|Distance (km)||Ascent (metres)||Number of days|
|90 (or 85)||1150||4 - 5|
|Start: Moffat||Finish: Newbiebarns, Solway Firth|
Linked to other Scotland’s Great Trail(s):
Romans and Reivers Route Southern Upland Way
Route type and direction
Linear: Moffat to Newbiebarns, Solway Firth
Traditionally walked from north to south, following the River Annan from source to sea, but reversing this direction is possible and may put the prevailing wind at your back.
This trail follows the River Annan from its source near the Devil’s Beef Tub to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea. The route begins from Moffat with a 14-mile/22.5 km circuit to the north. It then heads south, dividing into two branches at Corncockle Wood, some 15 miles south of Moffat. The more strenuous option continues south via Lochmaben whilst the easier branch goes south-east through Lockerbie. The two routes differ for only about 12 miles/19 km, and reunite just north of Hoddom Bridge to continue to Annan near the destination of Newbiebarns.
- views over Annandale from Chalk Rig Edge
- Eskrigg Nature Reserve (Lockerbie branch)
- views from Joe Graham’s monument (Lochmaben branch)
- the River Annan has pristine water which supports diverse wildlife including otters
- fine red sandstone buildings in the towns, and ruined castles and churches on the Way
- views over the Solway Firth with its dramatic tidal changes and a wide range of bird life
- the section from Moffat to Lochmaben is too long for some walkers (18.5 miles/30 km), but is easily split by bus
- the section from Moffat to Lockerbie is too long for most walkers (21.1 miles/34 km), but is easily split by bus
- there is a campsite at the section end at Hoddom Bridge, but for B&Bs in Ecclefechan you have to go off-route
The circuit north of Moffat is the only section with notable altitude gain (to 500 m/1640 ft). Later sections are mostly low-lying and flattish, with only a small climb south of Moffat and a larger one (Lochmaben branch) to Joe Graham’s monument (217 m/710 ft).
Waymarking is generally good but low cloud can affect visibility on the hillside approaching Joe Graham’s monument so some competence may be needed.
There is a wide range of accommodation in Moffat, Lockerbie and Annan, and much less choice in Lochmaben. For Hoddom Bridge, see “Be aware” section. For online listings and booking, try VisitScotland.
Wild camping is legally allowed in Scotland if practised responsibly under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Reach Moffat from Carlisle or Glasgow by bus, mainly operated by Stagecoach, including the useful 74/X74 bus running between Dumfries and Moffat and that stops (on request) on the A701 near St Ann’s, making it easy to split the overlong second section and return to Moffat.