Southern Upland Way Walking Holidays Bramble Cottage, Midtown, Dallry, Castle Douglas, Scotland, DG7 3UT, GB
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SUW Sections

    The Southern Upland Way is officially promoted as 14 sections, based on Longformacus to Abbey St Bathans and Abbey St Bathans to Cockburnspath as two sections when most walkers walk these as one for two simple reasons, one – the lack of accommodation in Abbey St Bathans and secondly because they are two short days.

    The official promotion of the route also puts Bargrennan to Dalry and Dalry to Sanquhar as two 25.5 mile sections when the majority of walkers are unable to walk these long distances over two consecutive days. Therefor over the years a natural adjustment has become common place with these two long sections breaking them down into three more manageable days.

    We have therefore provided information below on a total of 16 sections thus allowing you to choose how best to tackle the route.


    Route Sections

    1. Portpatrick to Castle KennedyDistance: 13.4miles
    Location: Portpatrick
    The first section of the Way begins at Portpatrick on the Mull of Galloway, climbing the steep path by the harbour to the top of the cliffs. The landscape then becomes more pastoral as you follow a...
    2. Castle Kennedy to New LuceDistance: 8.9miles
    Location: Castle Kennedy
    This section is a little more challenging than the first but well worth the effort, taking you through the stunning gardens of Castle Kennedy and across dramatic sprawling moorland. As well as some...
    3. New Luce to BargrennanDistance: 17.8miles
    Location: New Luce
    This 18mile section is one of the longest parts of the western stage of the Way. Whilst you may want to walk directly from New Luce to Bargrennan, re-starting at Dranigower Bridge or Balmurrie Farm...
    4. Bargrennan to Clatteringshaws (Craigenbay)Distance: 17.5miles
    Location: Bargrennan
    This section takes you through the beautiful Galloway Forest to Loch Trool where the higher ground rewards you with some of the best views along the Way. Be aware that this section has been subject...
    5. Clatteringshaws (Craigenbay) to DalryDistance: 7.75miles
    Location: St Johns Town of Dalry
    Starting north of the stunning Clatteringshaws Loch across and in to the Garroch Glen, this section of the walk brings you into natural oak woodland and eventually fantastic views of the Ken Valley...
    6. Dalry to StroanpatrickDistance: 7.75miles
    Location: St Johns Town of Dalry
    This section is dominated by St. John's Town of Dalry, the ‘Walking Village’ of the Glenkens. The area’s many local routes combine with the Way itself to offer the perfect choice...
    7. Stroanpatrick to SanquharDistance: 18.5miles
    Location: St Johns Town of Dalry
    The division of the Bargrennan to Sanquhar section here reaches its final point –from Cairn Hill past Polskeoch to Sanquhar. In terms of terrain, the descent from Cairn Hill to Polskeoch is...
    8. Sanquhar Garage to Wanlockhead MuseumDistance: 7.5miles
    Location: Sanquhar
    A high section, crossing the open grouse moors of the Lowther Hills to Wanlockhead village. En route, watch for spoil tips and mine entrances, harking back to the days when the landscape yielded rich...
    9. Wanlockhead to Beattock & MoffatDistance: 20.5miles
    Location: Moffat
    This section passes over the Lowthers – the highest hills on the Southern Upland Way. From Overfingland to Daer, the route tracks through a mixture of plantation and moorland before entering...
    10. Beattock & Moffat to St Mary's LochDistance: 20.9miles
    Location: Beattock
    The walk from Dumcrieff Bridge to St. Mary's Loch is an interesting mixture of lowland woodland, plantation and moorland, dropping into a river valley. At St Mary's Loch, you’ll find a statue...
    11. St Mary's Loch to Traquair (Innerleithen)Distance: 12miles
    Location: Innerleithen
    While the previous section offered quite a few challenges, the section through to Traquair is considerably easier. A gentle route alongside St. Mary’s Loch to Dryhope is followed by a gentle...
    12. Traquair (Innerleithen) to MelroseDistance: 17.3miles
    Location: Galashiels
    This section takes you down into the one urban area of the route – famous for its tweed and woollen industry. Woodland gives way to moorland as you reach the edge of the two towns, with a...
    13. Gala / Melrose to LauderDistance: 10.2miles
    Location: Melrose
    The Southern Upland Way resumes its rural route after Melrose, through gentle, wooded landscape and open fields. Lauder like the remaining halts nestles in a narrow valley beside a river....
    14. Lauder to LongformacusDistance: 15.4miles
    Location: Lauder
    This section crosses fertile agricultural land, over the soft heather-covered contours of the historic Lammermuir Hills. For those who have come the long way from Portpatrick, this fifteen-mile...
    15. Longformacus to Abbey St. BathansDistance: 7.2miles
    Location: Duns
    This section provides a good focal point if you want to explore the eastern part of the Way. Experienced walkers who are well into their stride may prefer to treat Abbey St. Bathans as just a lunch...
    16. Abbey St. Bathans to CockburnspathDistance: 10miles
    Location: Duns
    Beginning and ending amongst forest scenery, this final section from Pease Bay to Cockburnspath takes you to the east coast before leading you inland to Cockburnspath itself in order to officially...