Ninemileburn to West Kip (B5)

Time – 2 hours

Distance – 10km/6 miles

west_kipA great circular walk on good paths taking you up to the top of West Kip at 551m if you so wish – you could leave this bit out and still have a great walk but you’d miss out on the fine views all around. Note that the route requires you to cross a number of stiles, with no accessible alternative if you find stiles difficult to use.

Route: Start/finish at Ninemileburn

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 the Monk's Stane (or Font Stane) is a legacy from the monastic days when wayfarers were given shelter (hospitality) according to 'spitaller' tradition. This route led down past Monks Burn to what is now Spittal Farm and Newhall and on to Rath Mannach ('fort of the monks') or Romanno Bridge.

Start from the north end of Ninemileburn [1] where the minor road turns through 90 degrees. Enter a field via a gate, following the signpost to ‘Balerno by Monk’s Rig and Braid Law’.  Follow the edge of the field and over the stile at the top end, then turn right. [2] After 50m, you reach a two-way signpost. Continue ahead over another stile or through the gap in the fence [3] following the ‘Braid Law’ sign.

Continue along the edge of the fields, eventually turning right over a further stile out of the fields and into open grazing land, climbing steadily. The path passes to the left of Braid Law and then descends with the farms of Westside and Eastside in view ahead.  Here, the path joins a track [4] and bears left, following the waymarkers uphill again and to the left of an old signpost.  Head towards West Kip, the conical hill ahead of you, walking round the hillside with a plantation to your left and up to the saddle to the left of West Kip itself [5].

At the style, you can opt to continue up to the top of West Kip, which will take about 20-30 minutes there and back. It’s a short, sharp climb, worth the effort for the views.  Otherwise, from the style, ignore the path you came up, instead taking the higher, gravel path, [6] which quickly becomes grassy, heading south over the crest of the hill and to the right of the plantation.

The path heads back to Ninemileburn parallel to and above the path you walked out on, and is generally clear and easy to follow.

The path eventually reaches a stile where you will turn left and head straight downhill towards Ninemileburn, following the waymarkers (no signpost at this point), and coming down to the two-way signpost you passed near the start of the walk, retracing your steps for the last few hundred metres.

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