Biggar & Pentland Hills
This route follows these lanes through peaceful hamlets into forgotten corners of the Pentland hills, South Lanarkshire were Covenanters hid out in the 17th century.
Map: OS Landranger 72
Start/finish: Corn Exchange, High Street
Train: Lanark (18 miles)
Refreshment: Biggar is well served by tearooms, pubs and restaurants;
Distance: 24 miles
Time: 2 – 4 hours
Terrain: quiet back roads; surface rough in places; route includes a short section on the A721.
Points of interest in Biggar, South Lanarkshire
1. Moat Park Heritage Centre is one of five museums in Biggar it explains the local Iron Age and Roman histories. Other museums include the Gladstone Court, the Gasworks and the Greenhill Covenanters’ House.
2. St Mary’s Church dates from 1545 and was the last collegiate church in Scotland built before the Reformation.
3. Dunsyre Kirk – look out for the iron jougs set into the church wall. Offenders would be sentenced to wear the iron collar around their neck. It was set at such a height as to make uncomfortable to sit or stand as well as humiliate.
4. Little Sparta is the exotically named poetry garden of the late artist Ian Hamilton Finlay.
5. Newbigging Mercat cross topped with a stone sun is a peculiarly pagan object dated 1693.
- From the Corn Exchange on High Street go left downhill and then go right for Carnwath, B7016.
- Go uphill out of Biggar and continue for less than one mile. Take the right on the bend to leave the B7016. Follow the quiet road to crossroads with A721 and go straight over.
- Follow road for 3 miles and take left signed for Dunsyre 1 mile.
- Continue on road through woodland and into Dunsyre.
- Go uphill and round to the left in Dunsyre and follow road for 3 ½ miles to Newbigging.
- At T-junction with A721 (Nestlers’ hotel) turn left and go downhill. At the foot of the hill and on the bend – turn right.
- Follow quiet road fairly steeply uphill. From the top of the hill a fast downhill takes you to a T-junction with the B7016.Turn left and then after a short distance turn right for Thankerton and Quothquan .
- Follow road into and through Quothquan. At red telephone box take the left fork and continue to junction.
- Turn left and continue through Cormiston. At foot of steep downhill turn left onto Lindsaylands Road and follow into Biggar. At T-junction at the Cadgers Brig turn left to return to start.
If you wish to explore more of what South Lanarkshire's scenic countryside has to offer, why not take the Biggar and Broughton Cycle Route.