The Southern Upland Way is Britain’s first official coast to coast long distance footpath. It runs 214 miles (344 km) from Portpatrick on the south-west coast of Scotland to Cockburnspath on the eastern seaboard. It offers superb and varied walking country, still undiscovered by many enthusiasts.
The Way provides a real challenge for the experienced walker, yet some of the shorter stretches are suitable for families and the less ambitious. The Southern Uplands have been heavily sculpted and rounded by the effects of glaciations to leave a series of gently rolling hills with occasional rocky outcrops. There are no summits above 3000ft (914m), but over 80 rise above 2000ft (610m), offering some fine hill walking. It is one of Scotland’s Great Trails and is considered to be one of the UK’s most challenging.
Travelling the entire 214 mile length of the Southern Upland Way will take you through an enormous variety of scenery and may provide a challenge that will give you a tremendous sense of achievement on completion. Many of the longer sections could be very arduous and would perhaps be difficult for some to manage in a single day. To make these more manageable you could arrange to be collected from intermediate points along the route, driven to nearby accommodation, and dropped off again the next morning (see accommodation providers for details). Walking the Way with a day sack may be hard enough on its own so why not think about using a luggage transfer service to move your main piece of luggage each day to your next night’s accommodation. People normally take about 12 to 16 days to complete the route in one journey but the route can easily be broken down into two trips. From Portpatrick to Beattock to Moffat in 6-8 days and Moffat to Cockburnspath in 6-8 days. Or just take it at your own pace whether fast or slow and enjoy the experience.