MOUNTAIN BIKING in East Scotland
All photographs on this site copyright Chris Stamp, except where otherwise indicated
Tentsmuir Forest & Morton Lochs
Yellow Route: 14 kms approx
Tentsmuir Forest is a popular and fascinating location, combining coast, mature scots pine forest and small inland lochs. It's a perfect place for family cycling, being almost entirely level and with seemingly endless possibilities for exploration - it takes many visits to get to know the forest properly. It is a National Nature Reserve, with wildlife that includes a colony of grey and common seals on the sandbanks which can be often be seen at relatively close range, depending on the tides. Other attractions range from white-tailed sea eagles to green woodpeckers, rare moths and butterflies. The coast here is the subject of dramatic reprofiling as sand erodes from some places and accretes in others, so you can find that favourite picnic spots by the beach no longer exist by your next visit!

Morton Lochs is a separate NNR in its own right, with otters and kingfisher. In early spring it's difficult to avoid the crowds of toads!


There are official car parks at Tayport, Kinshaldy beach and Morton Lochs, all marked on the map. A guide leaflet with a map and other information is available at the Kinshaldy car park (the one near the beach). Note that there is a toll barrier on the road approaching this car park, and that at the height of summer this car park may become full.


Easy. The only challenge is the occasional patch of windblown sand across the tracks. However getting lost is also easy away from the coastal fringe, so it's important to keep your bearings.

Route description:

The yellow route takes in some of the more interesting tracks, particularly by the coast where the forest is more open, but feel free to explore. However the spur to the seashore at the ice house is particularly recommended, to see the sea and maybe the seals (but don't get too close if there are pups on the beach). The seals may come to see you if the tide is high and there are no dogs around.

The blue route connects the car park at Morton Lochs with the main part of the forest.


Tentsmuir experiences a lot of visitors, with many activities throughout the year in addition to cycling (from horse-riding to dog-sledding, to family events), so it's particularly important that visitors avoid causing damage through excessively eroding footpaths or accidentally leaving litter, if the area is to remain as attractive as it is now.  

Try Tentsmuir as an introduction to evening/night riding with halogen bike lights, and look out for bats, owls, roe deer and and foxes!

Photo © Tom Cunningham