WMB127 Drumlanrig Classic Route
Start/Finish Layby on A76 (NS857042)
Total distance 28km (17.4 miles)
Total ascent 1104m
Time 4-6 hours
Maps OS Landranger sheet 78, Nithsdale & Annandale. Or Garmin Discoverer 1:50K – Scotland (GPS)
Summary Only 17 miles but the ground conditions, nav issues and altitude gain make it a challenging, but worthwhile ride.
From the layby, cross the road onto the singletrack road, under the railway line heading for Coshogle. After around 1km look for a track cutting back
on yourself on the left. Take this, climbing to Kirkbride farmhouse. Turn left just before the farm on a track and skirt the farmyard and buildings up a grassy track. Go through a gate and the track climbs dead straight in front of you. Go only a few metres though, before passing through the gate on your right.
The navigation is tricky here, but if the sheep track is visible under the grass, follow this as it contours round the hillside above the ruined church and cemetery on your right. Keep contouring, aiming for the gate on the opposite side of the field. Pass through this and continue
on the same line, dropping down through the small burn and climbing steeply up to the wall corner above. Follow the increasingly distinct path up the left of the wall here. It is marked on the OS map, but there isn’t much on the ground. Climb over the hillside and descend down the east flank of Knockconey Dod until you pass through another gate and get onto a good grassy track.
Follow the grassy track as it skirts round the north side of the abandoned steading. The singletrack path then drops down into a small glen, splashes through a burn then climbs steeply up through the bracken. Follow this up the hill to meet the well surfaced estate track. Turn right on this and climb some more.
When the track stops you want to bear right over open hillside for a short time, passing through a large washed-out burn cutting. At the other side of this the trail gets very distinct and is very good singletrack. This is the Dempster Road; descend on it until you reach the Mennock Water, splash through and climb up the banking to the road.
Turn right on the road and follow it to Wanlockhead. In the village fork left for the mining museum and café, or go straight on to carry on. Just as you pass out of the village take the private Tarmac road on the right that climbs to the radar station. Climb up this to the summit of Lowther Hill and the radar ‘golf ball’ – the extra climb is well worth it for the view.
Retrace your tyre treads back down
to the far corner with the radio
mast and signpost for the footpath. Descend off the steep estate track here, down to the saddle. Go over the gate
here and then descend on the very
narrow singletrack along the line of the telegraph poles.
After descending down the Enterkin Burn, meet the track and turn left
up the climb to the first sharp bend left. Carry straight on to the west of the ridgeline. Cross the ridge, through a gate and into an open field. Follow the line
of the track again, down the ridgeline
to meet the track for Chapel. Keep descending southwest, staying right at
the next junction.
At the minor road turn sharp right and follow it all the way down to the A76 and your layby.by Matt_Skinner