Tinto Trail

2-3 Hours


4.9 Miles


Moderate to difficult

Other info

Map, compass, suitable clothing and footwear are essential.

Photo courtesy of Graeme McLeish

There are three routes that you can follow, have a look at our map or OS Landranger 72. For the main route you can start and finish at the car park at Fallburn, Thankerton or a bus leaves every half an hour from Lanark bus station.

Fallburn car park - Route One

Most days, the summit cairn and almost the entire route revealing its underlying red rock, can be seen from the Fallburn car park.
At first the going is easy as the well-worn path crosses the gently rising heathery moor, through the kissing gate etched ‘Tinto Hill’ (it's considered impolite not to exchange kisses as you hold the gate for your companions, as long as you're sufficiently friendly that is!) then follows the first of three steep sections.

You’ve got time to get your breath back at the top of Totheron Hill (479m) before starting up the next steep wide section. You’ll also have an opportunity at this point to check out the Iron Age fort below before following the wide red ‘highway’ south.

Another short heart pounding section brings you to the fork – choose left and follow the ‘highway’ or sweep right around Maurice’s Cleuch and along the much narrower path with full views of the steep ravine of shale, scree and heather.

It’s not far before both of the paths join up again and the ‘highway’ begins to run parallel with a barb wire fence on the right for the final climb to the summit (707m), where you can enjoy this ancient lookout, its magnificent views and a well-earned cup of tea (go prepared) in one of the several wind shelters scattered around the summit cairn.

Photo courtesy of Graeme McLeish

Tinto Ridge – Route Two

The main route is a linear walk suitable for anyone of average fitness, but for those who wish to make it circular, it’s easy enough to turn right at the summit and to follow the ridge west, following an intermittent hilltop track close to the stone boundary wall, until you reach an obvious cleft in the ridge at Howgate. Pass the farm towards the road and follow it back to the car park.

Tinto South Side – Route Three

An alternative route starts from Wiston Lodge on the south side of the hill. This route can be so quiet that it’s hard to believe it’s the same hill. This is a much steeper route and the path at times is not so obvious, but it does offer great views of the Clyde Valley and Southern Uplands.

You can download a map by clicking the icon below.

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