Broad Law

Strenuous Walk

Broad Law is the highest hill in the Scottish Borders at 840m. Its gently mossy slopes are topped with the highest air traffic beacon in the UK. 

There are a few route options to access the summit of Broad Law. This is an out and back route starting just off of the A701 at Hearthstanes where the distinctive steel bridge spans the River Tweed. An alternative circular route could be taken which finishes at the Megget Stone on the Talla/Cappercleugh road. This description is only for the out and back route. 

Start/Parking

There is parking in a layby just off the A701 next to the bridge.  Please park considerately.  There is also parking at the Crook Inn which involves walking along the A701 carriageway.  All usual care and consideration should be taken when walking on public highways. 

The route is predominantly on gravel forestry roads and enables access for vehicles and personnel who need to maintain and service the radio beacon.  Please be aware that there may be vehicles on this route at any time. 

This walk is approximately 7 miles/11km, taking 4 to 5 hours depending on fitness of the party and weather conditions. It is very pleasant walk in good weather, but the summit can resemble an Arctic landscape in winter conditions. Please dress appropriately and ensure you have the necessary equipment and skills to have a safe trip on the hills. 

The route up Broad Law

Take the tarmac single-track road across the bridge and continue through the farmyard at Hearthstanes. The route takes a dog-leg (left and then right) as the track starts to rise gently, passing sheepfolds before picking up the track beyond the farmyard. Gates should be left as found. This is a working farm so please ensure dogs are always kept on leads

Continue heading east along the main track which then heads south east as it runs parallel with Hearthstanes Burn. Stay on the main track as it emerges from forestry into more open hillside. Again, continue on this track as it rises more steeply up the slopes of Broad Law.  As you approach the summit the gradient eases and the distinctive shape of the radio beacon will be visible. This can be a very handy reference point in poor visibility. Almost due south of the beacon sits the summit cairn. If you go past the beacon heading south east, you will find a stob and wire fence which could be used as a handrail and followed in a south westerly direction to reach the cairn.

With good visibility, the panoramic views on offer are unsurpassed in the area. The route homewards is a reverse of your outward route.

Southern Uplands

Broad Law is part of the Southern Uplands, which were formed around 425 million years ago when the continent containing Scotland (Laurentia) and the continent containing England (Eastern Avalonia) gently collided, closing up the Iapetus Ocean. The foundations of the Southern Uplands were originally the sandy and muddy sediment from the bottom of the ocean floor. Later, during the Ice Age, the whole area was modified by the effects of glaciation.