Just an hour from central Scotland, the Upper Nithsdale Trail takes you on a journey through southern Scotland’s most dramatic landscapes, welcoming towns and villages with a wealth of fascinating places to visit and explore. Discover the history, majesty and beauty of the Lowther Hills and the Nith Valley; a perfect day trip for you and your family to explore and enjoy.
1 LEADHILLS NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY
A short drive from the M74 is Leadhills, home to Britain’s highest narrow gauge railway. Trains run mainly on weekends in the summer, with seasonal special events.
2 MUSEUM OF LEAD MINING
Scotland’s highest village, Wanlockhead, boasts a fascinating museum where you can experience the thrill of going underground in this 18th century lead mine. Open daily from Apr– Sep.
3 SOUTHERN UPLAND WAY
Scotland’s coast to coast footpath journeys across the Upper Nithsdale Trail. Its highest point, Lowther Hill, is around an hour’s walk from Wanlockhead and the views are spectacular. Spot the ‘golf ball’ radar station near the summit.
4 LOWTHER HILLS SKI CENTRE
In winter the Lowther Hills become the south of Scotland’s only snow sports centre.
5 MENNOCK PASS
A spectacular drive through the Lowther Hills alongside a stream that’s famed for the Scottish gold regularly found within it!
6 SANQUHAR CASTLE
Now in ruin this striking castle on the edge of Sanquhar is where James VI is believed to have stayed when he visited Sanquhar in 1617. The castle itself is unsafe to visit, however a public footpath runs close to it.
7 SANQUHAR POST OFFICE
Officially the oldest post office in the world! Got something special to post? Then this is the most special place in the world to send it from.
8 A’ THE AIRTS
A hub of craft and creativity! Enjoy a relaxed light lunch, buy traditional Sanquhar pattern items and knitting patterns, along with other local crafts, in the shop. Open 10am - 4pm, Tue - Sat.
9 SANQUHAR TOLLBOOTH
Discover the story of Sanquhar’s mines, explore the town’s world famous knitting tradition and find out what it was like to be a prisoner in Sanquhar jail! Open Tue - Sun, Apr - Sep.
10 THE WAIRD (CURLING POND)
A scenic pond in the middle of Sanquhar, perfect for picnics and feeding the ducks.
11 ST CONAL’S CHURCH
One of the oldest church sites in southern Scotland, archaeological remains date to the 9th century and the present foundations date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
12 KIRKCONNEL PARISH HERITAGE SOCIETY
Delve into the history of Kirkconnel by browsing through thousands of photographs and artefacts.
13 CRAWICK MULTIVERSE
A spectacular cosmic land art attraction, designed by world renowned artist Charles Jencks to represent the theories of the universe. Crawick Multiverse has converted an open cast mine site into an inspirational art work, exploring issues relating to space, cosmology and creativity. Check website for opening times.
14 SOLDIER’S POND
A tranquil, sheltered pool; the perfect scenic stop on a hot summer day.
15 MUSEUM OF RURAL LIFE
Run by volunteers, this is a fascinating glimpse into rural life through the ages with a display of artefacts and information. Open weekend afternoons May - Sep.
16 CRAWICK PASS
Complete the Upper Nithsdale Trail by heading back up towards the M74 through the beautiful Crawick Pass, a gentle, scenic conclusion to your tour of Upper Nithsdale.