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The Southern Upland Way

Scotland's Coast to Coast trail

Guidebook to the Southern Upland Way, a coast to coast walk through Galloway and the Scottish Borders. One of Scotland's Great Trails, the 347km (215 mile) route links Portpatrick on the west coast to Cockburnspath on the east, through diverse landscapes and rich natural and historical interest. It can be completed in around a fortnight.


April to September, with May and June the best months of all


Portpatrick, Castle Kennedy, New Luce, Bargrennan, St John's Town of Dalry, Sanquhar, Wanlockhead, Beattock/Moffat, Traquair, Galashiels, Melrose, Lauder, Longformacus, Abbey St Bathans, Cockburnspath


The route is waymarked throughout, and paths are mostly good, but much of the hill country is remote and little frequented and in places the path is faint. Self-reliance and some navigation skills are required. For backpackers, the route has 5 bothies and unlimited wild camping possibilities. For walkers, maximum daily stages of up to 19 miles (30km) are assured by using vehicle pick-up services, as detailed in the book.

Must See

Portpatrick coast path; Loch Trool; Lowther Hills; Minch Moor drove road; Lammermuir Hills; new official high-level route through the Ettrick Hills; Castle Kennedy Gardens; Wanlockhead Lead Mines; Melrose Abbey; Thirlstane Castle
12 Jul 2018
19 Aug 2022
17.20 x 11.60 x .90cm

A guidebook to Scotland’s coast-to-coast walk, The Southern Upland Way. At 347 kms (215 miles), this is the longest of Scotland’s Great Trails, linking Portpatrick in the west to Cockburnspath in the east.

The route is presented in 14 stages of between 15 and 30 kms (9-19 miles) with an additional rest day suggested to explore Moffat. Crossing the high moorland of the Galloway Hills, Carsphairn range, Lowther and Ettrick Hills, the walk is a strenuous one, calling for competence, fitness, and self-reliance.

  • Clear route descriptions accompany 1:50,000 OS mapping
  • Trek planner with accommodation options to help you plan your trip
  • Includes advice on backpacking – taking advantage of five bothies and unlimited wild camping possibilities – or staying in accommodation (ideally reached via pre-arranged vehicle pick-up)
  • Notes on history, geography, and local sights
  • GPX files available to download

Table of Contents
Alan Castle Cicerone author CASTLE

By Alan Castle

Alan Castle has trekked and cycled in over 30 countries within Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australasia. A member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild, he has written 18 guidebooks, several on long-distance mountain routes in France. An erstwhile national secretary and long-distance path information officer of the Long Distance Walkers Association, Alan now lives at the foot of the Moffat Hills in Scotland.

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Ronald Turnbull Cicerone author TURNB

By Ronald Turnbull

Ronald Turnbull writes regularly for TGO, Lakeland Walker, Trail and Cumbria magazines. His previous books include Across Scotland on Foot, Long Days in Lakeland and Welsh 3000ft Challenges. He has written many other Cicerone guides, including Walking in the Lowther Hills, The Book of the Bivvy and Not the West Highland Way. Ronald's weekly newsletter on mountains, hillwalking and history is at

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