From the ruins of Sanquhar castle, the incredible landscape art of the Crawick Multiverse to the industrial heritage of Wanlockhead this section gives an opportunity to explore the history and culture of the area.
At only 13 Kilometers this is the shortest section of the route. Luckily there is much here that is worth stopping to explore.
If you didn’t take the time yesterday evening to find the ruins of Sanquhar castle it is well worth doing it now. Also a detour to the Crawick Multiverse should be on your list. Charles Jencks designed the swirling landscape art here which is only about a mile off route.
Leaving the town you will start by climbing up a steep grassy bank called the Cows Wynd. This was route taken by the town herd taking cattle to the common grazing land. You will already have views back to Sanquhar and the Nith Valley and they only get better as you get higher.
After several miles of scenic hill walking you will descend towards Wanlockhead. Here you will start to see the signs of the lead mining that once dominated this area. At the bottom the first thing you will see is the old smelting works and there are more industrial remains as you walk along the valley. In the village is the beam engine, perhaps the most impressive of them all.
As this was a short section you will have time to look around the lead mining museum in the village. Go down the lead mines, explore the workers houses and the second oldest library in the world. There is also a pub here and in the next village Leadhills there is a small shop and a hotel.
From the village you can see the golf ball on the top of Lowther Hill, you will be climbing up to it tomorrow.
Walk my corkscrewed paths, stand with your feet
on earth and rocks, let your head reach up
to starspace, black holes, galaxies.
|OS Explorer Maps||329 Lowther Hills, Sanquhar & Leadhills|
|Distance||13km / 8 miles|
|Height Range||140 – 480m|
|Information Shelter||Near River Nith bridge and on museum wall at Wanlockhead.|
|Supplies||Shops are available in Sanquhar or Leadhills (off route)|
|Public Transport||Trains from Sanquhar to Glasgow and Carlisle. Buses from Sanquhar to Ayr and Dumfries.|
|Cycling||The entire of this section is suitable for mountain bikes. There are some stiles that bikes will need to be lifted over.|