Tentsmuir Forest near Leuchars and Tayport is a great place for a family day out. Just north of St Andrews, the pine trees offer a lovely canopy for sheltered cycling. At the car park at Kinshaldy there is a super adventure playground opening this spring.
Mum, Dad, our little boy and I parked up in Galivanter the Campervan and after getting the bikes off the rack we started out along one of the 'pinecone trails' in search of Tentsmuir point. The trails here total almost fifteen miles although our planned route was around four. The paths are excellent, wide enough for the three bikes to ride side by side, lots of chatting rather than speed was the order of the day.
We passed the old Ice House which was used years ago for storing ice from local ponds. This kept the salmon caught from the estuary fresh, before being taken to market. It is now home to natterer's bats.
Another mile on and we reached the beautiful expanse of beach at Tentsmuir point, where we met a couple looking for sea eagles. We were hopeful we might see one too and when a huge bird flew close to us, for a second we thought it might be a Sea Eagle, only to realise it was a buzzard, still cracking to see so close up.
Tentsmuir point is where the North Sea meets the Firth of Tay, looking over to Monifieth and Barry Buddon. It's a great place to see seals and waders or depending on the age of your group, time can be passed just by throwing sticks into the sea.
We can't wait to go back and explore this area some more, next time we would love to go to the tranquil Morton Lochs area of the forest where there are nature hides and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of electric blue Kingfisher. Maybe on the way a red squirrel as it's still on my list! Perhaps in the summer when the dragonflies and butterflies are around. We also fancy doing more of the seashell walk along the dunes to spot the seals.
This is a great place for all that enjoy the outdoors, there was lots of cars in the car park, but you hardly passed a soul once you got going. If the weather is a little dreigh or windy the forest makes a wonderful shelter. I would definitely recommend.
Here is a link to a really useful map which shows the different trails.
A well deserved doughnut on the way home finished the off day nicely. Phew, that little boy of ours was a tad heavy on the back of my bike.