Estate, History, Kinneil House

Historic racing cars tackle Scotland’s oldest racing track: Kinneil Hill Climb to return this weekend

Around 70 historic racing cars from across the UK will be tackling Scotland’s oldest permanent racetrack this weekend, as they follow in the path once raced by legendary Scottish drivers such as Sir Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark.

Scene from the 2013 Kinneil Hill Climb Revival – a vintage car navigates the bend next to Kinneil Museum

The two-day event takes place at Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, and features racing from a range of legendary cars dating as early as 1913 right through to the 1980s including Bugatti, Lotus, Bentley, Morgan, Aston Martin, Austin Healey, Porsche, Cooper and Triumph.

The Bo’ness Hill Climb was established in 1934, and racing regularly took place, including British Championship meetings, and attracted top drivers from across the UK including Sir Stirling Moss, until 1966 when the circuit was closed.

In 2008, a group of dedicated enthusiasts re-opened the racing track with the help of Falkirk Council and staged the first competition at Kinneil for over 40 years. In 2022 the hill climb is being organised for the first time by Bo’ness Sporting Automobile Club (BSAC).

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE said: “Bo’ness has a great history of motorsport in Scotland and some of the greatest Hill Climb champions have performed at Bo’ness. My brother drove there, as did I, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I went along to the Bo’ness Hill Climb as a wee boy looking at people like Denis Poore and Ken Wharton performing up the hill – happy memories and it’s wonderful that the event has been brought back to Bo’ness. I hope everyone enjoys a very happy weekend of motorsport.”

Vernon Williamson, Chairman of BSAC said: “The event opens on Saturday 10th September at 9.30am for practice sessions with competition runs in the afternoon. This format is repeated on Sunday. Entry to the event is £10 for adults per day and free to accompanied children under 15. Unaccompanied under 15s will not be allowed entry for safety reasons. Dogs cannot be admitted to the venue either.”

Full spectator information about this weekend’s Hill Climb event is available on the BSAC’s web site at .

Kinneil House will be specially opened from 1-3pm on Sunday 11 September by Historic Environment Scotland with support from volunteers from the Friends of Kinneil. Spectators at the Hill Climb will be able to access the house free during that period to see the interiors, including the house’s exceptional 16th-Century wall paintings. Booking is not required on this occasion, visitors may simply walk around inside for as long as they wish, and talk to the staff/volunteers on duty about the history of the house and the activities of the Friends. However, visitors should note that Kinneil Museum will be closed for the weekend, as well as the front part of Kinneil Estate where the motor-racing event is taking place, which will only be accessible to racegoers.