Thursday, 23 November 2023
In November 1923, only four years after the establishment of the Forestry Commission, Glenmore was purchased from the Duke of Gordon. 2023 marks 100 ye...
Due to a recent storm, a number of trees have been left unstable or have fallen across the perimeter road around the forest. As a precaution, until all the issues have been resolved, access will be restricted to the rear of the picnic area at The Ice House and a number of diversions will be set up to accommodate the ongoing work within the site. This may take a number of days to complete.
Tentsmuir is a magical combination of forest trails that dip and weave between tall trees and open sand dunes. There’s rich wildlife, from coastal grassland dotted with wildflowers in spring and summer to great flocks of sea birds that come to feed on shellfish.
If you're lucky you may see red squirrels in the trees, and roe deer weaving through the undergrowth. You might even see seals basking on the sand! But remember, if you do spot seals, keep your distance so you don't disturb them.
The Morton Lochs on the western edge of the forest are part of Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve and there are four hides where you can watch waterbirds and dragonflies. The dunes and sand flats at Tentsmuir Point and Tayport Heath are all part of the reserve too.
People have lived, hunted and worked here for thousands of years. Tools and a fire pit from a Stone Age hunters’ camp have been found near Morton Lochs. In the second world war, Tentsmuir was part of a long line of defences along Scotland’s east coast. Polish troops who were based here built hundreds of concrete blocks as an anti-tank barrier. Once at the sea’s edge, now many of them are buried in the dunes. Every time the sand shifts, there’s a chance that new evidence of Tentsmuir’s past might be uncovered.
Wind through sand dunes and pine forest to discover the 19th century ice house and some World War II pillboxes.
Largely firm, uneven sandy surface. Several short steep ramps. Includes a short rougher section, exposed tree roots and parts that may be wet.
Allow 2 hours
Tentsmuir is an ideal place for easy cycling, with a good network of firm, level trails. You can hire bikes in Tayport and Leuchars. It’s great for horse riding too, with pine-scented forest, windswept sands and a wonderful range of wildlife. The coast here is one of Scotland’s most dynamic landscapes: parts of the shoreline are growing out into the sea at a rate of five metres a year.
Close to the car park you’ll find picnic tables and a children’s play area, and a short walk will take you to the beach with its sea views and sand dunes.
Summer opening: April to end of October 8am till 9pm. Last entry 8.30pm
Winter opening: November to end of March 8am till dusk.
The charge to park at Tentsmuir is £2 for the day.
Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our local forest list without the £ symbol.
Available in advance by downloading the relevant application form and emailing to the Regional Office. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions before applying.
Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks.
Blue Badge holders park for free at all our carparks. At Tentsmuir, you can:
Ticks can be found in woodland, moorland, grassland and parks, and are most active between March and October. Find out how to check for ticks after a visit to the countryside here.
One stray spark from a fire could destroy the whole forest. To keep the trees – and visitors – safe, no fires are allowed in the forest or on the beach, but you’re welcome to bring a barbecue. Barbecues must be used in the picnic area on one of the special barbecue plates. Please remember to take used barbecues home with you.
To help keep Tentsmuir welcoming and safe for everyone, a byelaw prohibits alcohol on the site.
Timber extraction from the north coast windblown tree clear up area is now complete.
We have now entered the final phase of works involving the removal of brash and branch wood from the clear felled strip of land between the shore and the forest road. Using heavy machinery brash will be extracted from this site and taken to our former timber stacking areas where it will be chipped into wagons and transported off site. These works will continue well into summer and visitors are requested to keep out of the main clear felled areas, and stacking areas to the south where machinery will continue to operate.
All northern beach and dune paths are now open, and access to Tentsmuir Point at the National Nature Reserve gate has been restored. The National Cycle Network (NCN Route 1) and the Fife Coastal Path have now been returned to their original route, however our machinery still requires to cross this road as part of the ongoing works.
Marked crossing points will be installed to highlight these areas to visitors. When machines are approaching the crossing point visitors should STOP and WAIT for them to pass before moving through. Cyclists would be advised to dismount when passing through the crossing point.
Tree felling is now complete. Morton Lochs National Nature Reserve car park is open.
For more information on what will happen to these sites once works are complete please see our Land Management Plan consultation page.
Tentsmuir Forest is 1½ miles (2.4 km) east of the B945 between Leuchars and Tayport in northeast Fife. Follow signs for Kinshaldy Beach.
KY16 0DR is the closest postcode for Tentsmuir.
The nearest bus stops are in Tayport and Leuchars. Buses will stop by request at the Morton Loch road end, from where you can walk to Morton Lochs and then into the forest. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
There are small car parks at Morton Lochs and Tayport, from where you can walk or cycle into the forest.
A tranquil woodland nestled next to Dundee
Jump into Deuchny