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Black Hill and the Whig's Hole

Walk No: Glenkens 76

Start: Cars can be parked near Lorg Bridge at the head of the Water of Ken valley. GR NS 667007.

Finish: Cars can be parked near Lorg Bridge at the head of the Water of Ken valley. GR NS 667007.

Notes: A circular hill walk using a part of the Southern Upland Way visiting Allan’s Cairn and the Whig’s Hole, a hiding place of the Covenanters

• Distance: 7 miles

• Height Gain:
• Approx. Time: 4.5hours

• Relevant Map:
Difficulty: Strenuous

• Terrain: Distinct paths and tracks with open unmarked hill sections.
• Toilets: None available.

• Refreshments: None available.

Route Description
1. Cross over the bridge and follow the path NE alongside and a little above the Water of Ken. Look back to admire the craigs on the E face of Ewe Hill. The path leads to a rough firebreak in the forest which in turn leads to an open area at the side of a forest track. This is now the route of the SUW. Turn R and Polskeoch Bothy, sometimes known as the Chalk Memorial Bothy is located on the R.

2. Follow the track uphill for just over 1Km then L into the forest following the SUW marker. The path continues upwards to the site of a monument commemorating the lives of George Allan and Margaret Gracie, two Covenanters who were shot on the hill hereabouts. The path leads out to a track crossing.

3. Pass straight across, the track soon becomes a path. Follow this as it leaves the forest onto the open hillside at High Countam. The path hugs the edge of the forest as it heads S towards Black Hill then W onto Cairn Hill. The view down the Dalwhat Glen from here is impressive.

4. Part company with the SUW and use the fence leading NW towards a small cairn on Coranbae Hill as your guide. Then turn your back on the fence and head N taking the driest line onto Craigstewart. The top is a flattish plateau. Skirt NW around the hill as it slopes away to the L and a depression will be found. This is the Whig’s Hole.(GR NX 671000) It is debateable as to whether it is natural or man made, but was capable of holding 100 men, and was much resorted to during the times of the “Persecution”, both as a hiding place and an outlook.

5. From the Whig’s Hole head N, cutting across the steep grass slopes down towards the Water of Ken where a footbridge allows access across the Water of Ken. Climb up the opposite banking onto the outward path and turn L for the start point.