The route is dotted with charming villages and towns, as well as places of historical and archaeological interest, from ancient standing stones to medieval castles, as well as modern artworks.
It typically takes about 2 weeks to complete, but for a sustained walking tour such as this, with steep gradients and long days, additional rest days are highly recommended and truly rewarding. This epic walk will leave you with memories for a lifetime.
Keen to find out more about the Southern Upland Way? Private Group Tours.
Southern Upland Way - Outdoor Scott
Nonetheless, maps are a must and compass is highly recommended. Crossing moorlands can get tricky, especially when it gets foggy.
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To be on the safe side, you might want to learn how to use a compass and map together. The Southern Upland Way is waymarked throughout but involves moorland crossings which could be tricky to navigate in mist. In winter, the weather is too cold, rainy, foggy and pretty much designed to make your life miserable.
While the official route usually avoids passing directly through town and villages, it passes by a reasonable number of accommodation options. However, in the eastern section of the way, you will need to diverge a few miles from the path to find a bed for the night. Do not expect any other services such as a toilet or running water.
Accommodation near WalkFest Newton Stewart 2020
If you plan to spend a night in a bothie, you need to have at least a sleeping bag and enough water and food supplies. Just come and let yourself in. You will be all alone or you might have to share it with other hikers. Before you leave, clean up after yourself! Bothies are run and cared for by volunteers of Mountain Bothy Association, so respect their work and leave the bothie ready for another hiker.
The Southern Upland Way
There are a few campsites along the way, listed in the Southern Upland Way accommodation guide. However, the Southern Upland Way is full of remote areas and this extremely suitable for wild camping which is legal in Scotland. You will be afforded a great deal of flexibility. If you do decide to camp, make sure to get familiar with and adhere to Scottish Outdoor Access Code with information about how to wild-camp responsibly. It divides the walk into 13 stages, provides you with maps of the trial and accommodation, travel and health and safety information.
If you want to be really sure the information you have is completely up to date, check the official Southern Upland Way website.
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Along the route, there are multiple artifacts and sites ranging from prehistoric standing stones to impressive Victorian mansions and rich natural heritage. It hides in the Lammermuir Hills, near the small village of Longformacus, near where the route crosses the River Watch Water. John Dippie was a local gamekeeper. The secret behind the sweet water of his well was that he added some good old whiskey to it before people satisfied their thirst.
Portpatrick and Cocksburnspath do not have a railway station. The nearest railway station to Portpatrick is 10 miles away in Stranraer with hourly buses running between them. On the east coast, Cocksburnspath has regular bus connection with Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed which are both easily reached by train from all over the UK.