St Mary's Loch
A scenic route along the edge of the 5km long St Mary's Loch looking at the scenery across the water. After passing sculptures, a historic tower and remote moorland you will end up at a small village with a country house.
St Mary’s Loch is 5km long and 1km wide. You will be walking along the eastern bank of the Loch with woodland on one side and views across the loch on the other. On a still day the reflections of the hills in the water create dramatic scenery. On the edge of the Loch you will come across shinglehook, a sculpture by Matt Baker. Made from oak in the form of two land anchors they give an opportunity to sit by the water and appreciate the landscape around you.
At the end of the Loch is Dryhope Tower. You can admire this ruin of a 16th century stone peel tower from the Way or a very short detour allows you to have a closer look. There is a metal staircase inside the ruin that allows you to climb up and admire the view from what would have been the top.
From here you will head back up into upland hill walking as you climb to the top of Blake Muir and then descend to the small village of Traquair. Out the other side of the village you will find Traquair House, Scotlands oldest inhabited house. This grand country house has it’s own cafe and brewery and the house and grounds are open to the public.
If you are in need of supplies then the small town of Innerleithen is a mile or so further on and has small shops and a pub.
Just a line of blue hills to remember:
Just a valley one fails to forget,
Whether bound with the gold of September
Or with jewels of midsummer set!
Will H. Ogilvie
|Start||St Mary’s Loch|
|OS Explorer Maps||330 Moffat and St Mary’s Loch|
337 Peebles and Innerleithen
|Distance||19km / 12miles|
|Height Range||150 – 476m|
|Information Shelter||Tibbie Shiels Inn & Traquair Village Hall|
|Supplies||There are no shops on route. Innerleithen 1.5 miles off route has a range of shops.|
|Public Transport||Limited bus service at Innerleithen.|
|Cycling||The entire of this section is suitable for mountain bikes.|