Lamachan Hike

AS Walking

Where: Lamachan Range, Glentrool in Dumfries & Galloway by Ayrshire
When: 23rd October 2012
Who: I Parker
Why: good weather so a day out
Weather: Sunny Spells
Height: 2,352 ft
Distance: ?

The Lamachan Range is situated by Glentrool village, 34 miles southeast of Ayr via the village of Straiton, 9 miles north of Newton Stewart in the county of Dumfries & Galloway. The village is about 50 houses with a popular small hotel for drinks and meals. The hotel is situated about 1 mile south of the village, named the House o Hill. The Glentrool Holiday Park for camping is close to the village.

Glentrool Park is situated about 1 mile east of Glentrool village with a visitor centre, tea room, a few car parks, and many walk/cycle paths throughout.

Below is a view of the Glentrool Visitor Centre with parking for many cars and signs giving information on the walking and biking trails throughout the park, and around Loch Trool. The signs also give information on astrology as this area is so remote, it is classed as a dark skies area, one of the top areas in the UK for viewing the stars.

The car parks for the Lamachan Range are 3 miles east of here via a good single lane, tar road, with many passing places. Road Map

Large Walking Routes Map

Glentrool Visitor Centre image

The image below shows the car park at the Bruce's Stone monument. This is the main car park for hiking the many trails from here. The path leading off to the right leads 30 yards to Bruce's Stone. The notice board, as seen below, is at the start of the Merrick Trail. The Merrick is the highest mountain in southern Scotland at 2,766 ft, also the most popular. At weekends and holidays, this car park may be full, so you may have to park at the larger car park about 3 hundred yards back down the road.

Merrick Car Park image

Below is a view of Bruce's Stone by Loch Trool with Mulldonoch behind. This stone monument is in honour of a battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence, fought here in April 1307.

The hill/mountain across the loch is the 1,840 ft Mulldonoch with the 2,352 ft Lamachan behind that. Mulldonoch is the first peak to be climbed on this photo tour. Getting to Mulldonoch entails a 2 mile walk around Loch Trool via a forest road.

Bruce's Stone image

The map below shows the route round to the Lamachan range. The green and yellow dots show the fairly good trails, green and red the steep routes, and green and brown the rough routes. There are no trails on or off these hills/mountains, so you have to be prepared to go through the rough stuff at the start and end of the hike. There is a quad bike track onto the northwest ridge of Mulldonoch.

This route also consists of a few steep sections up through rock and heather. I always use hiking poles for routes like this as they are not the best places to be putting your hands down, as rock and heather is where you might find an odd snake/adder. I also wear gaiters for these rough hikes incase I tread on an adder.

Lamachan Hill Map image

The road round to the Lamachan range goes east from the car park, past the Merrick Trail, then down past the stone Buchan Bridge and Buchan Waterfalls. The image below is of the second bridge on the trail crossing the Gairland Burn.

You continue along this road past an old house and barn. There is a short burn-side walk that leads off to the right mid way between here and the barn. That burn-side walk leads back to this road just past the barn so does not save any time, but is more scenic with a couple of hikers bridges to cross.

Gairland Burn and Bridge image

About 2 miles out from the car park, you reach a couple of bends on the road and the Sheil Burn with waterfalls.

There are a few routes onto the range from here, one is follow the Sheil Burn up to between Bennanbrack and Lamachan. Another is follow the Sheil Burn up so far, then follow a fence to the right up between Mulldonoch and Lamachan, there is a quad bike track alongside the fence.

The main routes are to follow the old forest road that leads off to the right here at the bend.

Sheil Burn Bennanbrack Hill image

The view below shows the old forest road running along the north side of Mulldonoch. The little hillock just above the old road is the start of the northeast ridge, a testing route.

The old forest road also leads past the northeast ridge and onto the northwest ridge, a similar route up, but with better views over Loch Trool.

Mulldonoch northeast ridge image

The view below is from the top of the first section of the Mulldonoch northeast ridge, looking down to the bend in the road where the old forest roads leads off.

Mulldoncoch northeast lower side image

The view below is from close to the top of Mulldonoch looking back down the northeast ridge. This was a good ridge to hike with a few steep sections up through rock and heather. You can see the forest road down there, and the old house and barn.

Mulldonoch Northeast Ridge image

The image below is of Mulldonoch summit when approaching from the northeast ridge. The last section from the northeast ridge up to here was tough going.

Mulldonoch summit image

The image below is from Mulldonoch summit looking down the northwest ridge towards Loch Trool. It was now I realized the northwest ridge has the best views over Loch Trool. Both ridges are similar, just a fair bit further to walk along the old forest road to get to the northwest ridge.

There is a quad bike track that leads up the northwest ridge to here from the old forest road. On another hike, I followed that track up, then cut across to the lowest peak down there for the views over Loch Trool to Bruce's Stone.
Large Image from the peak down there.

Mulldonoch northwest ridge image

The image below is from the cairn on Mulldonoch south towards Lamachan. You can just see the north side cairn on Lamachan where the sun rays are. There are quad bike tracks across from here to Lamachan via a gate, a bit soggy in places.

Mulldonoch view to Lamachan image

The image below is of the north side of Lamachan looking east to Bennanbrack. There is a trail heading up that way that is less steep, leading round and up to the main south cairn on Lamachan.

The main route up Lamachan is this steep north side to the north cairn, about 350 ft of tough hiking.

Lamachan north side image

The image below is from just before the north cairn on Lamachan looking back down on Mulldonoch. This view also shows Benyallary and the Merrick across the valley. The Merrick had just began clearing at this time. Really low, thick clouds covered the Merrick and Benyallary from about 1000 until about 1100. All the hikers up there would have had a tough time for an hour. The weather forecast was sun all day, so would have been a shock for some hikers.

Lamachan view to the Merrick image

The image below is from the north cairn on Lamachan looking up to the main south cairn. This is the only grass top on this route.

Lamachan north cairn image

The view below is from the top of Lamachan looking southwest to Larg Hill. This looks a straight forward hike across and back, probably add about an hour and a half to the hike. There is a good looking ridge leading down off the southeast side of Lamachan, with high drops on one side.

Lamachan view to Larg Hill image

The image below is from the main cairn on the south side of Lamachan looking east to Bennanbrack and Curleywee. The hike from here to Bennanbrack is straight forward following a trail.

Lamachan view to Curleywee image

The image below is from Bennanbrack looking east along the rocky ridge to Curleywee. To the left of Curleywee is White Hill leading to the road back to the car park.

The hike across the rocky ridge here has some steep up and downs with some cliffs to watch out for, as they are hidden from this side.

Bennanbrack view to Curleywee image

The image below is from the crossing to Curleywee. There is a stone dyke that leads out from the the forest road to the valley down there. The northwest side of Curleywee from down there is about 900 ft of a really steep hike.

I would imaging the route along the stone dyke will be a bit rough, will try it one day.

Large Image .

Curleywee northwest side image

The image below is from the last peak on the rocky ridge looking back at Bennanbrack. You can see the cliffs in this image that you will encounter if you hike straight over the ridge at that point, as I did. There is a track down on the south side that is the safest route. The narrow trail round the north side has about a 300 ft drop below it, so is avoided by some hikers.

Large Image .

Bennanbrack east side image

The image below is of the west side of Curleywee from the ridge. It is about 600 ft to the summit from here with a few enticing routes. You can hike up the grass, scramble up the scree, or try a bit of rock climbing.

This is why I hiked the route anti-clockwise, much rather hike up the best section than hike down it.

Curleywee west side image

The image below is from the second ridge on Curleywee looking back down. Met another hiker here going the other way, so had a chat and rest for a bit.

Curleywee view down image

The image below is from the second ridge looking towards Curleywee summit. Again, there is the option to follow the trail or do a bit of rock climbing.

Curleywee summit image

The image below is from Curleywee looking northeast to White Hill, the route back to the forest road.

The range to the right, in the distance, is the 2,671 ft Rhinns of Kells, and the range straight ahead is the rocky Dungeon Range.

Curleywee view to White Hill image

The image below is from White Hill looking back at the north side of Curleywee. The north side is a fair bit easier than the west side.

Curleywee north side from White Hill image

The image below is from the northwest side of White Hill looking down to the forest road leading back to the car park. The least steep way up or down, is head to or from the large inscribed stane (stone). There are no trails on or off this hill, so it will be rough going whatever route you choose.

Note the stone dyke just to the left of the stone, that leads to the steep northwest side of Curleywee.

White Hill northwest side image

The image below is from the steep north side of White Hill looking east over Loch Dee. The hiker I met on Curleywee advised I miss this route down, but I was here to get photos, so it had to be the steep route. Was sweating bullets going down here, never sweated going down hill before.

I saw an image of hikers going up this route when researching this range on the Internet.

Large Image

Loch Dee from White Hill image

The image below is from the inscribed stone next to the forest road back to the car park. This is one of seven stones. There is a large stone on seven of the top mountain bike routes in Southern Scotland, known as the Seven Stanes Mountain Bike Trails.

This image shows the less steep route on or off White Hill, just about 100 yards of the deep stuff to get through first. To the left in the image below, heading east of the stone, are a number of steep routes up between the rocks onto White Hill, one of which I somehow manged to get down.

From the stone, it is about 3 miles west along this forest road back to the car park at Bruce's Stone.

Glentrool Stane image

The image below is from Bruce's Stone at the car park in a glorious October afternoon, looking back at the rocky Mulldonach.

Bruce's Stone Glentrool image

This was a tough hike with some steep parts here and there. First saw this range when hiking the Merrick from the same car park a few months earlier. The Lamachan range looked tough from the Merrick, and felt tough going over it.

I should point out I am a novice hiker, just out to get photos for the website. Some of the terms I use may not be the correct hiking language, and when I say tough and steep, some hikers may think a walk in the park and a bit of an incline.

Large Route Map of all the ranges in this area.