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
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
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 .
Map . Large Walking Routes
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Large Image from
the peak down there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
I would imaging the route along the stone
dyke will be a bit rough, will try it one
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.
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
This is why I hiked the route
anti-clockwise, much rather hike up the best
section than hike down it.
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.
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.
The image below is from Curleywee cairn
east to Millfore, another peak that some
hikers want to add but it looks a long way
out to Millfore and back. The route from
Millfore down to the forest road at Loch Dee
looks like it may go through woodland, or
The main route to Millfore is from just
west of the Clatteringshaws
Visitor Centre on the A712 road that runs
between Newton Stewart and New Galloway. The
car park for that hike is at the Murray's
Monument and goes up past Black Loch.
The image below is from Curleywee looking
northeast to White Hill, the most popular
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
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
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.
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
Large 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
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.
The image below is from Bruce's Stone at
the car park in a glorious October afternoon,
looking back at the rocky Mulldonach.
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.