The Annandale Way in Dumfries & Galloway is the new 55-mile long-distance walking route following the river Annan from source to sea.
This is a walk which really gets under the skin of the landscape, offering you glimpses into the history and hidden secrets of this quiet and tranquil part of Scotland, parts of which have remained undisturbed for centuries. Enjoy, as poet and walker Linda Cracknell wrote, “flashes of kingfisher, crumbling mansions, the blink of a hare. Oak trees twisted through centuries of growth and willows sprung quickly from the earth”.
The signposted walk starts above the source of the river Annan in the high fells, with a circumnavigation of the Devils Beef Tub, where the Border Reivers used to hide their stolen cattle. It then drops down following the river Annan along the valley bottom into the picturesque market town of Moffat.
From Moffat you will head south following the 'Crooked Road' up out of Beattock where it meets the Southern Upland Way. Continue over the high ground of Cragielandshill and down onto the Lord of Annandale's Estate where the route snakes through ancient oak forests and over farmland down the valley to Millhousebridge. Here, the route splits into an eastern and a western arm that go through Lockerbie and Lochmaben respectively.
The Lockerbie arm takes in the Lockerbie Wildlife Trust's Eskrigg Nature reserve with its loch and abundance of wildlife, whilst the western Lochmaben arm takes in Castle Loch with it's picturesque ruined castle and new sculpture trail designed with the help of Peter Bowsher, world champion chainsaw carver. The route then goes up past Joe Grahams monument where walkers will enjoy fantastic views of the whole of Annandale.
Walkers leaving Jo Graham’s monument
The two arms meet up again just north of Hoddam Bridge where they follow the slow moving river Annan, wide at this point and teaming with wildlife as it meanders down through Annan and on to its end at Newbie Barns on the Solway Coast. On reaching the coast, you can enjoy the wide panoramic views of the estuary as you look back into Scotland and across the water to the magnificent Cumbrian Mountains. Rest awhile and listen to the cry of the curlew or the peep of the oyster catcher.
Alternatively, you can begin your walk on the coast and trace the route northwards to Moffatt.
Either way, you will begin and end your walk at a cairn. They were designed and built by local sculptor, Max Nowell. Constructed from the stones local to their locations, each cairn also uses one stone from the other’s locality that has been carried from sea to source or source to sea and points back where it has come from, representing the never ending cycle of the waters that form the river Annan.
Cairn marking most northely point of Annandale Way on Devils Beeftub
The Annandale Way has been designed to be achievable in 4 to 5 days, with overnight stops envisaged in small market towns and villages: Moffat; Johnstonebridge / Annandale Estate; Lochmaben or Lockerbie and Annan. There is also the option of doing a shorter 2 or 3 day circuit or day walks by using local public transport.
THE ANNANDALE WAY GUIDE BOOK is available for download but please note that it is a 9.6mb file. It is also available in local businesses, libraries and Tourist Information Centres.
Alternatively we can post a copy to you for £2.50 which includes post and packing. Please send a cheque made payable to "Moffat and District Community Initiative" to: Annandale Way Guide Books, Moffat and District Community Initiative, 1 Ladyknowe, Moffat DG10 9DY.
The guide and interpretation were developed by CREATE CfE, School Services working in partnership with local schools along the route and Linda Cracknell (Creative Scotland Writers Award 2007); together they have developed a narrative spoken by the river that guides walkers along the route. “I am the Annan River, the biggest of the land, the smaller ones come into me, to help me to expand.” Pupil Lochmaben Primary School.
The Annandale Way was developed by Sulwath Connections for Dumfries & Galloway Council working with local communities and supported by local estates and farmers to help promote Annandale as a new area for walking.
Annandale Way Map: right click and select "Save Link As..." or click to open in a new window
For more views from the route taken by Linda Cracknell on her walk of the Annandale Way, click on the images below and or why not visiti her blog.
For further information about the profile of the Annandale Way please visit: