Start with a circuit of
The Devil's Beeftub
Get epic views as you complete this circular route around a historic landscape. The start of your adventure is a strenuous and rewarding trip into the high and remote Moffat Hills.
You will start your adventure at the Moffat Ram. This statue has stood looking over the market place in the town for well over a hundred years.
Leaving Moffat you will wander along the banks of the River Annan. You will be alongside the river for many miles in the coming days but here it is still quite small, no more than a fast flowing burn. You will head north, up the river. As you get further from the town the countryside becomes wilder and more remote. After a few miles you start to climb up one side of the valley along a grassy farm track. Passing through fields of sheep and cattle the views get better and better the higher you get. Soon you cross the A701 and do a loop of Ericstane Hill with views back down to Moffat.
The second climb takes you up to Annanhead Hill. Here you get the best views of the Devil's Beef Tub. The route will take you around the edge of this dramatic hollow between the hills. From here you get an idea of how remote and sheltered it is. The Border Reiver clan, the Johnstones, were so feared that they had the nickname the Devils. After raiding cattle they would bring it here and hide it in this steep sheltered valley. Hence the place became known as the Devil's Beef Tub.
You will at this point be standing on the watershed. To the north the water drains into the River Tweed, to the south it all flows down into the River Annan. As you look down the slope you will see the many streams running down the steep sides and merging into burns. At Corehead farm these join together to become the River Annan. From here over the next few days you will follow the line of the river to where it flows out into the Solway. The view from here shows the entire of your route down the river. In the far distance you will, on a clear day, see the mountains of the Lake District on the other side of the Solway.
As you descend from the hills you will pass through recently planted woodland. The Borders Forest Trust own the area and are replanting it with native broadleaf trees. When you get to the bottom you will join the quietest of country roads which will take you back down into Moffat. Here there are many pubs and cafes to get a good meal before you continue down the River.
Annan, Tweed, and Clyde,
Rise a' out o' ae hill-side.
Tweed ran, Annan wan, Clyde fell,
and brak its neck owre Coite Linn.
|OS Explorer Maps||Explorer 330 Moffat & St Mary's Loch|
|Distance||21.5 kms / 13.5 miles|
|Height Range||115m – 485m|
|Supplies||A good range of shops and cafes in Moffat. Nothing on route.|
|Public Transport||Regular bus service to Moffat from Dumfries, Glasgow and Edinburgh.|
|Cycling||A lot of this section is on steep soft grass so is difficult to cycle.|