The Southern Upland Way is a 212-mile coast-to-coast walk in Scotland between Portpatrick in the west, and Cockburnspath in the east. The route officially opened in 1984.
PART 1 - BEATTOCK TO OVER PHAWHOPE BOTHY (10 MILES)
PART 2 - OVER PHAWHOPE BOTHY TO ST MARY'S LOCH (12 MILES)
Since 2013 my friend and I have been completing the long distance trail in small stages each year (backpacking and wild camping) and have now passed the halfway mark.
We returned in June 2016 to continue from Beattock. The plan was to walk as far as Traquair (35 miles).
I have decided that next year (2017) I'll pull my finger out and get the trail completed.
On this occasion, we got dropped off at Beattock on Friday afternoon and walked 10 miles to Over Phawhope bothy. We hoped to get the bothy to ourselves but unfortunately, being a popular place it was occupied by a large group who had arrived in three cars!! We were not very amused but at the end of the day, bothy's are free shelters which are open to everyone.
Anyhow, there was still some space out front for camping. We made use of the old barn to shelter from the midges. We had food in there, washed down by several Beers which had been carried all the way from Beattock.
In the morning, we had a quick look in the bothy before setting off on the trail to St Mary's loch. There was a lot of road walking involved then a couple of big hills and we finally made it to Loch of the Lowes, situated beside St Mary's loch. There were already a few wild campers dotted about the place but they were sound people and it was a great atmosphere and it stayed dry.
On the Sunday the original plan was to walk the next stage to Traquair but due to a slight hangover and a late start Plus the arrival of the rain it was postponed.
Next Section: St. Mary's Loch to Traquair/Minch Moor