Lowther Hills

Lowther Hill Radome

Lowther Hill is a landmark in south-west Scotland: everyone flying to North America needs it. That’s because it has a very nice air-traffic control radar and beacon sitting at the top. Find the big geodesic dome on the top of the hill and that’s Lowther Hill. Not content with one hill they’ve spread out and put a bunch of uglier antennae on Green Lowther. So, these hills are worth climbing not because they are attractive in themselves but because they give a great view over the whole area and you get to microwave your lunch at the top for free.

Wanlockhead and Highland Hills from Lowther Hill

View indicator, East Mount Lowther

We parked in pretty Wanlockhead where the private road leads up to the radar station.  As I got out of the car a Red Kite floated overhead: a great start to the day.  There are so many tracks around Wanlockhead from the old mine workings: we took the one that joins the Southern Upland Way and headed for East Mount Lowther.  The walking was easy along the good path over the managed moorland.  This first hill, a Donald, is a nice grassy mount with something I love: a viewpoint indicator.  This one was dedicated on 21st May 1944 and, although slightly weathered, shows everything we could see on such a beautiful day.

Swallow nest site on Lowther Hill

Now a slight backtrack and up onto Lowther Hill itself for lunch.  On the way up we passed an old metal hut that a pair of Swallows were using for nesting: is this the highest Swallow nest in Scotland? The view was certainly superb looking down the gorgeous Mennock Pass with Goat Fell on Arran on the horizon.

Road to Lowther Hill from Green Lowther

Jazz on Green Lowther

We now head towards Green Lowther along a beautifully constructed linear road complete with snow poles.  We are 700m up in the Southern Uplands with no traffic on the best road: surreal. From Green Lowther we follow the path over a few non-descript hills to Dun Law.  The only redeeming quality of this lump is that it is a Donald: otherwise give it a miss.  From here we head west and down towards Leadhills to join the path that skirts the reservoir and back to the car.

Previous section of SUW: Wanlockhead Circuit
Next section of SUW: Overfingland Circuit
Distance:16km
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