Length: 340km (walked in the mid-1980s)
The Southern Upland Way was inaugurated in 1984. When I walked the route a year or two later, it was still squeaky-new, and logistics were very personal. There would be no more than a dozen through-walkers on any particular stretch. I recall wondering where I’d spend the next night as I wound down one afternoon by walking along the village street, when a car pulled up alongside me. The driver was the possessor of the only bed-and-breakfast room in the next 40km, so I booked my night there and then — it was her first visit to that town for many years, but a funeral is a funeral. At another village, sleeping arrangements were shuffled, and the dinner-table was extended, when I rang ahead the previous night.
Nowadays, the Way has full support, and there are many more walkers, but the countryside is as gloriously empty as ever, though some of the knee-high forestry will now be fully grown, changing the aspect. The long distances between villages and towns will make this a route for the fit or the facilitated, and even then, a support vehicle will clock up long distances.
Between the cliffs of the North Channel and the North Sea, the route crosses farmland to Bargrennan, and then crosses the wilds of Galloway. Beyond Sanquhar, Wanlockhead and the Lowther Hills lead to Annandale (with the little town of Moffat a useful point for refreshment and repair). Out of Annandale, the route crosses into the Borders, with much open land as far as Galashiels. It is mainly farmland to the coast, with some moorland and forestry thrown in for good measure.
There is an extensive website devoted to the path.
Disclaimer and advisory notices
Note that lwalks.london can accept no responsibility for content on an external site or in an external publication, nor for any action by an external site which renders our content or link outdated or unworkable. Furthermore, lwalks.london retains the liberty to unlink external content at any time if the content loses relevance to the linking page(s).
Images used on the lwalks.london site are either owned by lwalks.london, or are subject to a licence-to-use held by lwalks.london. These images must not be further used by any third party without the explicit permission of lwalks.london, or of the original image licensor. A small number of images are in the public domain.
Routes are to be followed entirely at the walker’s own risk: lwalks.london can take no responsibility for any inconvenience, damage, loss or injury caused by attempting to follow a route, which is no more than a mere suggestion of a possible enterprise.
We should be happy to learn of any changes to the line of a walk and/or its attendant facilities, or to consider an image which you own for inclusion on the site, lwalks.london thus being granted a free and non-exclusive licence to use the image anywhere on its site. Please contact us.