Boston Cottage Drove Road
Start location: King's Inn (NS 993 552)
End location: Slipperfield (NT 124 517)
Geographical area: Lothian and Borders
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 19km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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From NS994524 (2km south of Auchengray) go east by Kings Inn Terrace and along the farm road past East Yardhouses to the A70 Lanark Road. Cross this and continue by a path going southeast through a small plantation and then by a clear track to Left Law. At a signpost (NT047500) take the left fork, thus leaving the clear track which heads right passing Stoneypath (Little Sparta) to reach Dunsyre. Go east-northeast over the moor between Bleak Law and Mid Hill. The path is initially indistinct, but is marked with posts. East of Bleak Law, it joins a more obvious track, which continues northeast across the West Water, and thence the Medwin Water just north of Medwynhead. Continue along the track towards North Slipperfield, just before which this route meets the Old Lanark Road.
OS Landranger 72 (Upper Clyde Valley)
This is an old drove road that was marked on Bartholomew maps well into the 20th century. There are even editions of the Pentlands map which helpfully show the location of signs and marker posts installed by the then Scottish Rights of Way Society. Today, Friends of the Pentlands produce a free Pentland Hills map which includes this old route - if you'd like one, write to ScotWays at the address top-right enclosing a large letter SAE and they'll post one out to you.
King's Inn has no inn, but is said by Will Grant in "The Call of the Pentlands" (1927) to be a relic of the hunting days of the Jameses and their frequent visits to Carnwath and Cowthally.
Although there are no buildings at Boston Cottage today, it is believed to have been the location of a staging post or coachhouse where the horses pulling the Edinburgh to Lanark mail coach were changed. Some older walking guide books refer to this spot as "Boston Cottage (no cottage)".
We are told that the route was formerly at least in part use by a carter who transported goods from the train at Auchengray station over the hills to Dunsyre and beyond.