Target Burn & Whita Hill

Walking Route
Malcolm Monument, Langholm.

Target Burn & Whita Hill


Terrain inlcudes roads, tracks and open hill. Some parts can be muddy so boots are advised. Leave the Kilngreen car park at the north end and and immediately turn left over the Saw Mill Bridge (over the Ewes Water).

Approx. 50m after the bridge, bear right and follow the tarmac track up a steep hill to a bungalow at a track junction beyond the end of the tarmac. At the bungalow turn right and continue to walk along the lane, with fields on each side.

Continue on the lane through the gate, to the end of the wall on the right. Turn right, downhill for 30m, then through the kissing gate into the field. Walk downhill along the edge of the field, with the steep banking on your left. At the end of the field a track leads downwards to the left to a gate on the edge of the A7.

Very carefully cross the High Mill Bridge over the Ewes Water (A7 S.) and at the far side of the bridge turn left along a track running N. on the E. side of the Ewes Water. In about 500 metres the track bends right and soon ends.

Go down to the left and cross the burn by the stones to take the clear path slanting back up the bank on the opposite side. The little glen is named on OS maps as Far Whitshiels Cleuch but is known locally as Target Burn, deriving from the siting of a rifle range here for firing practice at the time of the two World Wars. At the top of the bank, turn right and cross the stone dyke by a stile. Continue following the dyke and forest edge uphill, over rough, pathless ground which is often wet. At the end of the wood, pick up a quad bike track and follow it across the burn. When the track dives off right through a gateway, stay on the left side of the dyke and follow it uphill to the road, again on rough, pathless ground which can be slow going.

On reaching the road, turn left for a shortdistance to the memorial celebrating the life of the poet Hugh MacDiarmid. He was born in Langholm in 1892 and died in 1978, and the memorial, which takes the form of an open book inscribed with symbols linked to MacDiarmid's verse, was unveiled by his widow Valda in 1985. The cairn gives more detail of his life.

From the memorial, follow the broad track uphill to Langholm's most famous landmark, the Malcolm Monument on the summit of Whita Hill. It was erected in 1835. The monument is to Major General Sir John Malcoim and is effusive about his character: 'no man was more liberal in appreciating and bringing forward merit in others, whilst in the intercourse of private life he was the ornament and delight of every society...his memory is cherished in the hearts of grateful millions'. Whatever Sir John's virtues, his Monument commands a wonderful panoramic view. When you are ready to leave the monument, head directly downhill towards Langholm on a clear path which provides a rapid descent route.

A short diversion leftwards under the power lines will lead you to the Whita Well with its metal drinking cup. Continue on the path and cross a stile into the unsurfaced lane known as the Whita Road, with the golf course on the left. At Arkinholm Terrace, continue steeply downhill on a tarmac path to reach the centre of town, and turn right along the main street to return to the car park.

The Langholm Walks Booklet of 14 way-marked walks is available from Welcome to Langholm in the Market Place, The Paper Shop on the High Street, The Buccleuch Centre or by mail to

4.5mi / 7km
Total climb:
1,115ft / 340m
Total descent:
1,115ft / 340m
Our best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of data, however the data and geographic information contained along route lines and on maps should be used for informational purposes only.

What you'll see

MacDiarmid Memorial - Langholm

Historic Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Monuments & Statues

This imposing, metallic “open book” structure celebrates the works of the man considered by many to be the pre-eminent Scottish poet of the 20th century.

Malcolm Monument - Langholm

Historic Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Monuments & Statues

Considered by many to be Langholm's defining feature, this 100 foot-high obelisk dominates the skyline and commemorates one of the town's most celebrated sons.