Mennock Pass (B797)

[Mennock Pass]

Road passes are ten-a-penny in this part of the Southern Uplands, with three named passes crossing the Lowther Hills over a distance of just a few miles. The highest, and by some distance, is the Mennock Pass, taking its name from the hamlet on the west side, where it's probably best to start. The thin strip of tarmac stays trapped in the confines of a narrow valley all the way up to Wanlockhead, the country's highest village. Another 50 metres of climbing and it's then downhill all the way to Abington on the M74 motorway, through a slightly broader glen. A fork to the right at Leadhills offers an alternative descent route, with less traffic but more bends (and more sheep wandering across the road). Combine with the nearby Dalveen Pass for an excellent, scenic driving route.

[Emerging from a brief rain shower near the top of the pass]

Name: Mennock Pass (B797) ★★★☆☆
Location (summit): B797 between Wanlockhead and Leadhills, G.R.: NS 880134 ///flattered.labels.race
Start (west): A76 junction near Mennock, G.R.: NS 810078 ///vegans.pupils.engine
Finish (east): A702 junction near Abington, G.R.: NS 930231 ///vanilla.threaded.sunset

Distance: 24 km / 15 miles
Height gain: 340 metres
Type of road: Surfaced B-road, mostly narrow double track
Open: Always, except after exceptional snowfall
Cost: Free

[Entering Wanlockhead - Scotland's highest village]

[Climbing from the west side]

[...and climbing...]

[Nearly there!]

[Approaching the summit of the pass between Wanlockhead and Leadhills]

[The road widens as you cross into South Lanarkshire beyond the summit]

[Alternative descent by the Elvan Water towards Elvanfoot]

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