Time – 2 hours 30 minutes
Distance – 10 km/6 miles
The track to the foot of the hill is level and easy, but it is a bit of slog up to the top with no clear path to follow and a steep gradient, but mercifully short.
Route: Start/Finish – West Linton
Leaving the village, turn left onto the A702 heading south and take the first turning right signposted to Baddinsgill . Proceed up the road for 1 km then turn left (footpaths signposted to ‘Dolphinton, Dunsyre and Garvald’, and ‘Boston Cottage’) , pass the Golf Club and walk straight on along the tarmac road.
Where the tarmac road turns sharp right 400m from the clubhouse , leave the road and head along a track (signposted ‘Dolphinton and Mendick Hill’). At this point, look for the remains of an old Inn which stood near the road to Linton and the route south via Moffat. After crossing the West Water by the old bridge , the track winds its way towards Slipperfield Cottages.
Cross the farm road and continue forward for 1km, passing the cottage of Hardgatehead on your left . 500m later, you will reach a trio of gates where a group of trees overhang the track. Just past this, a fingerpost (‘Mendick Hill’) directs you off the track to the right .
The path here is informal and grassy and hard to follow, particularly in the summer when the vegetation has gown high. Follow the line of a fence enclosing some trees. The fence bears off to right after 200m. At this point, the whole of the south-east flank of Mendick Hill will be in front of you.
The best route to the top is to head for the left-hand end of the hill and then zig-zag up on to the shoulder, bearing right once on the ‘ridge’ and heading up to the top where you will find a trig point. From here, there are terrific views all around, particularly of West Linton.
To return, we recommend heading back down to the track the way you came. Although it is tempting to descend another way, there is no obvious alternative and no other formal right of way. Exercising your access rights may be tricky, since you would have to pass through grouse shooting land or pastures that often contain bulls.