At the end of the Southern Upland Way

Published 25 March 2018

My rucksack at the end of the Southern Upland Way

The Southern Upland Way ends on a main road in Cockburnspath, in the Scottish Borders.

There’s not much to say about Cockburnspath. It’s a village. It has a church. It has a garage that repairs cars. It’s a mile or so from the sea.

True, when the trail opened there was a pub, but that’s long gone. There’s nothing much to see. The local architecture isn’t particularly stunning. There’s no village green. And no real focal point. It’s just a few streets and a main road. And that’s it. Unless you want to buy some stamps at the combined Post Office and Village Store.

It’s all a far cry from the trail’s delightful start at Portpatrick. A lovely fishing village that’s a wrench to leave when you’re setting off. Sadly Cockburnspath is not quite as enticing an arrival point.

Why does the Southern Upland Way even end here? Why not at one of the delightful fishing villages nearby? St Abbs springs instantly to mind. But it’s Cockburnspath that won the battle.

The end point is marked by a wooden shelter – one of many that can be found the Southern Upland Way. It’s opposite the mechanics for that extra frisson of excitement. And when you’ve got there, and you have admired it, you can do what most walkers do when they reach this point. Head to the nearby bus stop and get out of the place as quickly as possible.

A bus to Berwick-upon-Tweed arrives at a bus stop in Cockburnspath
Catching a bus out of there – about the only thing to do at Cockburnspath

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