Frequently Asked Questions

This is a new and developing part of the website and will be driven by the nature of the questions that we receive over time.

Click on the question most appropriate to your enquiry to find the answer. The questions are listed alphabetically.

If the question is not listed we will be delighted to receive you question by e-mail. If this question is likely to be asked by others it will be added to the list below.

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What ACCOMMODATION provision is there along the length of the route?


Are DOGS allowed or suitable for the Way?


What level of FITNESS is required?


What is the LENGTH of the route?


What MAPS are available for navigation the route?

Are MOUTAIN BIKES suitable for the route?


What is the TRANSPORT provision at either end of the Way?


Is the route WAYMARKED?


The way has been divided into six sections. The starting and stopping points are where accommodation provision is available. On certain stages the choice is limited due to the smallness of the end community.
For details on the accommodation providers who are advertising their hostels, B&B, guest house or hotel provision link to our Services for Walkers section. Alternatively you may want to use the services of a booking agent. The points where accommodation is restricted are at the end of the first day at Tibbie Shiels or Scableuch, Longformacus and Cockburnspath.

We are not presently aware of any sections where dogs under close supervision are prohibitied, but we would point out that for very large parts of the Way the route is through fields, moorland and hills where livestock are prevalent. At many boundaries and stiles there are notice to ask owners to put their dog on the lead. We would ask all dog owners to recognise the responsibility of controlling their animal and especially at times of lambing and calfing. In addition many of the moors are used for shooting, and pets must not disturb the young birds.

Before planning a walk with your dog you need also check on the availability of overnight accommodation where dogs are accepted.

This route is subject to mainly walking on hill and moorland paths with relatively little hard tracks. There is considerable inclines to ascend and descend and especially so in the earlier parts of the walk. Some section are relatively long if walking from accommodation point to accommodation point. We therefore suggest that the walker needs to have undertaken this form of continuous walk before and has been in some form of training for the expedition. It should not however be too demanding for anyone who is relatively active, regardless of age.

The complete length is 148Km / 92 miles. The six sections are not evenly split resulting in the shortest being 21Km / 13 miles and the longest 32.5Km / 20 miles. For detail on all section link to Walking Distances.

The outline on the website is not sufficient in terms of navigation along the route. There are either O/S maps that can be used or Southern Upland Way guide books where the Eaastern section will provide you with the detail needed with the exception of two short sections.
For Map numbers and guide details link to the Maps Section.
Click as appropriate for the route out of Moffat and the route around Abbotsford.

This Way in total is not designed for the use of bikes.

There are certain sections where Bike can be seen and are welcomed by the landowner, but many more where the use of bikes is not welcome. In addition parts of the route are certainly not safe for the mountain bike based on narrow and sometimes very rough ground.

Access to both ends of the Way is available using public transport in the form of the Bus. There are also rail links close to the end points with linking bus or taxi services. For fuller details on public transport line to the websites Transport Details.
There are no routes that directly link the start and end points and this requires a transfer via Edinburgh or Glasgow. Neither are there many intermediate points connected by public transport, the only sure way being by pre-booked private hire.

Over 90% of the route is Waymarked using the Thistle Sign of the Southern Upland Way. This signage is first reached at Dumcrieff Bridge to the south of Moffat. At Galashiels the way leaves the markers on its way to Abbotsford House regaining the Thistle markers just above Lowood Bridge on the way to Melrose. From this point on the route is again fully waymarked.

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