Lowther Hill (Elvanfoot) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

9.8 mi
1,759 ft
2.9 %



This is one of the 10 most epic bike climbs in Scotland.  Before our second extended cycling trip to the UK to document top hill climbs here, Simon Warren provided us his Top Most Epic and Top Hardest Hill Climbs for England, Wales, Scotland, and the UK as a whole.  Here is the Scottish Top 10 Most Epic list:  (1) Bealach na Ba (also UK most epic), (2) Maovally, (3) The Wall of Tall, (4) The Lecht, (5) Mull of Kintyre, (6) The String, (7) Nick of the Balloch, (8) Ben Lawers, (9) Quiraing and (1) Lowther Hill.

Visit our Top 10 Most Epic UK and also our Top 10 Most Epic Scottish hill climbs pages for photos, summaries and statistics for their respective top epic hill climbs. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
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bike parked along roadside next to sign for Wanlockhead, highest village in Scotland

Cycling Lowther Hill, Scotland

Ride 15.7 kilometers gaining 536 meters at 2.9% average grade (4.6% climb only).

The longest hill climb in the United Kingdom

Lowther Hill is a climb up through Scottish history. The halfway point of the climb passes through the former, and aptly named, town of Leadhill. From our climbing route, former mining sites are visible in the distance near the old town of Leadhill. Additionally you’ll pass the oldest subscription library in Britain, which was started by the town's miners in the 1700s.  Past Leadhill and up a few tough pitches, you’ll cross the town line of Wanlockhead, which holds the title of being the Highest Village in Scotland. From Wanlockhead, you turn left onto a private access road to reach the radar stations at the summit of our climb. Although the road is marked as private, I think this is really just to keep cars out and is not applicable to cyclists and hikers. If you're lucky enough to have clear skies, the summit views are staggering. But, the sun rarely shines out this way, so be prepared for a wet day.

Simon Warren (100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, UK) provided us his list of Top UK climbs, and he ranks Lowther Hill the #9 hardest and #8 most epic in Scotland. We endorse Simon’s opinion - of the roughly 150 bike climbs we have completed in our two trips to document bike climbs in the UK, we consider this one of the most epic climbs in Scotland.

road sign for Leadhills Road

Climb begins at the intersection of Leadhills Road and A702 in Elvanfoot.

panoramic view of vast green valley with barn in the center

There are some exceptional scenes along the climb.

photo collage shows views along first third of climb; green hills, rock walls, and signs for cattle crossing

Views along the first third of the climb.

bike parked against iron sign for Wanlockhead Village

Pass the outskirts of the highest village in Scotland at kilometer 9.8, in the middle of 900m descent.

aerial drone view of village of Leadhills

Pass through Leadhills at kilometer 7.5, after a 900 meter 3.25% descent.

Leadhills Miners Library; oldest subscription library in Britain

Oldest subscription library in Britain at kilometer 7.7 in Leadhills.

Some of the original books and old mining artifacts are on display here.

photo collage, Dumfries & Galloway; big horn sheep, aerial drone view shows roadway snaking across green hillside

Dumfries & Galloway is one of 32 Scottish council areas.

We enter this area at kilometer 9.5

gate at kilometer 12 marks private road

Gate at kilometer 12 - seemed alright to ride up.

Lowther Hill radar station 

Lowther Hill Radar Station at the finish of the steepest 500-meter segment (12.5%) at km 13.7.

view from Lowther Hill Radar Station looking down at the road up the hill; pond in distance

Looking back at the road leading to the Radar Station.

dome at Lowther Hill Radar Station; "The Golf Ball"

The dome can be seen from great distances and is referred to as The Golf Ball.

bike parked against cement block at the top of Green Lowther peak at climb finish

View from the top of Green Lowther Peak at the climb finish.

That’s a wrap!