Tinto from Wiston

Tinto from Wiston and Thankerton

Hillwalking and hillrace routes up Tinto Hill

The most popular approach Tinto's summit is from the north and is also used for the line of the Tinto Hill Race. But a more quiet alternative is to aim up from Wiston to the south.

Route outline



Ascent 455m (1490ft)
Distance 5km (3m)
Time 2:00hr
Start/finish Wiston
Grid Ref : NS956322
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

Once through Wiston Lodge grounds and its woodlands, a grassy trod leads up to the foot of Tinto Hill. Traversing some screes, a fence-line is followed to Tinto's summit where a huge untidy cairn rests a short distance away from a trig point.

Also detailed below is the route aiming in from near Thankerton to the north of Tinto, which is followed each November for the route line of the Tinto Hill Race.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Wiston

Heading up from Wiston

Heading up from Wiston

Halfway between Abington Services (just off the M74) and Biggar on the A73/A72, the B7055 heads north-west.

Drive along this, winding past several houses until you reach the entrance of Winston Lodge by the local primary school.

There is space to park a couple of cars here by the roadside. Alternatively, with permission, parking is available in the lodge's grounds.

2. Tinto Hill

On the summit of Tinto

On the summit of Tinto

Walk into the lodge grounds on the access track and head north, keeping the lodge on your right-hand side. The slightly mucky track passes a house on your left and comes to a water works hut, where there is a slightly hidden sign pointing the route up to Tinto.

The route comes to a field with a gate - head through this and follow the edge of a forest (on your right) up a couple of fields with occasional sodden ground to another gate .

Through the gate, keeping a fence on your right, follow a path, then start climbing up grassy ground.

The path reaches open hillside , heads through some heather and reaches the base of some screes. A choice of paths traversing and zig-zaging or aiming directly uphill eventually meet up with a double fence-line travelling up the south-east shoulder of Tinto.

Follow the fence-line to the Tinto's summit where there is a huge and untidy cairn with a trig point nearby. The views are vast from this point

3. Return

Fence-lines heading down Tinto

Fence-lines heading down Tinto

Head back down Tinto by the route up.

The are various alternatives to a direct return down Tinto's southern aspect, however all of these will involve either organising transport or a walk along a road.

4. Tinto from the north (and Tinto Race route)

Tinto hill race in action

Tinto hill race in action

To the north of Tinto is Thankerton and on the opposite side of the A73 from this village, a narrow road heads south-west. A large car-park is around 500m down this road just past some houses and a farm. The most popular route up Tinto begins from here.

From the car-park, head to an information board, from where a well worn path heads south. The path climbs gently for the first 1km or so, passing a medival fort , then the gradient increases slightly as the path narrows and becomes rougher. A little further on the path swings abruptly south then meets up with a track heading in from the east.

The track is followed to above Maurice's Cleuch to a fork in the route at around c530m. Either direction can be taken - though if on the race, most runners will opt for the right fork (west). Both routes converge higher up , from where the final 100m of climb to the summit follows a fence-line.

This route described is also this line of the Tinto Hillrace which takes place annually in November and is organised by Carnethy Hill Running Club.

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Alternative and nearby routes »

Culter Fell and Gathersnow Hill

The rolling Culter Hills lie in the Southern Uplands, just south of Biggar. The highest peaks are Culter Fell and Gathersnow Hill - vast heather and grass covered lumps. Navigation is fairly easy following well-maintained fences.

Peaks : 2 Grahams, 4 Donalds

Ascent : 960m (3150ft)
Distance : 19km (12m)
Time : 6:30hr

Broughton Heights and Trahenna

In the Southern Uplands, halfway between Biggar and Peebles the grass-covered little hills of Broughton Heights make for an excellent walk or run along well defined crests. Fences aid navigation, terrain is generally soft underfoot and views are expansive.

Peaks : 2 Donald Dewey's

Ascent : 630m (2070ft)
Distance : 11km (7m)
Time : 3:45hr

Dun Rig and the Glen Sax Circuit

From Peebles, a fine circular hillrunning route overlooking Glen Sax takes in the high ground of Glenrath and Huddleshope Heights. Part of the route forms the Gypsy Glen Hill Race.

Peaks : 1 Graham, 4 Donalds

Ascent : 900m (2950ft)
Distance : 21km (13m)
Time : 6:45hr

Broad Law and Dollar Law

A delightful route following fencelines which aid navigation over the undulating ground between Dollar Law and Broad Law.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 810m (2660ft)
Distance : 16km (10m)
Time : 5:20hr


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