The Southern Upland Way
David and I have walked a mere few miles of the Southern Upland Way and only in and around Moffat, the whole way is 214 miles and runs from Portpatrick in the South to Cockburnspath in the East. It`s classed as one of Scotland's first and only coast to coast long distance path and runs from the south-west to the north-east, there are 12 stop off routes in total all ranging from 8 miles to a strenuous 27 miles.
The route is divided into different stop offs, and we took a walk around route 6, Wanlockhead to Beattock, after doing a circular walk along the forest tracks, we started from Daer reservoir, from there you`ll come across Brattleburn Bothy where you can rest your weary legs before heading onto route 7, maintained by the Mountains Bothies Association, it`s a wee place with two log burners, table and chairs, and a few necessities to help you out if you get stuck, there is a place to sleep if your hardy enough, personally I wouldn`t, especially in the winter, I bet it`s bitterly cold, but if you want a bit more comfort you can always make your way into either Beattock or Moffat where you'll find plenty of places to stay for the night.
From Brattleburn you then come across the Lochans at Earshaig, great for nature lovers and a lovely circular walk, with a twisting boardwalk which enables you to walk over the marshy wet land, it`s full of wildlife from deer's, dragonflies, reptiles and a variety of birds, including birds of prey. A very popular spot for locals too with picnic benches and a pond for dipping activities with the children. The Southern Upland Way goes along this wonderful natural area before heading down the Crooked Road towards Beattock.
Route 7 is Beattock to St. Marys Loch, this is a gruelling 21 miles, but this is the most scenic of the whole way, taking in breath-taking views of the South West of Scotland. David and I walked around 5 miles before doubling back on ourselves therefore walking around 10 miles, a very snowy day but totally amazing. We started at Drumcrieff and headed into the forest tracks, the path then splits in 2, either the high route which takes you over Croft Head (the most scenic route) or the low route along the forest tracks. As the weather was quite snowy we took the low route, enjoyed the snow, a picnic and the beautiful scenery.
When you land St. Mary's Loch it will take your breath away, especially if the sun is shining, it reflects of the water like a sparkling light form, truly amazing. I`ve walked the circular path around the Loch which is 7 mile, but the Southern Upland Way runs along the eastern side and through the woodland, you`ll come across wooden sculptures of 2 land anchors made by Matt Baker, a lovely spot for a wee rest, cup of tea and a quiet place to admire the view. If your lucky enough you might see jets flying through the valley, regular visitors to St. Mary`s Loch on a glorious sunny day.
Route 8 then takes you from St. Mary's Loch to Traquair, a small village with the oldest habitable house in Scotland, Traquair House a grand country house that is open to the public with a café, brewery and wonderful gardens. But we haven't walked that far as yet, it`s on the "to do" list.
Susan, 50, Love discovering new and exciting adventures in Moffat.