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Thistle within hexagonSouthern Upland Way

Dumfries & Galloway, Borders, S Lanarkshire

338 km / 210 miles
One of the original four officially designated Long Distance Routes in Scotland, and now one of the family of Scotland's Great Trails, it provides a coast-to-coast traverse of southern Scotland by a varied path through sparsely populated terrain, generally avoiding the high tops. Across the Rhinns of Galloway and into Glen Trool Forest Park, passing below the Merrick (843m) it heads to Sanquhar, then, via the open, heather-clad Lowther Hills, it reaches St Mary's Loch near Broad Law. From here the Way passes through Melrose (where it can be linked with the St Cuthbert's Way), Lauder and over the foothills of the Lammermuir Hills to reach the east coast.

The route's website has extensive supporting information and leaflets for download.

The section between Moffat in South Central Scotland to Cockburnspath on the South East Scottish Coastline is promoted as the Sir Walter Scott Way, almost entirely coincident with the Southern Upland Way. This has been designed as a shorter option to add some additional literary interest to the longer route. Scott took inspiration from this countryside and it was where he spent much of his life.

West from Melrose, where the St Cuthbert's Way joins, the route is part of the E2 E-Route.

The reference in the 2009 Trailwalker Handbook to the route passing over the Merrick top is incorrect.

See also E-Routes (E2).


Waymark: Thistle within hexagon
Path Type: Scotland's Great Trails
Waymark: Thistle within hexagon
Attributes: Scotland's Great Trails
Start: NX000542 - Portpatrick, Dumfries & Galloway View on StreetMap
Finish: NT774710 - Cockburnspath, Borders View on StreetMap
Open Date: 1984
Web Sites: Dumfries and Galloway Council - Southern Upland Way Southern Upland Way ibook Undiscovered Scotland - Specific Walks Walk Highlands - Scotland's Long Distance Walking Routes Scotland's Great Trails Annierak - Southern Upland Way [blog] Rambling Man - Planning your Southern Upland Way Walk Brian's Walks - Southern Upland Way [blog] BBC South Scotland : In pictures: the Southern Upland Way

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook Walking the Southern Upland Way : Scotland's coast to coast trail  (Cicerone Press  - 2018 )
Guidebook Southern Upland Way & St Cuthbert's Way  (Mike Salter  - 2007 )
External PDF Dumfries and Galloway Council - Southern Upland Way : tree and shrub guide  (Dumfries and Galloway Council  - 2004 ) Download
External PDF Dumfries and Galloway Council - Southern Upland Way : geology guide  (Dumfries and Galloway Council  - 2000 ) Download
External PDF Dumfries and Galloway Council - Southern Upland Way : wildlife guide  (Dumfries and Galloway Council  - 2005 ) Download
Guidebook Writing the Way : a collection of journeys along the Southern Upland Way  (Southern Uplands Partnership  - 2005 )
Certificate Certificate for National Trails  (Long Distance Walkers Association )
Certificate Certificate for Southern Upland Way  (Dumfries and Galloway Council )
General Interest Book Big walks of the north  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2010 )
General Interest Book Big walks of Great Britain  (Summersdale Publishers  - 2007 )
Guidebook The National Trails : 19 long-distance routes through England, Scotland and Wales  (Cicerone Press  - 2015 )
External PDF Dumfries and Galloway Council - Southern Upland Way : the killing times  (Dumfries and Galloway Council ) Download
External PDF Southern Upland Way : an underused resource for southern Scotland? Executive summary, recommendations & conclusions  (Southern Uplands Partnership  - February 2005 ) Download

Click to showhide 9 more Publications, Badges and Certificates


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps (path is named on OS maps):
OS Landranger 67, 71, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82
OS Landranger Active 67, 71, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82
OS Explorer 309, 310, 317, 318, 319, 320, 322, 328, 329, 330, 337, 338, 345, 346, 351
OS Explorer Active 309, 310, 317, 318, 319, 320, 322, 328, 329, 330, 337, 338, 345, 346, 351
Other Paper Maps:
Harvey National Trail map
Southern Upland Way (Harvey Maps - July 2018)
Digital Maps:
Downloadable Digital Mapping
Downloadable Digital Mapping

Walking Support Providers:

Support Providers
Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Absolute Escapes Ltd)
Support Providers
Baggage Handling and Self Guided Walks (Celtic Trails Walking Holidays)
Support Providers
Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Make Tracks Walking Holidays)
Support Providers
Baggage Handling and Self-Guided Walks (Southern Upland Way Holidays)
Support Providers
Guided Walking Holidays (Footpath Holidays)
Support Providers
Support Providers
Support Providers
Support Providers
Self-Guided Walking Holidays (Contours Walking Holidays)

Click to show 6 more Walking Support Providers

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation
2 km
111 km
B & B Accommodation
2 km
145 km
Walkers are Welcome
2 km
190 km
Hostel Accommodation
2 km
193 km
Walkers are Welcome
< 1 km
269 km

Click to show 3 more Accommodations

Additional Images:

Connected Paths:


Route Profile:

337.6 km (209.8 miles)
8,720 m (28,609 ft) ascent
712 m (2,336 ft)  maximum height

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