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SUW - Memories of a trip long-long time ago....

SUW - Memories of a trip long-long time ago....

Postby Northguy » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:53 pm

Route description: Southern Upland Way

Date walked: 01/07/1998

Time taken: 19 days

Distance: 340 km

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While planning our West Highland Way trip I ended up at this site. See also my "hello" post in which I have some questions regarding an alternative for the last stage of the WHW.

The preparations brought up fond memories of a trip I undertook more than a decade ago. At that time I placed the trip discription on a free site and it is still there. :D Meanwhile I have changed e-mail adresses multiple times and lost the password for the site. So that site will remain there for ever, or until the site owner decides to pull the plug. I thought it would be nice to share the story with you all. The text below is an exact copy of the text I wrote down in 1998 and has not been altered since.

Sorry for the bad picture quality. They are from the analog era and were scanned manually.

Enjoy reading.



Date 1 July 1998
Portpatrick - Castle Kennedy
Distance 21,5 km
Height range 0-160 m
Terrain Easy

The Southern Upland Way starts in Portpatrick, a small but beautiful town on the west-coast of Scotland. It has some nice shops and provisions can be purchased here.It is a nice place to stay for a day or two. You can even walk a few short stretches along the coast.

The start of the SUW is near the harbour. It is indicated by a sign with a roof. These signs can be seen at places where the SUW passes a town or village. They contain additional information to the region you are walking through. They often contain information on local transportation and accommodation.
We stayed at Castle Bay caravan park, a caravan park with a small field for tents. It is situated above Portpatrick, but when you take a short-cut you will be in town in no time (ask the warden for directions).

We started walking around 10:30. It was a nice day. The sun was shining and there was a bit of wind. After you have passed the start, you will climb some stairs up the cliffs. When you have climbed these cliffs you will have a nice walk along the coast. With sunny weather you can even see Ireland. Sometimes you will have to go down to sea level and pass some beach. When you have to go up, be careful. The stones can be slippery and with a bulky backpack it is a bit of an awkward climb.
After walking along the coast for some time you will reach a lighthouse. Here the SUW turns land inward. Say goodbye to the sea. You will not see her for quite some time.
At first you will be walking on minor roads. This changes to a path that leads to Knockquhassen Reservoir. When you have reached Little Mark the path changes into road again. You will be walking on roads until you have reached Castle Kennedy. Watch directions carefully when you have reached the A77. When we walked the SUW some alterations to the route had been made. This resulted in loosing directions for us. We missed a left turn towards Castle Kennedy and walked 2km too far before we realized we missed a turn.
The rest of this stretch is very straightforward. When you come out of the woods near Castle Kennedy continue to walk down the road. Walk to the gasstation and turn right there. After 500m you will find the Eynhellow Hotel on your right. Do not expect too much of this camp site. You will have to pay £5.00 to stay in their back yard and to use their facilities. Too bad they lock up the door after 22:00 and they will not open it before 10:00 in the morning. Be sure to use the facilities in time otherwise you can't use them at all. We were very disappointed about this treatment. Luckily we could get some water at the gasstation nearby. We couldn't get water at the Hotel itself.

Start at Port Patrick

Date 2 July 1998
Castle Kennedy - Beehive Bothy Laggangairn
Distance 23 km
Height range 45-250 m
Terrain Lengthy stretches of public road.
Low-lying moors can be extremely wet.

We started walking at 10:00. It was dry, but the sky was grey. The first part of the route goes through the park of "Castle Kennedy". The castle has some beautiful gardens, but we only saw them passing by. If you have some spare time the gardens are well worth visiting.

After walking through the park you can continue your walk over some minor roads. Soon you will reach some woods. Too bad it is all forest plantation. Walking through a forest of planted pine trees isn't very exciting. Luckily you will reach a more natural forest. At the end of this forest you will have to make a steep descend. You will come out of the forest near a railway. You can pass this railway by using the stile on the right hand. Behind all the bushes there is a bridge, but you cannot see it until you have crossed the stile.

You will cross the Water of Luce. After passing this water you will go uphill towards the Kilhern heather moors. These moors can be very wet. The track trough these moors is straight and leads to Kilhern. At Kilhern the road turns to the left. You will pass some derelict buildings. When you are in need of water, there is a well nearby. When you reach the wall where the track leads to the left there is a small building with some rusted machinery in it. This was a pump house. Walk a bit to the back. There you will find a concrete slab. When you push this away you will find fresh water. There is some dust on top, but you do not have to worry about that. Take as much water as you like, but REMEMBER to put the slab back in its original place. Otherwise sheep excrement can make the well useless.

Continuing along the path you will reach a road. At this point you can decide to go to New Luce or to walk on to the Beehive bothy. We decided to stay at the Beehive Bothy. You will have to continue the road to the right. At the end you must turn right. You will head uphill. Watch out for Waymarkers. You will climb a hill and at the top you will find a pine forest. You must follow the fire alley until you reach the Bothy. Do not get angry when you do not see the Bothy. It is hidden in a clearing in the woods. We almost decided to put up our tent in the fire alley, when we found the bothy (at last..... )

The bothy is maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association (MBA) and everyone can use them. Keep them nice, clean and tidy so everybody can enjoy their stay. When we arrived there were trashbags everywhere. One last advice: watch out for midges. When it is getting dark they come out. The floor of the bothy is not Midge-proof and they will come through the cracks in the floor. So be aware and use a repellant. I got stung when I went out to brush my teeth. I assure you, they attack on sight and when you are allergic to their bites you can get big red lumbs all over your body.

Beehive Bothy

Date 3 July 1998
Beehive Bothy Laggangairn - Bargrennan
Distance 20 km
Height range 45-250 m
Terrain Lengthy stretches of public road. Some wet and boggy paths.

Today we started walking around 9:30. First we made some tea using the water from the stream nearby. The water is very brown, but when you cook it it isn't that bad.
When you start walking you will head into the forest again. The road leads uphill through a fire-break. You will pass a clearing in the woods. A sign is standing there pointing downhill to the right. It points at "The wells o' the Rees". According to our travelguide these wells were well worth visiting, but when we went down the hill we didn't see a thing. We considered the little detour as useless and continued our way.
We continued our walk uphill through the fire-break. According to the travelguide we had to find an alternative path leading to a viewpoint, but all we found was a clearing where all the trees were chopped down. We had to pass the clearing along the side of the clearing because of all the treetrunks lying around.

After passing this clearing you will reach a dirt road used by the people who cut the trees. When you reach this road you will continue your walk downhill. When you get out of the woods and reach a farmhouse the dirt road changes into a tar road. This road will continue for quite a while. All you have to do is follow the road.
When you have passed the village of Knowe you will turn left. A path leads uphill over some wet and boggy grounds.At the top you will reach a road. When you follow the road it leads to the top of a hill. You will leave the road and climb the hill. On the top of the hill you will find an Ordnance Survey Measurement point. From the top of the hill you can see the village of Bargrennan. Do not get overexcited. The last descend is a slow one. You will pass some very wet grounds with lots of stones. Watch your step.
At the bottom of the hill you will reach a road. Turn left and follow the road. You will find a SUW waymarker pointing to the right. That way you will continue your walk along the Southern Upland Way. When you don't turn right and follow the road for a mile and a half you will find Glen Trool Holiday Park on your left hand.

Date 4 July 1998
Bargrennan - Loch Trool
Distance 8 km
Height range 45-100 m
Terrain A short stretch along a river bank. The river bank can be flooded in times of excessive rain.

Today we decided to walk a short stretch instead of keeping up with our schedule. Because we wanted to see the world championship football match between the Netherlands and Argentina we decided to walk to Loch Trool and stay there to watch the game.
The walk towards Loch Trool is very straightforward. At first you have to climb a bit, but then the path continues along a river bank. The walk will take you to Caldons Caravan and Camp site. A very nice campsite near the Loch.

Date 5 July 1998
Loch Trool - Mid Garrary Scout Hut
Distance 15 km
Height range 45-320 m
Terrain Hills and rugged scenery, but also a lot of roads. This is a lengthy stretch and you will have to plan ahead.

After watching the soccer games yesterday we decided to walk towards the Mid Garrary Scout Hut. The walk starts with a steep climb through native forests. These forests are beautiful compared to the pine forests along the SUW. The path leads uphill over a boggy path with lots of sawed of tree trunks. walking this stretch is quite strenuous. You have to watch your steps the whole way. When you have climbed the first part you reach Loch Trool. Too bad it was raining when we walked this stretch. The view must be beautiful when the sun is shining.

The path continues along the Loch and at the end of the Loch you will have to follow the path along a small stream uphill. The path reaches a forest road and when you follow this road you will reach Loch Dee. Near Loch Dee you can find the White Laggan Bothy. We stayed there to have lunch. The bothy is small and cold. There wasn't any wood available and it was noticeable that it is a much frequented bothy. During our walk we have seen nicer bothies.

After leaving the Bothy you can follow the road. The road leads all the way towards Clatteringshaws Loch. We stayed in the Mid Garrary Scout Hut near Clatteringshaws Loch. You have to book this place in advance. It has toilets fresh water and a good propane heater. Especially this heater can be useful when you are soaked due to the rain. The toilets were outside and because of a broken window we had to share them with some birds. That caused a very hilarious situation.

Date 6 July 1998
Mid Garrary Scout Hut - Dalry
Distance 13 km
Height range 45-320 m
Terrain Hills and rugged scenery, but also a lot of roads. A nice stretch with a variety of landscapes.

We left the scout hut at 9:45. Because of our change of plans we had to walk only 13 km or so. From the scout hut we had to walk back towards the SUW. Arriving at the point where we left the route yesterday we turn left and head into a firebreak. The way leads up and you have to watch your steps on the rocks.
When you reach the end of the firebreak you will be facing a hill. When you reach the top of this hill you will have a nice view of the surroundings. The way goes downhill now. At the foot of the hill you can see the Clenrie farm. Here starts the road again. From there on it is an easy and straightforward walk. You will be walking on a road with forest on your left and meadows on your right.
The Garroch Burn runs on your right hand. After crossing the Garroch Bridge you will have to turn left. The path leads uphill. Don't be afraid this is your last climb of the day and you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Dalry.

After reaching the summit you will head down hill. You will be passing the Earlstoun power station. When reaching the road turn right. After a short while you can turn left and walk along the side of a cornfield towards a suspension bridge. After crossing this bridge you are in the centre of Dalry. Here you can get provisions for the next part of your walk.

Date 7 July 1998
Dalry - Polskeoch bothy
Distance 26 km
Height range 70-580 m
Terrain A fairly long stretch across remote country. Much of the route is open hill and moorland. Some high hills to climb.

We left Dalry at 9:30 this morning. We wanted to leave earlier, but we had to wait for fresh bread to arrive. After getting some provisions we walked up the Main Street of Dalry.

The road starts to climb and after reaching the end of the road we will head into the field. After continuing the path through the field you will reach a long distance road. This road goes straight ahead for several kilometers.

After reaching a bridge you must turn right and follow the road for 500 metres. Then you must turn left and follow the path uphill. On the other side of the hill you must descend towards the Culmark farm. Be aware of the waymarkers. They have lost their white markings and are very easily overseen. We lost our way through the field once and it resulted in a difficult walk through rough terrain. The sun was shining when we walked this stretch but I can imagine that walking this stretch in rain or mist can pose serious difficulties.
After passing the farm you will continue your way on a dirtroad. After reaching the end of the road you will have to turn right towards the Stroanpatrick sheepfarm. You will pass the farm and will head uphill once again. You only have to follow the stone dyke.
The path leads straight towards the Manquhill Hill. This hill is first of three serious hills you will have to climb before you will reach the Polskeoch bothy. If you do not want to walk all the way to the Polskeoch bothy you can turn right and follow the forestry road towards the Manquhill bothy. We stayed in the Polskeoch bothy, but people told us afterwards that the Manquhill bothy is much nicer.
The path is very straightforward. All you have to do is follow it and climb three hills. (sounds easy doesn't it ? )First you will pass the Manquhill (421 m), then the Benbrack (580 m), followed by Black Hill (551 m). When you are standing on the Benbrack you can see the radar towers near Wanlockhead in front of you. On your left side you can see several windmills.
After reaching the forest on Black Hill you can follow the firebreak. The firebreak changes in a dirtroad and will lead you towards the Polskeoch bothy. Do not expect too much of this bothy. We thought it was the ugliest bothy on our walk.

Date 8 July 1998
Polskeoch bothy - Sanquhar
Distance 14 km
Height range 140-455 m
Terrain A nice and easy stretch. A long road to follow and only a small climb.

After leaving the bothy very early we had a very easy walk. The dirtroad changed in a tarmac road and we could continue this road for a long while. After reaching the Polgown farm you will have to turn left and head into a field. You will follow a hill and will gradualy climb to 455 metres.

After reaching this point you can look down into the next valley and you can see Sanquhar. Do not think you are there. You will have to walk for an hour or so before you will reach the outskirts of the town. Luckily it is all downhill. When you reach the Main Street of Sanquhar you can follow it until you reach a gasstation. Behind this gasstation is Castle View caravan park.

Date 9 July 1998
Sanquhar - Wanlockhead
Distance 16 km
Height range 140-480 m
Terrain A short stretch. There can be a cold wind on the high grounds.

This stretch is short and the waymarking is clear. There isn't much to tell. When you leave Sanquhar early you will have some time to vist the Leadmining Museum in Wanlockhead.

After leaving the Castle View Caravan park you first must walk back towards the town. Halfway town you must turn right and head uphill. A road leads up above the town. The road changes to a path leading through some fields. After walking through the field you will reach an other road. Follow this road to the right and then follow the path leading uphill.
After walking across the hill you can see Cogshead in the next valley. Behind Cogshead a path leads up again. Follow this path and continue along the ridge of the hills. After walking for a while you can see Wanlockhead lying in the next valley. You can also see the radar towers on the Lowther Hill behind Wanlockhead. When you walk down towards Wanlockhead you will see a lot of debris. These are the remains of the leadmines in the surrounding area.
You can also see several circles where the heather is burned down. This is done to provide the grouses with young heather plants. There is a lot of grousehunting in the area and by providing the grouses with fresh plants you can count on a steady growth of the grouse population.

When you have reached the valley you can walk along the river towards Wanlockhead. Wanlockhead is the highest inhibited town in Scotland and lies 480 metres above sea level. There is a very interesting museum which is well worth visiting.

Date 10 July 1998
Wanlockhead - Brattleburn Bothy
Distance 22 km
Height range 100-710 m
Terrain A lengthy stretch with lots of steep climbs. The Lowther Hill is often covered in clouds.

Wanlockhead is the last town on the route before Innerleithen where provisions can be bought without making a big detour. You can buy provisions at the local post office/general store.
After leaving Wanlockhead you will be facing the highest hill on your walk: The Lowther Hill. This hill is 730 metres high. You will have to climb it directly after leaving town. After climbing this hill you will have a fantastic view. At least when the hill isn't covered in clouds. When we walked this stretch we had to walk in mist so we didn't see a thing on top of the hill. (too bad)

After climbing the Lowther Hill you have to walk downhill. The path is easy to follow but you will have to be careful. A long, steep and slippery descend is coming. After descending you will have to climb the next hill and this routine continues two times. the last hill to climb is so steep that we had to climb it on hand and feet. A walking stick could be a useful tool on this part of your walk.
After climbing this last hill you have had the worse part of the stretch. You will reach a road and when you follow this road for a kilometer you will have to turn right. You will be heading towards a firebreak in a forest. Follow the break and then turn right. You are now walking on a dirtroad. When you continue to follow this road you will reach Dear Reservoir.
After passing Dear Reservoir you will have to follow the path leading through the field behind the reservoir. You will have to climb the last hill of the day. When you reach the edge of the forest look for the firebreak. This break descends and leads towards a small stream. just before the stream you have to turn right. Follow the stream about 500 metres uphill to find the Brattleburn Bothy lying hidden between the woods. Enjoy your stay in this small and nice bothy. Take a bit of time to reflect on your past days of walking. You are now half way and you have passed the highest hill on your voyage.

Date 11 July 1998
Brattleburn Bothy - Over Phawhope Bothy
Distance 25 km
Height range 100-525 m

Terrain A long stretch but mainly on tarmac roads. The last piece of the stretch goes uphill and can be demanding when you are tired. Between Beattock and Innerleithen are no villages or shops. Plan your walk in advance !

We decided to walk this piece in one part. When you walk this stretch in one part you must keep in mind that when you pass Beattock you will not find a shop untill you reach Innerleithen. And Innerleithen is 3 days of walking from the Brattleburn Bothy. We took enough food with us when we left Wanlockhead and we bought some bread and milk on our way on a campsite in Beattock.
We left the Bothy early in the morning and headed towards the firebreak from the day before. From there on you only have to follow the break while it leads downhill. The walk is straightforward and leads through the woods. Eventualy you will reach a tarmac road. While you are descedning the road towards Beattock you have a good view of the valley. You can see Moffat on your left hand side. Moffat is a big town where you can rest for a while and where you can buy provisions. You can leave the SUW at this point. There is a busstop in Moffat and the busses can bring you to any big city in a few hours.
After passing Beattock you will have to pass the motorway and continue your walk over the tarmac road. Eventually you will have to leave the road for a short while and climb a small hill to reach the road lying behind it. The road continues and after a while you will have to leave the road again. You will follow a footpath along the Moffat Water. At the end of this path you will find a road which leads to a gate with a cattle grid. Behind this gate begins a dirtroad which leads towards the forests.
You can follow the road until you reach a sharp turn to the right.

At this turn you will have to leave the road and follow the path. This is a very boggy and wet stretch. You will have to follow and cross the Wamphray Water several times until you reach Ettrick Head. When it has rained a lot the small stream can become quite big and it can become dificult to find a place to cross without getting your feet wet. At the end of the path you will find Ettrick Head. Here you will climb the hill on your right and find the Craigmichen Scar. Watch your step. You will have to follow a very small track.

After walking throug Craigmichen Scar you will have to walk a through a field and descend through a fire break. Follow the road at the end of the firebreak to the right and you can see the Over Phawhope Bothy lying in the valley below. Enjoy your stay.

Over Phawhope Bothy

Date 12 July 1998
Over Phawhope Bothy - St Mary's Loch
Distance 18 km
Height range 100-450 m
Terrain A long tarmac road and some hills to climb. Fairly easy to walk.

After leaving the bothy you will have to cross a small stream and to reach a dirtroad. After a short while the dirtroad changes into a tarmac road. You can continue the road along the Ettrick Water. This road is very flat and you can walk it fairly fast. When you reach the turn to the right near Scabcleuch you will have to leave the road and turn left. You will be facing a hill and you have to climb this all the way. The path leading upwards follows the Scabcleuch Burn. When it is raining a lot (which it did when we walked this stretch) the burn can grow rapidly into a river and can make crossing difficult.
Follow the ridge of the hills and than turn right towards the ruins of Riskinhope Hope. Cross the burn and climb the path which follows. When you reach the dirtroad at the top you must turn left. You will see St Mary's Loch lying below. You can have a decent meal at Tibbie Shiels Inn and you can put up your tent in their backyard. When you have some wet clothes or shoes you can put them in the drying cupboard in the hall.

Memorial Plaque at Tibbie Shiels Inn

Date 13 July 1998
St Mary's Loch - Innerleithen
Distance 22 km
Height range 160-475 m
Terrain Good tracks and paths. Road near Traquair

After leaving St Mary's Loch you must follow the path along the shores of the Loch. At the end of the Loch you will have to cross a road and a stile. You must follow the path through the fields uphill. You will pass Blackhouse Tower on your left.

Follow the path and you will go down towards a burn. Cross the bridge and walk towards the forest. Follow the forestroad uphill. You will reach some moor covered hills. Follow the clearly marked path and you will see Innerleithen in a while. Don't be overjoyed, it is still quite a distance.

Following the path downhill you will reach a road. This road continues towards Traquair and Innerleithen. Just before Innerleithen there is a turnoff towards the right. You can find a bothy in which you can stay a bit further. We continued towards Innerleithen itself. After three days of walking we wanted to replenish our supplies and have a good shower. To reach Innerleithen itself you just have to follow the road.

Date 14 July 1998
Innerleithen - Broadmeadows Youth Hostel
Distance 14 km
Height range 120-500 m
Terrain Easy. Clearly marked path.

As we are reaching the end of the SUW faster and faster the road is getting easier also. Almost all the way leads over road these days. You also find more villages and even when you are walking in the hills a road is allways nearby.
When you leave Innerleithen you will have to walk back to where you saw the turnoff last day. Turn left to head uphill. You will pass the Minch Moor Bothy. A simple bothy without a furnace or something. Follow the road and head into the woods. You will follow the forestroad untill you reach a path. Follow the path. You will find the Minch Moor hill with a viewpoint and the Cheese Well.
Continue the path and you will find a sign pointing to the right. It points towards Broadmeadows Youth Hostel. The Hostel itself is a very small but nice Hostel.

Date 15 July 1998
Broadmeadows Youth Hostel - Melrose
Distance 17 km
Height range 525-120 m
Terrain A boring stretch through Galashiels. No nature at all and a lot of tarmac.

After leaving the Youth Hostel you will turn back towards the path. Follow the path and after a while you will reach the 'Three Brethren" Cairn's on Minchmuir. From this point you have a good view over the next valley. You can see three distictive hills on your right hand side. At the foot of these hills lies Melrose. The road continues through some forest and eventually you will reach the outskirts of Galashiels.

The walk through Galashiels is very boring and it isn't very useful to tell you about this part. The road is clearly marked and you will find your way easily. The only nice thing on your walk from Galashiels towards Melrose is your view on Abbotsford.

Date 16 July 1998

This day we stayed in Melrose to view some of the surroundings. We went to Melrose Abbey and Abbotsford. They are both well worth visiting. You can see Melrose Abbey on the left and in the middle. On the right you can see Abbotsford.

Date 17 July 1998
Melrose - Lauder
Distance 15 km
Height range 85-285 m
Terrain A very straightforward walk. Mainly roads and good paths.

Today only a short stretch towards Lauder. After leaving Melrose you will cross a suspensionbridge. It is a beautiful old bridge and it crosses the river Tweed. Read the sign above the arch carefully. The penalty for contravention of the byelaws is 2 Pound Sterling or imprisonment. Surely these rules must come from the time the bridge was built: the year 1826.

After crossing the bridge follow the road. The road leads uphill and changes into a path through a field. At the end of the path you reach a road again. Follow the road all the way and do not take a turnoff. When you reach Fordswell turn left under the high voltage cables. Follow the path through the field. You will pass the Lauder Golf Course. You can see Lauder downhill.

Lauder is a small place. It has a campsite which is part of the Thirlstane Castle Estate. When you stay at this campsite you can get some discount coupons from your campsite warden. With the coupons you can get reduction on your admission fee to Thirlstane Castle. Thirlstane Castle is worth visiting. The only problem is that it is only opened for a few hours in the afternoon. Nonetheless go on and take a look.

Date 18 July 1998
Lauder - Abbey St Bathans
Distance 35 km
Height range 180-445 m
Terrain A lengthy stretch, but very straightforward. A lot of moors to be crossed. In bad weather the stretch can become difficult.

This is the longest stretch of the route. There are no facilities to camp overnight so you have to find a place somewhere in the field. Only two days to go towards the end of the SUW.
After leaving Lauder you will have to climb again. The road leads towards a field and from there on you have to watch your route. There aren't too much waymarkers but with fair weather they can be seen. With fog or rain it can be difficult to find your way. Stay with the sides of the fields.
When you reach the top of the first hill you can see that there are some more to follow. You have to go down and up again and again untill you reach a valley with a small stream running through it. Cross the stream and climb the last hill. Head for the road through the forest. When you reach this road you will only have to follow the long dirtroad towards the "Twin Law" cairns. They can be seen on your right hand side.

Surroundings near the Twin Law cairns

Near Twin Law Cearns

When you reach the cairns you can see moors on all sides. Below you can see the Watch Water Reservoir. Continue your walk towards the reservoir and follow the road around it. The tarmac road you are now on continues towards Longformacus. When you arive in Longformacus you have walked 25 km. In Longformacus are some places to stay and you can pitch your tent in some of the surrounding fields.
We walked on towards Abbey St Bathans. After walking through Longformacus you continue the tarmac road for a while and then you must take a diversion to the right. At the time we walked this stretch we had to take a diversion which wasn't marked on the map. Pay close attention to the waymarkers.
After a while you will reach a forest. There is a road all the way towards Abbey St Bathans. On the map you can see that the road runs along the river bank but that isn't exactly true. The river runs a bit lower and you can't pitch your tent until you reach Abbey St Bathans. Abbey St Bathans isn't a big place but the people who live there are helpful and will show you a place to pitch your tent.

Date 19 July 1998
Abbey St Bathans - Cockburnspath
Distance 17 km
Height range 0-310 m
Terrain An easy stretch over tarmac roads and through some fields.

This is the last stretch of the Southern Upland Way. It is an easy stretch and it isn't really worth desribing. The walk towards the coast goes over tarmac roads and when you follow the waymarkers you cannot miss it. The stretch itself isn't very beautiful, but the coast itself is. Too bad there is a big caravanpark at the end of your walk. No undisturbed coastline but a caravanpark and a nuclear power plant. I hate to admit it, but the end of the Southern Upland Way isn't nearly half as beautiful as it's beginning. The most disappointing was the village of Cockburnspath itself. The place was dead and deserted when we arrived on sunday afternoon after a walk through the rain. Even the local pub was closed. (or even closed down)

When you walk along the coastline you can reflect on your past walk. You have walked across the grain of the country and have seen very different sorts of surroundings. Although not every part of our walk was beautiful we were glad to experience this walk. We had a lot of fun while walking and met friendly and interesting people. We look forward towards another big walk and we hope it will be as much fun as this walk was for us.

The end at Cockburns Path
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Joined: Mar 25, 2012
Location: Midden-Drenthe, The Netherlands

Re: SUW - Memories of a trip long-long time ago....

Postby cecilsson » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:14 pm

Thank you for reposting your entry. For my 60th birthday next May, I am planning on walking the SUW, a "bucket list" sort of thing. Your account of the hike was very informative. I have given myself ample time to prepare for the trip with researching and purchasing gear as well as getting my walking legs ready.
I live in Manitoba, Canada, a very flat part of our country, so I may need to use my treadmill during the winter months to simulate rolling hills. If there is any advise you might pass on to someone who really doesn't know the right questions to ask, it would be appreciated.
I worked on a family tree last year and discovered the following surnames of my ancestors from Scotland: Knox, Finney, Ferguson, Kidd, Whyte, McGrigor, Taylor, Scot, Lickpirwick, and Fairie. Before finding this out, I had always wanted to visit Scotland. Hiking coast to coast seems like a good way to get back to my roots.
Looking forward to long walks, meeting new Scottish friends, and having a pint or two.
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Joined: Aug 13, 2013
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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