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West Lomond

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Like their higher counterpart in the west, the Lomonds derive their name from beacon, as they make such a good viewpoint and could therefore be used to warn of approaching marauders by the lighting of fires. With Ben Lomond in the west, Dumyat in the middle, and the Lomonds in the east, a warning signal could be flashed across Scotland in minutes.

The views from the two volcanic cones which form the twin summits are mainly of the fields and villages of Fife and Kinross. Loch Leven is prominent, lying just west of the neighbouring Bishop Hill, though St Serf's island, with its priory, is hidden from West Lomond by Bishop Hill.

Some would walk both hills, as they are very accessible, though this normally entails a doubling back through the starting point. Many would do one and come back another day to do the other. This describes the higher summit, West Lomond. With a little bit of arranging of transport, longer routes are easily devised.

Start from the car park at 228 062, on the minor road between Leslie and Falkland. There are toilets, an explanatory graphic, and picnic benches. Take the path through the kissing gate and follow it WNW. There are a few muddy patches after rain but basically it's an easy walk. It's also a deceptive one, as the first view of West Lomond might make you think it's far away, especially in a summer heat haze! The first section of the path goes along between two drystane dykes, which must have been built by very strong men.

The last section tackles the steep summit cone up grass. The path has been detoured slightly to the north, to allow the direct approach time to regenerate. It might be best to avoid the walk on a very wet day. The summit has several intriguing piles of stone, and has fine views over to Loch Leven and Bishop Hill. Return by the same route.


Maps: OS Sheet 58 'Perth to Alloa, Auchterarder', 59 'St Andrews, Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes'
Distance: 7 km
Ascent: 235 m
Time: 2 hours
Food & Drink: The lovely wee village of Falkland lies under the Lomond Hills and has several good eating spots. It also reeks of history, has Falkland Palace and is well worth a visit in its own right.


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