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Sanquhar to Daer Reservior

Sanquhar to Daer Reservior

Postby Charles Wallis » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:56 am

Route description: Southern Upland Way

Date walked: 08/08/2020

Time taken: 1 day

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Taking an early train to Sanquhar from Edinburgh I arrived at about 10 am on a beautiful warm summers day in August. I set off through the village, past the oldest working post office in the world.
Sanquhar Post Office

Turning off the main street I headed out of the town, slowly gaining height.
Heading out of Sanquhar
Looking back there was a beautiful view over the broad strath of Nith Valley, and west to the Scaur Hills and Carsphairn where the way crosses from St Johns Town of Dalry.
Sanquhar and the Nith valley

After a considerable climb I reached the first significant summit, the col of Cogshead.
There is a steep descent, then a stiff climb up over the next ridge at Glengaber which is rewarded by the first view of the very different landscape of Wanlockhead.
The first view of Wanlockhead, with Lowther Hill above it
After a gentle descent the way crosses Wanlock Water amongst a very different, post industrial landscape.
Here the way crosses Wanlock Water, and you are amongst a post industrial landscape
There is then an easy walk through the historic village, littered with relics of its mining past.
Old mining equipment
Massive spoil heap
Picturesque village of Wanlockhead

There is a pleasant walk through the village, gaining height all the way. Being a warm sunny day just after virus lockdown the village was busy with day trippers and cyclists.

Then begins the still climb of Lowther Hill. It was baking hot, made worse by haet rising from the tarmac of the road to the radar station. Finally I reached the summit at 725m.
Radar Station on Lowther Hill
I then nipped along the road to Green Lowther, which is slightly higher at 732m to bag the peak. It is an ugly clutter of radio masts and apart from having a trig point has no redeeming features for the walker, but at least its done!
The final part of the walk undulates over a series of hills, Cold Moss 628m, Comb Head 609m and finally Laght Hill 507m. It was pretty hard work in the heat but I was rewarded by stunning views east over the grass and heather clad border hills. I then descend through lush bog and grassland to Over Fingland on the A702.
A pleasant spot at Over Fingland

The final section to Daer started on a very pleasant track through the forest lined with many native trees and shrubs. It then opens out onto a more usual forest track with sweeping views toward Daer, though you can't see the reservior till you get to it. A long and tiring section but a pre planned pick up by car brought this section to a close.
Charles Wallis
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 16, 2019

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