Kinpurney Hill

By James Carron

Kinpurney Tower is one of the most prominent landmarks in Angus. Built on the summit of Kilpurney Hill, above Newtyle, in 1774 by local landowner James McKenzie, it originally housed an observatory. Now an empty stone shell, it is the destination for this strenuous yet rewarding hike.

The first section of the walk is along the public road. Leave the car park by its main entrance, turn left and follow the Glamis road to Denend Farm where there's a sign for The Den and Kinpurney Hill. Follow this and, to the left of the farm steading, at the back of the yard, there's a wooden kissing gate. Go through and a path climbs to a weir and pond. The way skirts to the left of the water and continues to rise through the leafy den. Steps, bridges and wooden fences have been constructed to make the walking more pleasurable, although it can be muddy underfoot, particularly after rain.

The path reaches a pair of wooden kissing gates higher up. Pass through these and continue up to a gate at the top of the den. Go through to meet a track, cross this and a grassy path rises on to the hill. Stay close to a small, reedy stream as you climb through patches of gorse to reach a wooden gate and metal kissing gate higher up the slope. Go through this and an obvious path continues to climb through gorse. Higher up the prickly bushes thin out and the final section of the ascent is over open grassy hillside.

Just before the summit is reached, the path passes through a gate and skirts by a handful of windblown trees. In addition to the tower, the top of Kinpurney Hill boasts a trig-point and view indicator. The tower, which stands 40 feet high and has walls three feet thick, fell into serious disrepair after is ceased to function as an observatory and faced demolition in the early 1970s. However, as it was such a well known landmark, plans were drawn up to restore the structure and the work, funded by the local authority and the Cayzer Estate, was completed in 1974.

There are panoramic views from the top of Kilpurney Hill which, in ancient times, was home to a hill fort and signal station.

To finish the walk, retrace your steps via The Den to the start.


Distance 3.5 miles/5.5km.
Map OS Landranger sheet 53.
Start Public car park next to park in North Street, grid ref NO 298414.
Parking Free parking at start.
Grading Path through leafy den and over open hillside. Sheep grazing on high ground where dogs will need to be on the lead.