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, ignore the path you came up, instead taking the slightly higher path, [6] following the sign for ‘Ninemileburn by Monk’s Rig’.  The grassy path keeps right of the plantation you passed on the way up and climbs up to follow the length of the ridge of Monk’s Rig, above and parallel to the path you came up by. This route passes by the Font Stone [A], the remains of an ancient stone cross base, where tossing a coin into the hollow is meant to bring good luck.

Continue downhill, over one stile and then another, turning left to walk down the edge of a field.  As you lose height, fingerposts and way markers will direct you through fields back down to Ninemileburn and your start point.