Category Archives: Borders

The Last Bit of the Southern Upland Way

Berwickshire coast

Berwickshire coast

This is one of those very rare posts where I describe actually finishing a long-distance walk. It is all the more incredible as looking back over these posts show that I started the Southern Upland Way over five years ago.  I know I’m a slow walker but that really is glacial.  Poor Jazz was barely out of puppy-hood when she started getting dragged along.

The official SUW distance is 212 miles but after 22 separate walks involving lots of circuits we took almost exactly 300 miles to complete it.  And today was the last day from Longformacus to Cockburnspath and so something to savour.  It’s such a pity that it was dire. Continue reading

Traquair to Galashiels

Three Brethren

Three Brethren

A rare combination of a free weekend and decent weather gave us the chance to get back to the Southern Upland Way for the last two sections: yes, we are frighteningly close to finishing this.  Today was the shorter one with a walk over the old Minch Moor drove road from Traquair to Galashiels.  So sit back and enjoy, because this walk was a cracker. Continue reading

Tibbie Shiels to Traquair

St. Mary's Loch

St. Mary’s Loch

This is the second day of our weekend doing the central section of the Southern Upland Way (SUW) and a kind Missus dropped us back at Tibbie Shiels Inn for the much shorter wander around St. Mary’s Loch and then over the hills to Traquair.  This was probably just as well because although it was a gorgeous morning the forecast was for snow by mid-afternoon. Continue reading

Beattock to Tibbie Shiels

Loch of the Lowes

Loch of the Lowes

The central bit of the Southern Upland Way (SUW) is a bit isolated and needs help from a friendly spouse to do pick-up/drop-off duty.  The possibility of doing a couple of days walking opened up when I pointed out to the Missus that a couple of Sustrans cycle routes were in the area and she could amuse herself with a cycle invasion of northern England.  So it’s off to Moffat for a couple of days walking of the SUW heading east. Continue reading

Lauder to Longformacus

SUW signpost

The third day of our weekend avoiding the Brat’s party and its fallout saw us back in Lauder with the help of another helpful parent for the next stage of the Southern Upland Way.  And what a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was dreich and humid leaving us soaked with sweat at the end; today was a perfect late summer’s day with beautiful skies and scenery looking at its best.  This next section of the SUW is a wander over the Lammermuir Hills to the picturesque village of Longformacus. These hills aren’t what you’d call “Alpine” so the skies are huge: brace yourself for lots of big sky pictures. Continue reading

Galashiels to Lauder

Jazz on suspension bridge

After yesterday’s hills it was time to treat our legs to an easy wander and a stretch of the Southern Upland Way was next up on our master plan.  With the assistance of a helpful parent we got dropped off in a dreich but humid  Galashiels for the start of the walk to Lauder.  We were getting the tail-end of Hurricane Irene: New England got a metre of rain; Galashiels gets slightly damp.     Continue reading

Grey Mare’s Tails and Donalds

Grey Mare's Tails

As keen followers of these ramblings will know, our usual planning process involves a quick check of the maps on a Friday evening with a glass of Chilean red for company.  Not so this time: the Brat had managed to persuade her Mother that a pre-University party wouldn’t result in the house getting trashed.  Jazz and I spotted the warning signs very early and made plans a month in advance to clear out for three days walking well out of ear-shot.  Today was the first day and we were doing a nice circuit of three Donalds starting at the Grey Mare's Tails between Moffat and Selkirk. Continue reading