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#60652 - 07/04/11 06:16 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: rogere]
Sentinel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 27/08/09
Posts: 105
I've looked up some operators so that I'm ready when I get there. Or I'll hitch a lift......

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#60664 - 08/04/11 02:49 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Sentinel]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Thanks for the itinerary and advice, Sentinel.
I had a nice B&B at Traquair a couple of years ago, and the owner gave me a lift to the big hotel at Innerleithen for an excellent evening meal. Hotel phoned for a taxi back to B&B. Might try to see Traquair House/Castle next time - looks impressive from the end of the drive. Must try to treat the walk as an exploration rather than a race against time, which is my default setting!
Hope your trip goes well.
_________________________
Pete

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#60666 - 08/04/11 03:26 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Stottie]
Sentinel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 27/08/09
Posts: 105
As any real-ale fan will tell you, Traquair House is the location of Traquair Brewery and their distinctive bottles. Now, do I visit the previous day and spend an extra hour or two in bed sleeping off the happy effects, or do I visit the next day when I only have 13 miles to do.

Decisions, decisions.

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#60671 - 08/04/11 08:26 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Sentinel]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Sentinel
Thanks for the "heads up" on Traquair House. I think that's made my mind up for me!
_________________________
Pete

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#61308 - 10/05/11 10:35 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Stottie]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Just back from SUW. When Sentinel posted his plan it made me want to have a go.

Started at the "wrong" end and walked for a week with the wind behind me and blessed with warm sunshine. From Wanlockhead to Portpatrick the wind swung round to more of a southerly, and there was a lot of rain. I'll have to go back if I want to actually see the high hills of the Galloway Forest, which seem well worth exploring in their own right.

Enjoyed the challenge. When walks like Pennine Way and SUW became officially established we talked a lot about "challenge" walks. I realise that one man's stroll is another man's challenge, and I enjoyed planning and doing the walk in my own way. I took it easy as far as St Mary's Loch, with plenty of time for visits to castles etc, then I pushed harder with most days of 20 miles or more, and that was my challenge.

Will write it up and post a link - might help those who suffer insomnia...zzzzzzzzzzz
_________________________
Pete

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#61316 - 11/05/11 02:55 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Stottie]
Sentinel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 27/08/09
Posts: 105
I'll look forward to reading that Stottie.

Any hints - hard bits, awkward navigation, anything like that?

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#61318 - 11/05/11 05:53 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Sentinel]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
I'll look forward to that too. Ive had the guidebook for awhile and will do it one day. It is one I may consider in the Autumn.
Do you recommend the route and did you camp or B&B?
Dave.

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#61319 - 11/05/11 06:08 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Slogger]
Sentinel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 27/08/09
Posts: 105
How does it compare with the Pennine Way?

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#61329 - 12/05/11 07:56 AM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Sentinel]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Sentinel/Slogger
Answering your questions:-
Going east to west the two days I found hardest were (1) from Moffat to Wanlockhead which had most ascent, and (2) from Sanquhar to St John's Town of Dalry which had most miles. A lot of walkers split those days with help from B&B providers, and I can understand the sense of doing so.
Navigation using 1:50000 maps was easy. The eastern half was exceptionally well waymarked, whereas the western half would benefit from a few more marker posts here and there. The Way is not footworn everywhere, so you need your eyes open, and in poor visibility a compass bearing would help you even in low-level grassy pastures/meadows.
If I could change one thing about my route, I'd take the high level option over Croft Head and Gateshaw Rig east of Moffat, because the forest route is dull (the forest walking east of that point had been much more pleasant than anticipated). It's shown on pp124-5 of Alan Castle's guidebook, which I used to plan the route but didn't take because I wanted to keep packweight down.
I booked B&B throughout before starting. Most were very pleasant, and many were able to provide early breakfast (6am for full Scottish in one case, where the lady goes out at that time to help her daughter sort the morning papers). Although B&Bs aren't always where I'd have liked them, that was just part of the challenge to me, and had I been prepared to carry a sleeping bag etc I'd have made use of some of the bothies.
Would I recommend it? Yes, because it was nearly all new ground to me and because I wanted something that would test me, so it served my purpose. I like sorting out my own routes, and I was a bit frustrated by the convoluted route on my last day, but it took me round Stranraer very effectively and after twists and turns it delivered me onto a very nice coastal finish, just as good as the start, so it ended well.
How does it compare with Pennine Way? It doesn't have the "bang" of Kinder Scout at one end and the Cheviot at the other, both of which (in my view) are brilliant starts to a LDP. The section from the east coast to Galashiels is a little tame for me, but there are compensations in terms of historical interest if that's your thing. I'd prefer a route across the Lammermuirs, which of course you can plan using "Scottish Hill Tracks" to start/finish at Dunbar. There is no paving across the boggy bits, the worst of which are in the forest west of Beattock and between Bargrennan and New Luce, but what's a bit of wet sphagnum moss to us daft beggars???
_________________________
Pete

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#61359 - 12/05/11 07:22 PM Re: Southern Upland Way [Re: Stottie]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Thanks for that Pete, sounds good. Ive been sussing out camping spots using the guidebook and a 30 mile per day (Roughly) schedule. Do you think that is feasible?
Dave.

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