Where to go walking in Moffat and around

Walking in Moffat and all across Southwest Scotland can be as challenging or as relaxed as you like.

Whether you want an all-day hike or just a gentle amble Moffat will be your perfect starting point.

Look out for the many way-marked routes around town.

Walking in Moffat and all across Southwest Scotland means: clean air, crowd-free spaces and vistas at every turn.

Which will entice you back again and again.

One recent visitor called it: ‘A hill walker’s dream.’

These are just a few of our favourite walks…

The magical walk

Join the Merlin trail and discover the real story behind the legendary wizard.

Merlin was one of the last great druids who lived right here in southern Scotland during the Dark Ages.

Now a major new trail uncovering the true story of Merlin and his ties to the South of Scotland has been revealed. Get close to his cave where he took shelter for over a decade.

But what’s fact and what’s fiction?

Find out about this little-known period in history at the Moffat Museum.

The woodland wander

Gallow Hill was once a commercial plantation and is now being replanted as a recreational broadleaf woodland with native species such as rowan, oak, holly, juniper and much more.

It’s now owned by the Moffat community for future generations to enjoy.

The mega march

It’s rugged, it’s steep, it’s 212 miles long… can you take on the Southern Upland Way?

Britain’s first official coast-to-coast, long-distance footpath is largely undiscovered by many walkers.

But ‘the Way’ has something for everyone. Hardy types love the challenge of the hill walking while the shorter stretches appeal to those who want to take it one step at a time.

The challenging circuit

The Annandale Way is 55 miles long and Moffat is its most northerly point.

Navigate steep climbs and rough ground as you follow the River Annan and discover delights such as a Roman watch tower and a classic U-shaped glaciated valley.

The dramatic trek

The Grey Mare’s Tail, a 60m waterfall and the fifth highest in the UK. This breathtaking nature reserve and hanging valley is home to stoats, goats and peregrine falcons.

Follow the falls all the way to the top on the well-defined path and you’ll discover Loch Skeen.

The hike with history

The impressive landmark that is the Devil’s Beef Tub is a 500ft deep hollow and its name refers to the practice of hiding cattle stolen during cross-border raids.

The high climb

Golf Course Hill is a short but fairly steep walk – you’ll need to put in some legwork.

And your reward?

The 180-degree panoramic vista of Moffat nestling in the hills of Upper Annandale and the Devil’s Beef Tub.

Plus you can practise your golf on an impressive 18-hole moorland course at The Moffat Golf Club.

The gentle jaunt

Walking in Moffat doesn’t have to be arduous.

Pick up the waterside walk following the River Annan which rises in the Devil’s Beef Tub and flows towards the Solway Firth.

And this walk is on the flat so no huffing and puffing is required.


And when you’ve had enough of walking, stop off at a pleasant eatery or cheap and cheerful cafe. Read more here.

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Where to go motorcycling in Moffat

Not a lot of people know this but… there are hundreds of miles of quiet, open roads often with good line of sight, jaw-dropping dramatic scenery and plenty of pit stops.

And Moffat sits amongst it all.

Get up close to Scotland’s fascinating history and seek out its curious landmarks and quirky place names.

The tourist crowds just stay on the motorway heading north – but they’re missing a trick.

Bikers are welcome

Moffat is a biker friendly town and Queensberry House is a biker friendly B&B.

We are situated in a quiet road just a five minute walk to the centre of Moffat and all its attractions.

You can park right outside and there are no restrictions.

It’s safe too.

To really appreciate this part of the world you should book a few days here.

Choose our Bluebell room and you’ll have a room with a view… of your bike.

Book your stay here.

Read our reviews on here.

Choose an iconic route

The Three Lochs run is a must. It will take you about 75 minutes and is around 42 miles.

Along the way you’ll see two of Moffat’s famous landmarks: the Devil’s Beef Tub, a cavernous hollow landscape with an intriguing history, and the Grey Mare’s Tail, one of the UK’s highest waterfalls.

Stop at Glen Cafe – which overlooks St Mary’s Loch and, most likely, a car park full of shiny bikes.

There are plenty of photo opportunities on your route.

Back at base

Once you’ve returned to Queensberry House we can take care of any wet gear or bulky items and store them in our drying area.

We also have a guest lounge where you can plan tomorrow’s trip or simply kick back and reflect on the day’s events.

Eating out?

When it’s time to fuel up, we can point you in the right direction for dinner.

Moffat is blessed with a fantastic choice of eateries – from great value fish suppers to award-winning fine dining.

Two of our favourites are: Brodies which also has a fabulous gin lounge, and Claudios, one of the best Italian restaurants in the whole of Scotland.

Read about the best things to do in Dumfries and Galloway – with or without your bike – here.

The landscape in Southwest Scotland is spectacular. Come and see.

Photograph: courtesy of the Beef Tub Bikers

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Need a reason to visit Moffat? We have 10

From hiking to biking, from shopping to star-gazing, this small town has a lot to offer…

1 A sensational landmark

The Devil’s Beef Tub owes its name to the practice of hiding cattle plundered during cross-border raids.

Walter Scott wrote: ‘It looks as if four hills were laying their heads together, to shut out daylight from the dark hollow space between them. A damned deep, black, blackguard-looking abyss of a hole it is.’

But don’t let that put you off!

2 A dramatic waterfall

The Grey Mare’s Tail is a spectacular nature reserve and hanging valley. Its magnificent waterfall cascades at 60m and is the fifth highest in the UK.

Take a walk up to Loch Skeen (45 minutes) and marvel at the dramatic scenery, craggy hillsides and geological interest, wild flowers and upland birds.

3 Independent shops

From speciality delis to antique emporiums and quirky stop-offs, Moffat is flourishing with independent retailers.

Check out Well Street and the High Street (a double high street no less) for all sorts of finds you’re unlikely to see anywhere else.

4 Birdwatching

Don’t forget your binoculars – you’ll easily spot birds of prey in Moffat with buzzards being a common sight.

Red kites were successfully introduced to the region in 2001 – head to nearby Castle Douglas where you’ll find a feeding ground for them.

Gretna is not just about getting married and shopping. You can also watch the dramatic murmuration of starlings here.

But most exciting of all?

The golden eagles.

To boost the population here in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, three chicks from the Highlands were released into the wild – at a secret location – in the Moffat Hills.

Moffat is now Scotland’s first Eagle Town.

5 Moffat walks

Moffat was the first ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town and there are plenty of way-marked walks to enjoy.

Whether you want to take a short stroll alongside the river or spend a day hiking, Moffat makes for a memorable walking holiday.

And when you stay at Queensberry House, it’s all on your doorstep.

The surrounding Moffat hills, renowned for their heather blossom, are a haven for walkers of all abilities.

The clean Scottish air, spectacular scenery and timeless beauty is awe-inspiring.

6 Uniqueness

Where else will you find Scotland’s narrowest street (Syme Street)?

And there’s also the added novelty of a full-size model spitfire in a regular garden.

7 Cycling and motorcycling

Some of the best motorcycling routes are right here in Dumfries and Galloway – and Moffat sits amongst it all.

There are hundreds of miles of quiet, open roads often with good line of sight, jaw-dropping dramatic scenery and plenty of pit stops.

Get up close to Scotland’s fascinating history and seek out its curious landmarks and place names.

Motorcyclists-in-the-know come from all over the world to this hidden gem.

The hills of Moffat are alive with challenging terrain for the serious cyclist and more sedate routes for those who like to take things easy.

Moffat is connected to the cycle network and one of the main stopping points for the Land’s End to John O’Groats route.

Moffat is also close to the National Cycle Route 74, running from Carlisle to South Lanarkshire along quiet roads adjacent to the M74.

Then there’s the serious challenge of off-roading on the world famous 7stanes Mountain Bike Trails, which spans the whole of the South of Scotland.

Wherever you take yourself, Queensberry House can offer a secure storage area for bicycles as well as a drying area for wet gear (boots, jackets, waterproof trousers).

8 The Classic Car Rally

One of the biggest classic car events in Scotland, this is hugely popular and attracts enthusiasts from all over UK for its vintage vehicles and show-stopping sights.

Needless to say, book your accommodation early.

9 Stargazing

Moffat is Europe’s first Dark Sky town so you don’t need a fancy telescope to see stars here.

On a clear night, just look up.

A short drive away is Galloway Forest Park is Europe’s first official Dark Sky Park, one of only 44 worldwide, in 78,000 hectares of wild beauty.

Elizabeth Tindal (aka Freelance Ranger) is our go-to stargazing expert for this area.

Her walks and tales will bring the sky alive – if the stars are out that’s a bonus but even on a cloudy night she can help you really experience the darkness.

Join her on a dark sky walk during the Moffat Walking Weekend in autumn.

10 Golf

When it’s tee time, practise your swing at the historic 18-hole Moffat Golf Course. Moffat Golf Club, formed in 1884, is a private members’ club with a relaxed atmosphere (and spectacular views) where visitors are welcome.

Check out our blog on the best gardens in Southwest Scotland here including a Nepalese paradise right here in Moffat – as seen on TV.

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