UKH

Lomond Hills - The Full Circuit Walking

The classic big hillwalking horseshoe of the Lomond Hills links the three main summits in one long round. If you're based in the area and can't get as far as the highlands, this makes a great keeping-it-local stand-in; but it's a lot more than just a substitute, and well worth the journey from further afield when lockdowns permit.

Checking out Carlin Maggie on the west flank of Bishop Hill  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Checking out Carlin Maggie on the west flank of Bishop Hill
Fetching Map

Detailed description

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NO2248803447 From the parking layby beside Holl Reservoir walk back down the road towards the pylons, then turn right onto a long straight track signed for Bishop Hill. This rises steadily to pass West Feal farm, then follows the edge of a forestry plantation on Munduff Hill before briefly entering the woods. At the far edge of the forest continue straight ahead on a muddy track through hummocky country to reach the edge of Bishop Hill's steep western escarpment, looking out over Loch Leven to the distant green ridge of the Ochils. The path now curves right. Ignore a downhill turnoff, and make your way to Bishop Hill's cairned summit, the highest of several hummocks. Just west of the summit on the steep escarpment overlooking Kinnesswood is the impressive pinnacle of Carlin Maggie. This is worth a look though the approach from above needs care on steep grass slopes, skirting either side of the crag that backs the pinnacle (a wide gully on the north side of the crag gives perhaps the easiest option).

2
NO1853404380 A short steep descent and a leg over bumpy ground brings you to a wall that cuts across the ridge at 90º. Head right along this, with the distinctive form of East Lomond dead ahead, to descend boggy slopes past a scatter of old pines. At a gate turn left along another wall, now heading towards the tent-shaped dome of West Lomond, to enter the broad expanse of upper Glen Vale. Join a track briefly, turning off at the first bend onto a muddy path for the rough climb to the summit of West Lomond; the upper section is particularly steep.
Looking over to Bishop Hill from a wintry West Lomond  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
Looking over to Bishop Hill from a wintry West Lomond
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Dec 2010

3
NO1972506629 A very steep grassy path drops roughly east-northeast, curving leftwards to a junction down on the plateau beneath West Lomond's summit bulge. Now follow a wide track more or less east on a long gradual descent to meet the minor road that runs over the Lomond Hills from Glenrothes to Falkland, at a car park.

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NO2273106179 Across the road from the car park take a path signed for East Lomond. This rises gently across open ground to reach a track junction. Here, go left through a gate, beyond which the path climbs gradually before a very steep final sprint up East Lomond's summit cone. Most of Fife is visible from here, as well as the Lothian hills and a swathe of the distant Highlands.
East Lomond from West Lomond  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
East Lomond from West Lomond
© Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com, Aug 2017

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NO2441006203 Descend the way you came to the track junction, then head south on a path signed Limekilns Trail. Branch right past the old kiln, crossing a footbridge and a stile to leave the works behind. Climb a ladder stile over a drystone wall, then continue roughly south across a field – a tall marker pole shows the way – to regain the minor road at a corner by Easter Glasslie farm.

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NO2381005193 Take the road downhill for approximately 1km, then turn off right onto a farm track. This leads along a vague ridge to reach a house at Balgothrie; turn left here, where a path leads over a low rise and through a forestry plantation to meet the Holl Reservoir dam.

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Further Routes

by Dan Bailey UKH



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