The Southern Upland Way


15 nights coast to coast from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath

Walk the Southern Upland Way with Make Tracks for an unforgettable coast to coast hike across the Southern Uplands of Scotland. Walking 212 miles of the Southern Upland Way will take you through an enormous variety of scenery, providing a challenge that will give you a tremendous sense of achievement on completion. With Make Tracks, independent walkers can walk the Way without carrying luggage or worrying about arranging accommodation each night. We arrange accommodation and luggage transfer for every day of your walk.

The route is suitable for experienced walkers with good fitness levels. Every party is provided with a copy of the official guide and maps of the Way (if you have your own we will refund the cost). The accommodation is usually in bed and breakfasts or farmhouses, but occasionally hotels. If you don't have time to do the walk in one go, we can arrange for you to walk in shorter, more manageable sections. See the details below.

Please contact us at any time for informal advice about the walk. We are always happy to help.

Southern Upland Way - Suggested Itinerary (15 Nights)

Day 1 Arrive Portpatrick The perfect start at a scenic little port
Day 2 Portpatrick to Castle Kennedy
(13.5m, 22k)
A fairly easy walk on clifftops and beaches, then across farmland and heather moors
Day 3 Castle Kennedy to New Luce
(9m, 14.5k)
Gentle walking, mainly in forest
Day 4 New Luce to Bargrennan
(17.5m, 28k)
A mix of forest, farmland and heather moors through quite sparsely populated countryside
Day 5 Bargrennan to Craigenbay
(17.5m, 28k)
Into the mountains around Glen Trool. Rugged scenery and a beautiful freshwater loch - transfer to Dalry for an overnight stop
Day 6 Craigenbay to Stroanpatrick
(15.5m, 25k)
More fine walking in forest and on the open hill, through the pretty village of Dalry - transfer to Dalry for an overnight stop
Day 7 Stroanpatrick to Sanquhar
(18m, 29k)
Ascent to 580 metres (1,900 feet) on this section, mainly on the open hill
Day 8 Sanquhar to Wanlockhead
(8m, 13k)
A steady uphill walk to the highest village in Scotland
Day 9 Wanlockhead to Beattock/Moffat
(20m, 32k)
A long section, including Lowther Hill, the highest point on the whole walk, at 726 metres (2,400 feet)
Day 10 Beattock/Moffat to St Mary's Loch
(21m, 34k)
Across the watershed at Ettrick Head. Fine open views, finishing at the fabulously situated Tibbie Shiels Inn
Day 11 St Mary's Loch to Traquair
(12m, 20.5k)
A shorter, easier section. Farmland, forest and open hill, ending near the castle at Traquair House, Scotland's oldest inhabited house
Day 12 Traquair to Galashiels
(13m, 21.5k)
Fantastic ridge walking along the famous Minchmoor road, then down to the Yair valley and over hill farmland to the biggest town on the route
Day 13 Galashiels to Lauder
(15m, 24k)
Along the River Tweed to historic Melrose, then along a Roman Road to the quiet village of Lauder, with its several fine inns
Day 14 Lauder to Longformacus
(15m, 25k)
High moorland walking, mainly on good tracks
Day 15 Longformacus to Cockburnspath
(18.5m, 30k)
A good mixture of scenery for the last day - farmland, woodland and open moor, with a clifftop walk near the end
Day 16 Depart There is a good local bus service to Berwick or Edinburgh, from which there are good train services to the rest of the country

Price for this itinerary from
£1080 per person
(2 people sharing & subject to availability)

Prices for shorter sections of the Southern Upland Way are on our prices page (or contact us by phone or email).

This is a typical itinerary only, and some of the distances are quite long for many walkers. As with all our walks, we can adapt the itinerary to suit you. We can make arrangements to break up most of the longer days. So there is no need to be put off by the longer distances. If you would like to walk shorter or longer distance each day, have a fixed timetable, or would like to stay at other overnight stops, just let us know and we will try to arrange things to meet your requirements. Contact us and we can tell you how we can help - then we can send you a custom built itinerary designed to meet your specific needs.

If you only have a week or a few days to spare, the Southern Upland Way can be broken down into sections. Good options for transport are as follows: -

Portpatrick to Sanquhar - 7 Nights
Sanquhar to Traquair - 5 Nights
Traquair to Cockburnspath - 5 Nights
Portpatrick to Beattock/Moffat - 9 Nights
Beattock/Moffat to Cockburnspath - 7 Nights

What's Included

  • Accommodation each night in selected B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels (including start point and finishing point)

  • Breakfast each morning

  • Door to door luggage transfer each day

  • Map & Guidebook

  • Information pack detailing everything you will need for your walk

  • Transfers from Southern Upland Way to accommodation and return, as indicated on itinerary

What's not Included

  • Evening meals and packed lunches (all readily available at each stop)

  • Transport to your starting point and from your finish point

  • Holiday and cancellation insurance (we strongly recommend that you arrange your own cover)