Hill walk routes to climb in SW Scotland - also coastal paths and National Scenic Areas with maps, pictures and other useful information based on extensive local knowledge
Moffat Hills - Introduction
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If you mouseover the above image you can see walking routes we have used in these hills. The routes with a black outline are all numbered because they are covered on this site. Clicking on the following numbers will take you to the relevant walk - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 6a - 7. The two routes in pink with a white outline are routes we have done but they are not shown on the site. There are 3 hills over 800 metres in these hills - White Comb (821m), Hartfell (808m) and Lochcraig Head (801m). The town of Moffat lies just off the map south of Moffatwell and along with Tweedsmuir is the only centre of population around the Moffat Hills.
This range forms a distinctly triangular shape with a west facing side, a north facing side, and a south east facing side. It is 17 kilometres from east to west across this triangle and some 16 Kilometres north to south
The west facing side is bounded by the Rivers Annan and Tweed - the source of both these rivers (which are little more than 1 kilometer apart) lie on this boundary. The Annan runs south into the Solway Firth but the Tweed heads north and then east to run through the border country to the North Sea at Berwick on Tweed. The A701 road from Moffat to Edinburgh follows the valleys of these rivers and passes the Devil's Beef Tub at the source of the River Annan in the administrative region called Dumfries and Galloway. The source of the Tweed is in Borders Region. The regional boundary runs erratically eastward from near there, then goes north around Loch Skene before heading south east to Birkhill Cottage where it goes up onto the Bodesbeck Ridge in the Ettrick Hills and heads south west all the way down to Capel Fell before looping north eastward again - so it loops round the head waters of the River Ettrick- which are in Borders Region.
The north facing side is bounded by an unmarked road (no road number on the OS map) which runs from Tweedsmuir village to St Mary's Loch (passing along the banks of the Talla and Megget Reservoirs and rising to 450 metres by the Megget Stone). The hills to the north here are called the Manor or Tweedsmuir hills and the hills to the north west of the Moffat Hills are called the Culters (pronounced Cooters).
The south east facing side of the Moffat hills runs south west down the shore of St Mary's Loch and Loch of the Lowes and then follows the Moffat Water down Moffatdale past the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall. The A708 Moffat to Selkirk road runs along this route twisting and turning through some spectacular scenery with strongminded sheep (who don't like moving for you) wandering the unfenced road.
As a hill walker you can come at these hills from any side you choose. The parking places marked on the map are ones that we have used many times.
The Moffat Hills particularly around Loch Skene offer outstanding classic geological features. Loch Skene has also been used succesfully to try to preserve the endangered species of fish called the Vendace which it seems has a history going back to geological times -

Colin Bean, Scottish Natural Heritage's freshwater adviser says: "Vendace are one of the few fish that managed to colonise Britain at the end of the last ice age nearly 13, 000 years ago and as such, are an important link to our glacial history. The fact that we have managed to save this valuable part of our native biodiversity from extinction by moving a small number of these fish to Loch Skeen in Scotland is an excellent example of how government can work together with a range of other organisations to achieve a practical conservation result."

See Loch Skene in winter conditions and you can see why the vendace is at home here.

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