Wanlockhead

RSS Home Page

Wanlockhead is a village in south Scotland, 32 miles north of Dumfries.

The village is popular for being the highest village in Scotland, highest pub, lead mine museum, and panning for gold. The village of Leadhills is 1 mile northeast, second highest village in Scotland with the highest railway, now a heritage railway.

Wanlockhead Map 62 Large Images Hotels Self Catering
B&Bs Camping / Touring Museum of Lead Mining Website

See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

The image top is of the road up through the Mennock Hills to Wanlockhead from the west off the A76 road from Dumfries. You can also take the road from the east off the M74 / M6.

The road from the west is one of the most scenic in Scotland, passing a number of places used for wild camping and a stream where people pan for gold. The Scottish Crown Jewels are made from this gold, and large nuggets can be found today.

The sign at the west side of Wanlockhead states - Highest Village in Scotland 1531 feet above sea level.

The top attraction in the village is the lead mining musem, also with a cafe, tours of the mine, and miners cottages.

The miners cottages show three different time periods, from extremely basic to fairly comfortable.

By the miners cottages is the Wanlockhead Village Church built in 1848. This church had been disused since the 1970s. It was sold in late 2014 to be converted to a house.

By the miners cottages is a Beam Engine similar to what would have been used in the mine to pump out water.

The cottages contain a statue of a girl named Jennie Miller from the area that died in the hills on a could winter day. One walker in the area has claimed he met her when he was lost in the hills.

The Wanlockhead Inn is situated by the museum, highest pub in Scotland, serving meals and drinks throughout the day.

The gardens in the village were created in a mining theme, an exceptionly scenic spot on a sunny day.

Sheep roam around the village and go in gardens of the cottages, a strange experience concidering this is southern Scotland.

The Gold Panning hut is situated behind the museum. There are water tanks here where you can practice before going down the stream in search of large gold nuggets.

A Canadian tourist found a nugget worth £10,000 in 2015.

The Southern Upland Way passes right through the centre of Wanlockhead, probably the most scenic section of this 212 mile walk between the east and west coasts of Scotland.

Wanlockhead History

100s - the Romans mined lead and other minerals in this area as they tried to take control of Scotland.

1200s - these mines were worked in summer.

1680 - the Duke of Buccleuch from Drumlanrig Castle & vast estate created a permenant village here with miners cottages and a lead smelting plant.

The mines produced lead, zinc, copper, silver and gold. Some of this gold is the world's purest at 22.8 carats, used to make the Scottish Crown.

1777 - the village formed a curling club.

1789 - Robert Burns visited Wanlockhead where he wrote the poem Pegasus at Wanlockhead, Pegasus being the name of his horse.

Wanlockhead Images

1901 - the Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway was opened becomming the highest in Scotland. The railway connected to the main Carlisle line.

1939 - the railway closed, leaving just a short section at Leadhills one mile northeast as a working railway museum.

1950s - the last of the mines closed due to cheaper imports.

1980s - the mines, cottages and library were converted to a museum.

Area Attractions Map Wiki Page RSS Home Page