Lochmaben to Hoddom
With Lochs, riverside paths, steep climbs and fantastic views this is one of the most varied sections of the route.
You will leave Lochmaben along the side of Castle Loch. There are often sailing boats out on the Loch, anglers along the banks and families enjoying the nature reserve around the edge. The path around the Loch is a fantastic short walk popular with both locals and tourists. You will go through mixed woodland down to the far end of the Loch where a small detour takes you to Lochmaben castle.
Leaving the Loch behind you will come out into farmland. A small climb means that you are high enough up to get a panoramic view of the river. This is well worth stopping to admire on a clear day but there will be even better views in a few miles. The path winds through farmland for some time until it reaches the small village of Hightae.
You soon start the steep climb to Rammerscales. First on the road, then passing behind the mansion onto a forest track and finally onto open moorland. After a long climb you get to Joe Grahams Monument. As you come to the summit the landscape on the other side opens out and you get an incredible view. From here on a clear day you will be able to see the entire walk. From the Devils Beeftub and the Moffat Hills to the north down the winding River Annan surrounded by green farmland to the Solway coast. If it is clear enough you will also see Criffel and the mountains of the Lake District.
The descent back down to the river along farm tracks and quiet roads is a nice change from the strenuous climb. When you get back down to a bridge over the Annan you will be back into farmland alongside the River. A short climb up a quiet country lane will give you a view over to the monument that you were standing beside an hour or two ago. You will wander along a track through woodland and farmland down towards Hoddom. As you get back to the river there are a series of wooden sculptures along a riverside path. At the end of the sculpture trail you cross a bridge and will enter the grounds of Hoddom Castle. There is a campsite here and a café to rest and refresh yourself ready for the final stretch tomorrow.
The higher the hill, the laigher the grass!
|OS Explorer Maps||322 Annandale|
|Distance||23.5 kms / 14.5 miles|
|Height Range||30 - 200 m|
|Supplies||There are several shops in Lochmaben but none on route and none at Hoddom. There is a cafe at Hoddom Caravan Site.|
|Public Transport||Good bus service from Dumfries or Lockerbie to Lochmaben.|
|Cycling||The section along the coast path is impassable to cyclists as it is very narrow. The rest of the section is suitable for mountain bikes.|