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.
Climb begins at the intersection of Leadhills Road and A702 in Elvanfoot.
There are some exceptional scenes along the climb.
Views along the first third of the climb.
Pass the outskirts of the highest village in Scotland at kilometer 9.8, in the middle of 900m descent.
Pass through Leadhills at kilometer 7.5, after a 900 meter 3.25% descent.
Oldest subscription library in Britain at kilometer 7.7 in Leadhills.
Some of the original books and old mining artifacts are on display here.
Dumfries & Galloway is one of 32 Scottish council areas.
We enter this area at kilometer 9.5
Gate at kilometer 12 - seemed alright to ride up.
Lowther Hill Radar Station at the finish of the steepest 500-meter segment (12.5%) at km 13.7.
Looking back at the road leading to the Radar Station.
The dome can be seen from great distances and is referred to as The Golf Ball.
View from the top of Green Lowther Peak at the climb finish.
That’s a wrap!