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The Southern Upland Way is a 338-kilometre (210 mi) long distance coast-to-coast trail in southern Scotland. The route links Portpatrick in the west and Cockburnspath in the east via the hills of the Southern Uplands.[1][2][3] It opened in 1984, and was the UK’s first officially recognised coast-to-coast long-distance route.[4] The Way is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, and is the longest of the 29 Great Trails.[1] The Southern Upland Way meets with seven of the other Great Trails: the Annandale Way, the Berwickshire Coastal Path, the Borders Abbeys Way, the Cross Borders Drove Road, the Mull of Galloway Trail, the Romans and Reivers Route and St Cuthbert's Way.[4]

Southern Upland Way
Portpatrick start of southern upland way.JPG
The start of the Southern Upland Way in Portpatrick.
Length338 km (210 mi)[1]
LocationSouthern Uplands, Scotland
DesignationScotland's Great Trails
TrailheadsPortpatrick (54°50′35″N 5°07′12″W / 54.843°N 5.120°W / 54.843; -5.120)
Cockburnspath (55°55′55″N 2°21′47″W / 55.932°N 2.363°W / 55.932; -2.363)
UseWalking, horse riding, cycling
Elevation gain/loss7,775 metres (25,509 ft) gain.[1]
Hiking details
SeasonAll year
Typical marker

The path is maintained by the local authorities of the two main council areas through which it passes: Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council;[5] a short section in the Lowther Hills lies in South Lanarkshire.[6] It is primarily intended for walkers, but many sections are suitable for mountain bikers;[7] some sections are also suitable for horseriders.[8] About 80,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 1,000 complete the entire route.[9]

The Southern Upland Way forms part of the E2 European long-distance path, which runs for 3,010 miles (4,850 km) from Galway to Nice.[10]


The routeEdit

The path visits Castle Kennedy, New Luce, Bargrennan, St John's Town of Dalry, Sanquhar, Wanlockhead, Beattock, St Mary's Loch, Traquair, Galashiels, Lauder, Abbey St Bathans, and Longformacus en route. The Sir Walter Scott Way shares the last five places with the Southern Upland Way. The Annandale Way[11] running through Annandale from the source of the River Annan to the sea joins the Southern Upland Way briefly at Beattock.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Trails". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  2. ^ Southern Upland Way website
  3. ^ Long Distance Walkers Association's page on the Southern Upland Way
  4. ^ a b "Southern Upland Way". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Team SUW". The Southern Upland Way. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  6. ^ Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50000 map. Sheet 78 (Nithsdale & Annandale).
  7. ^ "Cycling". The Southern Upland Way. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Equestrian". The Southern Upland Way. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 6. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  10. ^ "E2 Atlantic – Mediterranean". Ramblers Association. 2012. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  11. ^ Annandale Way website
  12. ^ The Long Distance Walkers Association – Annandale Way


  • Smith, Roger. The Southern Upland Way, Official Guide. Edinburgh: Mercat Press. ISBN 978-0-11-495170-2.
  • Writing the Way – A collection of Journeys along the Southern Upland Way, published to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the route in 2005, available from the Southern Uplands Partnership or from

External linksEdit