5th May 2013 – Wanlockhead to Beattock: 20.0 miles, 3,578 feet

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing” Aldous Huxley – English Author (1894 – 1963)

Only a brief update for today, sorry.

Today was my least favourite of the whole walk, certainly after the first 10 miles. Up until that point I’d enjoyed the Lowther Hills and the paths had been wet but not too bad.

Cloudy and windy start to the day as I ascend Lowther Hill
Cloudy and windy start to the day as I ascend Lowther Hill
The huge radar dome on Lowther Hill is barely visible
The huge radar dome on Lowther Hill is barely visible

Beyond Beld Knowe it all got horrible and boggy though. The tracks through the forests were the worst so far, horribly wet, poorly signed, many blocked by fallen trees. By the time I’d reached Beattock I was considering quitting, the day had really been that dreadful. The incessant wind and on/off/on rain didn’t help either.

Very few views today
Very few views today
Crossing the dam at Daer Reservoir
Crossing the dam at Daer Reservoir
Schoolboy error as I trip on the way up Sweetshaw Brae and cut my leg deeply
Schoolboy error as I trip on the way up Sweetshaw Brae and cut my leg deeply

I’ve also picked up two injuries, both of which hurt like blue blazes. Left shin impacted rock and I had to apply bandage to it from my first aid kit, it bled profusely and stung like buggery for ages. Then last night I kicked my bed leg with my right little toe and that’s been like fire all day, except the last 3 miles when I couldn’t feel it anymore.

More trees across the path
More trees across the path
Some views are better at keeping up the spirits
Some views are better at keeping up the spirits


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9 thoughts on “Southern Upland Way: Day Eight”

  1. I have good news. If the weather cooperates (and it looks like it will according to the NWIS at 02:00 GMT) you are in for a treat. Regardless of taking the high or low route up toward Ettrick Head this, in our experence was the highlight of the SUW. Betting you will agree. You’ve got a bit of a slog on tracks/roads after reaching the bothy at Over Phawhope (but should at least be quite dry) and the ridge walk over and down to St. Mary’s Loch is first rate (and dry I would predict) and well worth the climb. Enjoy your breakfast and enjoy a glorious day!

  2. It’s ok to walk with green leg and toe, at least it’s not frost bitten. Chelski should have cheered you up today.
    That’s the problem with forest rides….wet, wet, wet. Hope the going is better tomorrow – quitting ? I don’t think so me old mucka. Been busy today booking accomodation for the walk that Jonathan Ross can’t pronounce – The Wob Woy Way.
    Chin up and best foot forward.

  3. Well thanks for all the supportive comments. Feeling much more positive about tomorrow. Can’t be any worse than today anyway 🙂

    Yes, I found today’s Kist, so I’m 5 out of 7 now, with another one tomorrow hopefully.

    Early night and an early start, always feel good getting several miles in before 9am. Hoping for 12 by 12, but couple of big ones early on, so maybe only 10 by 12 🙂

  4. Dodger Greig

    Quitting?! LWW…. Think on!

    You great big nancy boy. Stubbed toe and cut shin….

    Welcome to my world of dodgy accommodation and frustrations.

    Keep up the walking and writing its all just a preamble for lejog!


  5. I know how the bedpost little toe stubbing feels. Did exactly the same at The Lion Inn and the Coast to Coast. Keep your spirits up Stuart the to will soon feel better when something else starts hurting. Loving your Diary of this SUW. No Kists today?

  6. I feel for you Stuart! I’m sure it must be really bad to make you think about quitting but I’m also glad that a nice meal and hot shower lifted your spirits a bit! I hope you have nice weather and good steady path tomorrow. I am enjoying your trail journal so much that I almost want you to keep going so that I can keep reading 🙂 I hope your injuries heal and the walking becomes easy again.
    I’ll be starting my walk (WHW taking the high route though) on 9th May. Really looking forward to it!

  7. I fell one day on the Pennine Way, crossing the river at the top of High Cup Nick. I hurt my bum and right hip so badly and could hardly walk to start with, but managed to limp down to Dufton. When I got showered that night I saw I was so bruised and swollen it was unbelievable! Needed ibuprofen every day for the rest of the walk! 🙂

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