Routes up Tinto hill in the Southern Uplands


Tinto (707m, Graham/Donald)


455m (1,500ft)


5km (3m)


walking : 2hr*, running : 35mins
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Main route summary

Tinto sits alone above the Clyde Valley and as such affords stunning views in all directions from its huge untidy cairn.

Routes approach the summit from the north and south, both of which are straightforward. If you prefer quietness and lack of boot traffic, then tackle this hill from Wiston to the south. The route from the north (described in 'Alternative Routes' below) is far busier, so much so that the car-park at the start has been drastically enlarged. Every November sees a fast hillrace up and down this route, which has now become so popular that a limit on the entries has been put in place.

start/finish Wiston
(grid ref : NS957322)


GPS data download GPX file of this route

easy Mainly grass with some scree higher up difficult
easy Obvious - paths and fences to follow testing
easyEasy strolllong day
ok Fine views in all directions stunning
main route outlineprint route
Getting to 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.
  • There is space to park a couple of cars here. Alternatively, with permission, you can park in the lodge's grounds.

  • Walk into the lodge grounds on the 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 waterboard hut, where there is a slightly hidden sign pointing the route up to Tinto.
  • Follow the edge of a forest up a couple of fields with occasional sodden ground.
  • Beyond the forest and on a path, start climbing up grassy ground.
  • The path starts to zig-zag and enters heather, leave it and head for a double fence-line ahead. Keeping to the fence-line avoids some scree and therefore causing undue errosion.
  • Follow the fence-line to the summit with its trig-point, huge cairn and vast panorama.

  • Return by the same route, taking in the vast views as you descend.


Steven Fallon
31 Argyle Place
Edinburgh EH9 1JT



© 2021 Steven Fallon