Roberton Drove Road
Start location: A70, New Mains, northeast of Douglas (NS 847 315)
End location: Roberton (NS 945 286)
Geographical area: Strathclyde and Lanarkshire
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 6.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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This old route starts at the cul de sac leading to the New Mains farm complex. Cut through farm to its southwest corner and identify the well-used tractor run, steadily climb southeast along the plantation perimeter fence for 600m to the top corner of Mainshill Wood before veering ESE for 1.2km passing to the north of Parkhead Hill and on to Parkhead Cottage. From here head south for about 1km along the B7078 (old A74), one carriageway of which is a cycleway.
From the road end at NS864296 the cellular phone antennae can be seen to the northeast beyond the M74. The surfaced track goes under the motorway, then 100m after this under some large pylons. After another 90m, the track turns NNW for 500m still ascending the bottomed track. Just after the next bend southeast, take the first track on the right hand side which is grassed over. This bypasses both antennae masts on the west side. Continuing on the grassy track 50m beyond the antennae bear left (ESE) when after 110m the track leads to a comer of a fenced field on the left hand side. Continue on the grassy track ESE then east to the top of a gentle rise. From this top head roughly southeast soon regaining the landrover track heading towards a stand of fir trees at Birshaw Rig (Spot Height 332m). About 50m before the stand of trees take the landrover track on the left heading ESE and after passing close to the trees the track bears northeast for 225m. It then turns north for 100m where there is a sharp hairpin bend to the right. Take this now heading southeast and gently descending. After 230m from the bend a corner of a field fence is reached. Heading northeast the track now aims towards Tinto Hill ahead in the distance.
From here the landrover track is easily followed skirting the southeast side of Bodinglee Law then crossing a burn 250m before Bodinglee Farm. Leave the farm track at the burn to pass through a field to reach the surfaced road just before a shed at NS902304. The narrow road is then followed to Fallside and Newton Farms and Wiston Village.
This track is depicted as a road in quite old maps such as William Forrest's map of the County of Lanark of 1816, but is demoted to a footpath by the Ordnance Survey 6" to the mile map surveyed later that century. It is said to have been used by drovers, however the section crossing the M74 and B7078 (formerly the A74) has diverted from the original line - it was a steep ascent on the east side of the old A74, so it appears the slightly longer detour by the service road was preferred instead.