Southern Upland Way

Running across the bottom of Scotland, the Southern Upland Way traverses 212 of one of the least populated areas of Britain. It's also Britain's only official coast to coast walking route.

Opened in 1984 the Southern Upland Way is a great challenge for walkers and is especially ideal for the walker who wants to wild camp or stay in remote bothies.

And in the summer of 2011, that's exactly how I did it.

The full story is available in my book, The Secret Coast to Coast, or you can read highlights from my journey, below.

Southern Upland Way Introduction

Published 9 January 2012

It’s probably fair to say that more people have a Great Aunt Mabel then have heard of Scotland’s official Coast to Coast walking route.

Southern Upland Way Day 1: Portpatrick to Stranraer

Published 12 January 2012

Setting off on the first day for coastal walks, tarmac and a deer.

Southern Upland Way Day 2: Stranraer to New Luce

Published 16 January 2012

Ruined castles, sinister cows and homemade haggis all in abundance as the journey continues.

Southern Upland Way Day 3: New Luce to Bargrennan

Published 19 January 2012

A good plan quickly falls apart when a bothy is reached at lunchtime, and no wild camping spots can be found as the Southern Upland Way heads in to the forest.

Southern Upland Way Day 4: Bargrennan to Loch Dee

Published 23 January 2012

A trip through the largest forest park in Britain leads to a remote bothy with an alcohol problem.

Southern Upland Way Days 5 and 6: Loch Dee to St John’s Town of Dalry (and a day off)

Published 26 January 2012

The rain it does come down as I struggle on from White Laggan bothy to St John’s Town of Dalry.

Southern Upland Way Day 7: St John’s Town of Dalry to Poleskeoch

Published 30 January 2012

A wet and boggy traipse across the moors and through forests where I actually see other people walking the Southern Upland Way (gasp!)

Southern Upland Way Day 8: Poleskeoch to Sanquhar

Published 2 February 2012

Setting off from a remote bothy, I head to the town of Sanquhar and its closed museum.

Southern Upland Way Day 9: Sanquhar to Wanlockhead

Published 6 February 2012

The Southern Upland Way arrives at the highest village in Scotland; the former lead mining centre of Wanlockhead.

Southern Upland Way Day 10: Wanlockhead to Brattleburn Bothy

Published 9 February 2012

The Southern Upland Way takes me to both its highest point, and the half way point as it heads out of Wanlockhead.

Southern Upland Way Day 11: Brattleburn Bothy to Over Phawhope Bothy, via Moffatt

Published 13 February 2012

From one remote bothy to another, via the town of Moffat.

Southern Upland Way Day 12: Over Phawhope Bothy to St Mary’s Loch

Published 16 February 2012

Oh my goodness, there’s actually someone else who walks in this part of the world!

Southern Upland Way Day 13: St Mary’s Loch to Innerleithen

Published 20 February 2012

Around the mist covered loch, up a tower and off in to town. It’s just another day on the Southern Upland Way.

Southern Upland Way Day 14: Innerleithen to Galashiels

Published 23 February 2012

It was after nine when I set off, but I still managed to leave before a bickering French family of cyclists who’d been packing up since before seven. The ladyContinue Reading

Southern Upland Way Day 15: Galashiels to Melrose (backwards)

Published 27 February 2012

The route gets rather urban as I complete the short stretch between the towns of Galashiels and Melrose.

Southern Upland Way Day 16: Melrose to Watch Water

Published 1 March 2012

The route now leaves civilisation behind and heads into another section past the Southern Upland Way’s last pub.

Southern Upland Way Day 17: Watch Water to Abbey St Bathans

Published 5 March 2012

Through tiny villages and past wind farms, the Southern Upland Way even has time for a cup of tea and some cake on the penultimate day.

Southern Upland Way Day 18: Abbey St Bathans to Cockburnspath

Published 8 March 2012

On the final day of walking I head to the coast and the end of the trail.

Planning a Southern Upland Way walk

Published 19 March 2012

The Southern Upland Way is a hugely rewarding adventure but it planning your trip can be very complicated. In one of our most detailed guides, we’ll help you get on your way.

Southern Upland Way Images and Videos

VideoThe Southern Upland Way in Video

Published 13 December 2011

If you saw the launch of my book about the Southern Upland Way last week and wondered, “Hey, what’s all that about?”, well this is the video for you.

VideoBothies of the Southern Upland Way

Published 21 January 2012

The Southern Upland Way, a 212 mile walking route across the Scottish Lowlands, has six such bothies and in the summer of 2011 I visited each one. This video is about them.

Southern Upland Way Gallery

Published 12 March 2012

Another coast to coast adventure – this one in the Scottish Borders.

Southern Upland Way Cartoons

Published 13 March 2012

A series of postcards drawn and sent from the Southern Upland Way.

VideoSouthern Upland Way and the Waymerks

Published 26 March 2013

Finding hidden treasure in the hills of Scotland.

Also about Southern Upland Way

Exclusive: the original Southern Upland Way book cover

Published 9 October 2013

What the Secret Coast to Coast book cover could have been.

Southern Upland Wordle

Published 23 August 2011

I’m half way through writing up my Southern Upland Way posts, so I’m celebrating with a Wordle on the text so far.