Hill walk routes to climb in SW Scotland - also coastal paths and National Scenic Areas with maps, pictures and other useful information based on extensive local knowledge
Glenleith and Wedder Law Hills from Morton Castle (Page 1)
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In most of the other maps on this site I have drawn the contours at hundred metre intervals from three hundred feet upwards. In this map however, I have added a 250 metre contour so that the shape of East Morton Hill shows up with it's characteristic undulating dog leg ridge. You can see both from this map and from the photographs below that the first stage as far as the bothy is easy going even if it is a wee bit up and down. There is quite a steep descent to the bothy and then a steady climb up onto Glenleith and Wedder Law. Coming down through Cample Cleuch is a bit of a scramble in places but well worth the effort. If you don't fancy that you can take the longer but easier track around the north end of Bellybucht Hill, or go straight over the top of it which offers awkward terrain but a good view as you descend to Morton Castle. Sandy and I have been on this route a couple of times - it takes us around six and a half hours. Map of a walking route from Morton Castle to Glenleith Hill and Wedder Law
View across Nithsdale from near Morton Castle
Morton Castle Morton Castle, where we start from on this walk, is not one of the better known tourist attractions in Scotland. It lies off the back road (not the A702) from Thornhill to Durisdeer Village. Like so many places in this SW corner of Scotland, both the castle and Durisdeer village are quiet unsung places very well worth visiting. The "afternoon teas" run by the local women in the church hall at Durisdeer on a summer Sunday afternoon, with all the home baking, is worth a visit in itself. But then there is the Italian marble tomb in the church and the Roman fort close by - and the peaceful setting of the place.
The picture above shows the general view across the valley of the River Nith to the much more visited Drumlanrig Castle (home of the Duke of Buccleuch) and the Scaur Hills beyond it and the picture on the left shows the castle.
View of Durisdeer village and the hills beyond it from East Morton Hill The picture on the left being a blown up section of a picture which was in itself not all that great is of poor quality but it does show rather well how Durisdeer nestles into the bottom of yet another undulating dog leg ridge. Seen from a distance you can easily mistake one ridge for the other. If you look very closely you can just make out the "golf ball" on the top of Lowther Hill near the left side of the picture and the more prominent masts on the top of Green Lowther. This shot was taken from East Morton Hill.
The shot on the right shows the route we are to travel above the Kettleton Reservoir. Glenleith Hill has been a bit of a jinx for us - we have had a lot of rotten weather on it. We had been over the top several times before we saw anything except mist. The top is nothing special anyway, being small, flat and characterless, with no great view. The view on the ascent of it is another matter as you can see from the picture below which shows clearly the route we have come up and the alternative track round the north end of Bellybucht hill mentioned above. Route above Kettelton Reservoir along East Morton Hill
View from Nether Hill back over the route we have come up
(Click here to go to Glenleith and Wedder Law Hills page 2)

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