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Southern Upland Way West

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highlights
  • Waterfront Hotel
  • Lakeview House B&B
  • Brookford B&B
  • Newark Farm B&B
The Southern Upland Way West tour starts and ends in Scotland. The Southern Upland Way West is a Climbing tour that takes 10 days taking you through Scotland, Britain and other destinations in Britain.

The Southern Upland Way is Scotland’s only official coast to coast long distance footpath. It runs 212 miles (340 km) from Portpatrick on the south west coast to Cockburnspath on the eastern seaboard. The Southern Upland Way West from Portpatrick to Moffat takes 10 days (9 overnights) to complete
Today you arrive in the town of Portpatrick on the south west coast of Scotland. It is easily reachable from Glasgow by bus or train (4-5 hours).
This is a fairly easy warm-up walk on clifftops and beaches, then across farmland and heather moors. From Portaptrick the route moves along the coast where you can enjoy stunning views out onto the North Channel, views of Knock Bay and stunning coastal cliffs to the north. At Black Head the route turns inland towards the outskirts of Stranraer and towards Castle Kennedy. Walking for the day: 13.5 miles (22.5 km), highest point: 156 m
This section includes some gentle walking, mainly in forest. The Way now starts to climb into less populated areas and passes through forestry as well as open moorland. Walking for the day: 9 miles (14.5 km), highest point: 200 m
From Strathyre, the trail heads north through Strathyre Forest, requiring a 150 metre climb before descending off the hill at Kingshouse and back across the main road. At this point, the route follows an old railway line along Glen Ogle, providing fantastic views of Loch Earn and the hills surrounding the glen. At the head of the glen, the path again crosses the road and descends towards Killin for around 3 miles through some thick forestry woodland. The spectacular and raging Falls of Dochart mark the arrival into the village of Killin. Walking for the day: 17.5 miles (28.5 km), highest point: 250 m
Walk into the mountains around Glen Trool. The route starts off along the bank of the River Cree and follows the river system up the Minnoch and the Trool until it reaches Loch Trool. From here the path heads up onto the hills offering some of the best views of the Southern Uplands that you will get. Transfer to Dalry for an overnight stop as there is no appropriate accommodation at Craigenbay. Walking for the day: 17.5 miles (28 km), highest point: 320 m
More fine walking in forest and on the open hill, through the pretty village of Dalry - transfer to Dalry for an overnight stop. Walking for the day: 15.5 miles (25 km), highest point: 400 m
This section includes a demanding ascent to 580 metres (1,900 feet), mainly on the open hill, winding up towards the summit of Benbrack Hill. This will reward you with an amazing 360 degree panorama of the Galloway Hills. The way passes Andy Goldsworthys Striding arches before descending into the woodlands down to the Chalk Memorial Bothy at Polskeoch. From here the Way heads back up into the hills and down into the Nith Valley and the town of Sanquhar. The historic town of Sanquhar has many places of interest including Sanquhar Castle, the town’s historic walk, the Tolbooth Museum and the oldest Post Office in the world. Walking for the day: 18 miles (29 km), highest point: 580 m
Today there is a steady uphill walk to the highest village in Scotland. From Sanquhar the Way winds up through farmland, passing the Black Loch and then a strenuous climb onto the hills. Dipping slightly down to Cogshead, a perfect spot to stop for lunch you will then ascend back onto the tops before go. This is a short and relatively easy section of the route that experienced walkers should be able to complete in half a day. This gives you time to look around the village of Wanlockhead with it’s museum of lead mining. Walking for the day: 8 miles (13 km), highest point: 480 m
This is one of the most demanding sections of the Way including Lowther Hill, the highest point on the whole walk, at 726 metres (2,400 feet). Leaving Wanlockhead it is a steep climb up to the summit of Lowther Hill, with its giant golf ball radar station. This is the highest point on the Southern Upland Way and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. From here the route hops from hilltop to hilltop before it descends and crosses the Dalveen Pass. It then skirts around Daer reservoir before heading into Ae Forest and passing the Brattleburn Bothy. Upon leaving the forestry the Way joins a quiet road and descends steeply into Beattock. Walking for the day: 20 miles (32 km), highest point: 726 m
Departure by bus to Edinburgh (2 hours) or on to Glasgow.
Tour details
Duration 10 days
Tour Type Self-guided Tour
Minimum Participants 2 people
guiding method Self-guided/Independent
Starts/Ends Scotland, Britain/ Scotland, Britain
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Southern Upland Way West
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