Crawford, Crawfordjohn and Leadhills Cycle Route

The Lowther hills - Escape from the World

Once described as God’s Own Treasure House the Lowther hills have been mined for gold and lead since Roman times. The mines are closed but lots of reminders remain.Leadhills,Scotland’s second highest village, reeks of its mining past.

Piles of spoil, old railway tracks and miners’ cottages do not take away from the beauty of the Lowther hills but rather add plenty of interest for the passing cyclist.

Wild, green, other worldly and with several high passes to cross the Lowther hills are perfect for cyclists looking for a challenge. However there also are plenty of opportunities by the youthful River Clyde to enjoy the scenery but with much less effort.

Cycle Route

Map: OS Landranger 72
Start/finish: Car park (public toilets), Carlisle Road, Crawford
Train: Lanark (18 miles)
Distance: 22.5 miles
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: hard
Terrain: mainly quiet back roads and cycle; the road surface is rough in places.
Refreshment: Colebrook Arms, Crawfordjohn – 01864 504 239; Hopetoun Arms Hotel – 01659 74234; Crawford Arms Hotel - 01864 502267

Points of Interest

1. Leadhills Library was founded in 1741 by the mathematician James Stirling and the poet Allan Ramsay. It is the oldest subscription in Scotland
2. Oldest man - follow the blue signs to find the grave of John Taylor whose gravestone suggests he was 137 years old when he died.
3. Curfew bell hangs from a pyramid of posts in the centre of the village. Dated 1770 the bell was rung to sound the end of shifts and emergencies in the lead mines.

The Route
  • Turn left (north) from car park (public toilets) on Carlisle Road. Leave Crawford and continue to roundabout.
  • Turn right at roundabout for Abington to follow A702 – NCN 74 and join cycle lane on left.
  • Continue through Abington and then cycle to roundabout at motorway services.
  • Turn left for Douglas B7078, Crawfordjohn B740.
  • Rejoin cycle lane and continue to next roundabout. Turn right signed Douglas – NCN 74.
  • After ¾ mile left signed for Crawfordjohn 3¾ .
  • Follow road to Crawfordjohn.
  • At Crawfordjohn take left at fork and continue past Colebrooke Arms on Main Street.
  • At junction at the end of Main Street turn left and descend past churchyard.
  • Climb steeply over pass and then descend to T-Junction with B797. Turn right for Leadhills3.
  • In Leadhills turn left for Elvanfoot. Follow road for 5 miles to T-junction with Dumfries Road – A702.
  • Turn left and continue through Elvanfoot.
  • At roundabout follow signs for Carlisle, Beattock and Crawford off to the left and go under motorway. At T-junction turn left and join cycle lane (NCN 74) and then cycle-path.
  • After 1½ miles turn right for Crawford and return to start.

 For thise looking to explore the Lowther Hills further, take the Crawford and Abington Cycle Route.

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