St John’s Town of Dalry to Sanquar

This is the longest stretch on the Way at over 25 miles. Only experienced walkers should attempt this stretch of the walk in a day.

Leaving St John’s Town of Dalry the Way goes cross country east of Ardoch Hill and winds up towards the summit of Benbrack Hill. At 580 metres this will reward you with an amazing 360 degree panorama of the Galloway Hills. The way passes Andy Goldsworthys Striding archesbefore descending into the woodlands down to the Chalk Memorial Bothy at Polskeoch. From here the Way heads back up into the hills and down into the Nith Valley and the town of Sanquhar.

The historic town of Sanquhar has many places of interest including Sanquhar Castle, the town’s historic walk, the Tolbooth Museum and the oldest Post Office in the world. There is also a good selection of shops, accommodation and services.

Cars (or vehicle back-up from accommodation providers) can be used to break up this long walk into more manageable parts, with access from the Lochinvar road, at Butterhole Bridge, Stroanfreggan, and from the valley of the Scaur Water.

StartSt John’s Town of Dalry
OS Explorer Maps320 – Castle Douglas, Loch Ken & New Galloway
328 – Sanquhar & New Cumnock
Distance42kms (26 miles).
Height Range70-580 metres. Highest point 580m on Benbrack.
Total AscentAbout 1200 metres.
Information ShelterBy the bridge over the River Ken in Dalry, and at the Blackaddie Bridge in Sanquhar.
Leaflet BoxNone.
SuppliesThere is a limited range of shops in Dalry with a better selection in Sanquhar.
Public TransportOnly available at the start and finish of this section.
The Cumnock-Dumfries service on the A76 operates seven days a week, while the railway station at Sanquhar has a reasonable service to Glasgow and Carlisle.