Lynedale Historic (A7)

Time – allow 45-60 minutes

Distance – 3.5 km/2.25 miles

lynedaleA short circular walk that passes through the outskirts of West Linton and across the river Lyne via the old bridge at Lynedale. It traverses an area rich in historical associations and of outstanding scenic quality. This walk includes notes on landmarks of historic interest along the way originally prepared by the West Linton Tourist Group.

The route is mostly on good unmettalled farm tracks and is well marked, with a longish ascent out of the village that will get the heart rate up.  The final section is on a quiet public road.

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left texts of map

C: the Loan was once the equivalent of the A702, bringing travellers in to what then was called Lintoun Roderick (or Lintonrothirricks in the 13th century) B: now known as Medwyn House, this key stopping point for travellers was once called the 'Brigus' (Brighouse Inn), when it faced onto the road coming straight across from the golf course and continuing down to Lynedale bridge A: Lyne Park, once called Lintoun Green and the famed site of the Linton Sheep Fairs, has the shape of a natural stell or fank, being enclosed on three of its sides

Route: Start/finish – West Linton

This short, easy walk encompasses much that attracts the visitor to the area. Along the route it will be seen how the conservation centre of the village gives way to more spacious modern developments and further on to the unspoilt hills and moorland. Areas of woodland soften the landscape and among the many beautiful trees to be seen, many of them planted in the last century, the lime avenues along Medwyn Road and down the Loan are particularly fine, especially in the springtime.

Starting from the village centre, walk up Main Street, bearing left at the junction towards the A702, noting the oldest house in the village on the right [1]. This was originally a tower house or keep. Turn left and head south along the A702. On crossing the river Lyne look out over the village and its setting and then turn right into Medwyn Road [2], signposted to Baddinsgill. The once famous and extensive Linton Sheep Fairs were held in the fields to the left (A) on market days in June. When a comparison of size needed to be made the saying went, ‘Big? Ay, big as the Linton Market!’ The local Linton breed of sheep, now extinct, was traded for its hard-wearing grey wool which was woven into hodden cloth. Since it was situated on a main droving route through the Pentland Hills, the market attracted sheep and cattle traders from other areas of Scotland and from England.

To the right after 1km, Medwyn House (B) may be glimpsed through the trees. This was originally a coaching inn, known as Brighouse Inn. It was extended and turned into private house in the 19th century.

Continue past the turning for the golf course, and short way further on to the right is the turning for Lynedale [3]. Before turning down the lane, pause to look at the view of Mendick Hill across the golf course. The old coaching road from Biggar to Edinburgh skirts the golf course and follows the present road through Lynedale. Many notable people in history passed this way, including Mary, Queen of Scots and her new husband, Darnley in 1567.

In the earlier era, the Romans crossed the Lyne here [4] on their way to the Forth Estuary, and the importance they gave to the security of the crossing is evidenced by the site of a watch tower situated on the hill above and to marching camps in the immediate vicinity.

The Lyne at Lynedale

The lane crosses a bridge at Lynedale House and then climbs a hill, the view opening out to reveal a stretch of the Pentland Hills, the river Lyne winding through its valley and the Baddinsgill moors beyond. It is worth taking a short detour past the track coming in from the right [5] in order to look at the ‘Siller Holes’ (quarter of a mile further along Roman Road) an area lying uphill from a small lochan. Lead and silver were mined here for many centuries and it is said that the Regent, Mary of Guise paid her troops with silver from these mines. Recently, as a result of dredging the lochan, a large number of examples of cloth and leather wear from mediaeval times have been retrieved and now form the most extensive such assemblage in Scotland.

The Loan

Returning to the fork [5] proceed along the old road known as the Loan [6], signposted to West Linton, which was the route into Linton before the A702 (C) was opened in 1831. The word ‘Loan’ is often used to describe the section of a Drove Road that descents from the hillside. To the left is Lead Law upon which there was once a large prehistoric cairn, a fact which serves as a reminder that there is much evidence in the locality for the presence of bronze and iron age peoples. The quality of the scenery and the peaceful surroundings make this stretch of the walk particularly pleasant.

The old road descends to the busy trunk road where visitors may catch a bus or return to the centre of the village.

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