WANLOCKHEAD is a place where the superlatives trip off the tongue. As Scotland's highest village, it sits at a lofty elevation of 1,531 feet – that's 467 metres – above sea level.

There's a feeling of making a grand entrance as you approach, the first glimpse coming as the B-road snaking through this part of Dumfriesshire curves sharply, framing a smattering of whitewashed stone cottages nestled in the Lowther Hills.

Renowned for its lead-mining heritage, Wanlockhead's other claims to fame include being home to the second-oldest subscription library in Europe. It is a gold panning hot spot and enjoyed a starring role in a major TV series (move over Monarch of the Glen).

The village, located near the head of the Mennock Pass, is a popular pit stop on the Southern Upland Way. Its attractions include the Wanlockhead Inn – the highest pub in Scotland – and the Museum of Lead Mining which draws visitors with its world-class exhibits and delicious scones alike.

The museum has the only underground mine tour in Scotland, allowing visitors to venture into the confines of a 300-year-old timbered passage and drift where lead was once extracted (these not-to-be-missed tours will hopefully resume later this month when Covid-19 restrictions ease further).

HeraldScotland: Wanlockhead is Scotland’s highest village. Picture: Julie Howden/The HeraldWanlockhead is Scotland’s highest village. Picture: Julie Howden/The Herald

As the saying goes, there's gold in them thar hills and prospectors have long been drawn to Wanlockhead in search of precious metals. The first documented evidence of gold here dates to the reign of King James IV of Scotland in the early 16th century.

Today, gold can still be found within the sand and gravel of the burns around Wanlockhead. The museum sells gold panning licences and runs taster sessions throughout the year.

A gem – of a different kind – is the Miners' Library. Founded in 1756, it had a hugely positive impact on the lives of miners and their families, testament to the power of books and reading.

Wanlockhead is a photogenic spot. In 2008, it was chosen as the backdrop for Hope Springs, a short-lived BBC Scotland comedy drama starring Alex Kingston, Christine Bottomley, Sian Reeves and Vinette Robinson as ex-cons hiding out after a heist goes awry.

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That same year the locale was used to make Little Red Hoodie, a controversial short film by the Norwegian director Joern Utkilen that was screened at the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival and nominated for a Bafta Scotland award.

Hollywood came to Wanlockhead with the 2013 sci-fi film Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson as an extra-terrestrial marauding her way around Scotland.