Old Biggar Road
Start location: Nine Mile Burn, northeast of Carlops (NT 177 577)
End location: Garvald Road, Dolphinton (NT 111 479)
Geographical area: Lothian and Borders
Path Type: Civil Road, Roman Road
Path distance: 12.7km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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Newsflash: the Scottish Borders Walking Festival 2017 includes at least one route incorporating part of the Old Biggar Road. Running from 3-9 September, the base for the 23rd year of this popuar festival is Peebles and Tweeddale. Other historic routes featured are the Gypsy Glen Drove Road, the Minchmoor Track, Stobo Old Drove Road, the Cauldstane Slap and Cross Borders Drove Road, the Clovenfords Turnpike and the Post Road through the Meldons.
Our most recent survey is partial; it starts on the west side of the A702 just south of Carlops and goes southwest by Linton Muir for 2½km to join a metalled road near Stonypath (NT145534). Fork left there (signposted to West Linton), then fork right (i.e. don't take The Loan to West Linton) at NT143530. After crossing the Lyne Water at Lynedale House, turn left then right to cross the track which leads to the Cauldstane Slap then pass by West Linton Golf Course. Where the road swings right (the Old Lanark Road), instead go straight ahead (i.e. southwest) on a path which crosses the West Water via an old bridge, then continues by Hardgatehead and Ingraston to rejoin the A702, 1km from Dolphinton.
As this survey is incomplete, we would be especially pleased to receive a full and up-to-date account of this route.
OS Landranger 72 (Upper Clyde Valley)
This route follows a section of the Old Biggar Road from Nine Mile Burn (so named because it was nine miles from Edinburgh) to Dolphinton. Until the road now known as the A702 was constructed in 1831, this was part of the main road from Edinburgh to Biggar.
The West Water bridge is said to have been originally constructed in the 17th century. An old coaching inn is thought to be represented by the ruins between the bridge and the golf course.
Although there are slight diversions, the Old Biggar Road pretty much follows the course of a Roman Road. This earlier road is said to have been constructed in 140AD and it connected Clydesdale with the Forth at Cramond. However, we've also read that the road was built earlier than that, circa 80AD by the Legion of Agricola - the Heritage Paths project would very much welcome any clarification regarding this.
Part of the Old Biggar Road has been incorporated into the waymarked Pentland Way from Dunsyre to Swanston. Friends of the Pentlands produce a free Pentland Hills map which includes this old route - if you'd like one, it is likely to be available locally or write to ScotWays at the address top-right enclosing a large letter SAE and they'll post one out to you.