Walking in Southern Scotland
The Southern Upland Way
The Southern Upland Way: Walking advice and addresses
Transport, Accommodation, Waymarks, Going all the way? Shorter Walks, Ranger Services, Useful addresses and links.
There are railway stations at Stranraer on the west coast, at
Kirkconnel and Sanquhar, at Dunbar, north of Cockburnspath, and at
Berwick upon Tweed, south of Cockburnspath. The Way crosses or passes
close to a number of bus routes, but services can be infrequent check
timetables in advance at tourist information centres.
A guide to public transport services across the Southern Upland Way is available from the Scottish Borders Council website:
Walkers are strongly advised to seek and plan their accommodation in advance. See Southern Upland Way Ltd's website southernuplandwayholidays.com for accommodation.
Waymarks, Official Guides and Maps
The Southern Upland Way is waymarked throughout its length, using this standard symbol.
The best guide The Southern Upland Way, Official Guide, by Roger Smith, (ISBN 0114951705 ) comes complete with its own 1:50,000 OS route map and is available from bookshops, Tourist Information Centres and:
Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Bookshop,
71 Lothian Road,
Edinburgh EH3 9AZ
The guide provides illustrated descriptions of the route with detailed information on the historical, cultural, archaeological and wildlife interest along the way.
Going all the Way?
The Southern Upland Way includes some very long and demanding stretches - walkers tackling the route in one expedition must be very fit and experienced hill walkers. You must be well equipped and prepared for emergencies. Stout walking boots, waterproof and wind proof clothing are essential. Although the route is waymarked, you must be able to navigate with map and compass when visibility is bad.
The time taken will vary according to individual fitness and weather conditions, but walkers should allow between 10 and 20 days. The Southern Upland Way works across the grain of the country rather than following valleys and lines of least resistance so, although there are many miles of level walking, there are also many miles up and down hill - be prepared...
Planning Shorter Walks
In the official guide mentioned above, the Way is divided into 13 manageable sections, each of which is described in detail. It is therefore possible to plan a walk which is within your capabilities. Leaflets with short circular walks involving part of the SUW are available from the Ranger Services.
Lots of information about the Southern Upland Way:
Countryside rangers operate along the whole Way. As well as monitoring the condition of the footpath itself, they will gladly provide Information and advice to walkers and potential walkers. For the Strathclyde section contact Dumfries.
Countryside Ranger Service
Department of Physical Planning
Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council
Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre
JEDBURGH TD8 6UQ
The Countryside Ranger
St John's Town of Dalry
Dumfries and Galloway Tourist Board
Scottish Borders Tourist Board