Map: OS Landranger 78 (GR858126)
Distance: 10 miles (16.5km)
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Terrain: rough hillpaths
Tracks and fences provide useful waymarks for the outward half of this route across the undulating hills west of Wanlockhead, with a return along part of the Southern Upland Way.
A covering of snow will make route-finding trickier in places, but this isn't a hill walk of any great seriousness, providing adequate notice is taken of the weather and conditions underfoot.
Park on the B797 at the southern end of the village, just before the Wanlockhead sign. Walk down towards the village and cross over left after the bowling green to a track that starts left of a white house. This track zigzags up the flanks of Black Hill to meet a new vehicle track at the top. Turn right here and follow this vehicle track for a short distance to a line of old wooden fence posts leading to the top of Green Hill, the eastern outlier of Stood Hill not named on the 1:50,000 OS map.
Beside the fence posts is a grassy track. Ascend this over the top of Green Hill to a fence and follow it left to a three-way fence junction near the ill-defined summit of Stood Hill. The return route comes in from the right.
Continuing beside the fence, make a long descent to the col below the surprisingly steep face of Willowgrain Hill and ascend to its top. Beyond this point, heather and grass tussocks make the going a bit rougher and wetter in places but the route continues on the track beside the fence.
Pass over an unnamed hill and descend to meet the Southern Upland Way (SUW) at the col below Conrig Hill. Conrig is easily ascended from here and offers pleasant views south-west over Sanquhar to the Carsphairn hills.
Return to the col, go over the stile on to the SUW and follow it north, down towards the ruin at Cogshead. Recent felling has churned up the track in its lower reaches but as it starts to ascend, the SUW is signposted off right on to a track leading to Cogshead.
After a short distance, a SUW waymark indicates that the route heads off left and uphill to a fence and stile leading on to open hillside. Spaced waymarks make the route a little unclear at the start, but the path contours the hillside, crossing plank bridges over various burns, before starting an ascent to a fence with a stile and gate below Highmill Knowe.
Turn right off the SUW and follow the fenceline over Glengaber Hill and up on to Stood Hill to meet the three-way fence junction. Cross over to gain the track over Green Hill and follow it back down to Black Hill and Wanlockhead.