+ MORE SOUTH­ERN BEAU­TIES

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Discover -

From Gal­loway, the South­ern Up­lands bump roundly east to­wards the North Sea, in a wel­ter of steep ru­ral glens and wind-tick­led up­land moors. The high vil­lage of Wan­lock­head – the high­est in Scot­land in fact – is the place to hunt your for­tune, as the sur­round­ing land is rich with lead, zinc, cop­per, sil­ver and gold. Pre­cious metal from these streams was used in the Scot­tish Crown, and you can get a pan­ning li­cense (£5) at the vil­lage’s Lead Min­ing Mu­seum be­fore prospect­ing along Wan­lock Wa­ter, climb­ing the South­ern Up­land Way west over Cou­p­land Knowe, to pan your way back along the Glen­dyne Burn. Fur­ther east, the cataract of the Grey Mare’s Tail*, (right), plunges 200 feet through the Mof­fat Hills, while Loch Skeen pools in the wild land above, among slopes packed with rare flow­ers and browsed by moun­tain hares. By Mel­rose, whose abbey is home to the heart of Robert the Bruce, the Eil­don Hills* (be­low) form a strik­ing con­i­cal trio topped by im­mense views, par­tic­u­larly for sum­mits that nudge un­der 1500 feet. Then out on the coast, there’s the pic­turesque fish­ing vil­lage of St Abb’s* and its epony­mous head­land, where frac­tured cliffs turn to seabird cities in sum­mer. And right on the north­ern cusp of the South­ern Up­lands you can walk in the foot­steps of the fa­mous nat­u­ral­ist, John Muir, at Dun­bar*. Feted as the Fa­ther of Na­tional Parks for his pi­o­neer­ing con­ser­va­tion work in the USA, he was born right here on the east­ern shore of Scot­land. * Down­load step-by-step guides to these walks at www.lfto.com/bonus­routes

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