. If you need guidance on what to wear / bring please see the kit list at http://www.meetup.com/fife-activity-and-social/messages/boards/thread/49476674. Do bring a head torch as daylight hours are limited and if we are slower than anticipated it may be getting dark when we finish.
It is your responsibility to be at the meeting point in time for the start of the walk.
From Gateside, turn into Station Road and drive to the T junction at the end. Turn right and the layby is on your left hand side grid ref NO 185 081. Parking for about 4 or 5 cars so if a lot of people want to go, car share is to be recommended.