The Moffat Tweedsmuir St Mary's Loch Circuit

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Scenic Route By Car
Dumfries and Galloway / Scottish Border County
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The Moffat Tweedsmuir St Mary's Loch Circuit
Created On: Oct 24, 2007
Last Edited On: Nov 5, 2007


The Moffat Tweedsmuir St Mary s Loch Circuit

This is a beautiful route that can be done by car in the area of the Moffat Hills.
The scenery around this route is stunning and many land features can be seen whilst on this route.
This page is to give you an idea of the beauty and flavour that this region has to offer...

The route is described in three sections as follows and these give the details of the features that can be seen whilst on this route.

The route starts from the pleasent border town of Moffat.
Moffat has many shops, bed and breakfast, hotels and the architecture and character of the town is everything a traditional Scottish Border town has.

SECTION - 1 Moffat to Tweedsmuir

Take the A701 main road signposted Edinburgh through to a small village called Tweedsmuir.
The faetures in this section are as follows.

When climbing up the steep section of road up the west sides of Annan Dale you get fantastic view of the Corbett summit Hart Fell at 808metres.
Hart FellHart Fell at 808metres

Continuing on from here the road takes a sharp double bend with a great corrie known as the Devils Beef Tub.
The devils beef tub is a large corrie that is also the source of the River Annan and gets its name from when theifs hid cattle they stole from in its lower reaches.
There is parking available and a monument that overlooks the Devils Beef Tub and the upper reaches of Annandale towards Hart Fell.
The Devils Beef TubThe Devils Beef Tub

From here you continue over the hill and start heading down into the Tweed Valley.
The next feature is called Tweeds Well.
This is the source of the great River Tweed and consists of a group of springs in the boggy marsh.
The River Tweed is the longest river in the borders of England and Scotland at 97miles 156kilometres.
The source is at Tweeds Well and it flows into the sea at the town of Berwick Upon Tweed.

The road from here follows along side the young waters of the River Tweed till you come to a junction on the right in the village of Tweedsmuir.
Turn off at this junction and head in to the village centre.
You pass over a stone bridge with a sign saying River Tweed on it.
Park up and take a look at the fantastic rapids that the river passes through in this narrow rocky section of the river.
Also whilst in Tweedsmuir take a look at the lovely victorian church.

A short diversion from Tweedsmuir is to the reservoir of Fruid.
This is a dead end road from Tweedsmuir to the dam and the small village at the end of the reservoir road.
From here you get fine views of Hart Fell across the waters of Fruid and when viewing down the valley back towards Tweedsmuir you get fine views of the Gathersnow Hills.

Head back to Tweedsmuir and then you are ready to start section-2

SECTION - 2 Tweedsmuir to St Mary's Loch

From Tweedsmuir this is where the scenery becomes wild and stunning.
On this section of the route there are two of the largest reservoirs in the Border Counties of Scotland.
Heading from Tweedsmuir in a south direction you come to the dam of Talla Reservoir.

Talla Reservoir is a vast area of water and the road follows along the east side of it below the steep banks of Mathieside Muckle and Broad Law.
To the west side of Talla Reservoir is the shapely hill of Garalet.
When you have reached the most southern end of Talla you take a steep climb up the road. This road has some lovely waterfalls along its east side and you cross over this stream called Talla Water when you have reached height on this road.
From the bridge over Talla Water you get fantastic views back down into the valley of Talla Reservoir with the hills of Gathersnow and Culter Fell visible across the blue waters.

Also from this bridge are views to the satelite summits of Lochcraig Head and White Coomb.
You can take a route up onto these summits from here.


From here again continue south and pass a cattle grid with a small standing stone next to it. This is the Megget Stone.
From here you can park up and take a route up on to the summit of Broad Law.


Again from here keep heading south through the remote valley of Megget Water until you reach the vast waters of the Megget Reservoir. Believe me this is impressive. Beautiful deep blue waters surrounded by undulating hills and ridges. The only let down is the man made boulder embankments that are alongside the reservoir. If these were not here it would look like a natural lake.
There are many walks around the hills from along side this reservoir and alot of the tributary feeder streams that run off the mountains have lovely waterfalls feeding into the reservoir.
Also across the reservoir on the side of one of the hills is a large screed of rocks from a land slide that to me look like a giant has scraped his fingers through the hill. This is quite an amazing natural feature.


From the Megget Reservoir dam you drop down into the lower levels of Megget Water with St Marys Loch in front.
When you reach St Marys Loch there is a T-Junction with the A708 signposted Selkirk Left and Moffat Right.

At this junction there is an interesting listing building an old AA-Vehicle recovery phone box.
Also on a clear day looking back up the valley towards Megget Dam you can see the vast mass of Broad Law and its satelite summit Cramalt Craig.


From this junction take the turning right then you are ready to start section-3

SECTION-3 St Mary's Loch to Moffat

From here you back on the main road but this road is a pleasent road to drive along with changing scenery on all corners.

The first main feature is St Mary's Loch.
This is a vast natural lake not a reservoir like Talla and Megget.
Many water activities.


Continuing towards Moffat St Mary's Loch has a smaller neighbouring Loch called Loch Of The Lowe's which has a small interconnecting stream.
Along side this little loch is a Coffe Shop and Cafe called the Glen Cafe. A great stop for a snack drink and in the best of weather sit outside and enjoy the scenery.


If you decide to stop at the Glen Cafe or not you then continue on again towards Moffat and climb up to the water table at Birkhill. This is where the county border of Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway meet.
Here the road drops down into the dramatic valley of Moffat Dale which is where the source of Moffat Water starts in a fantastic corrie on your right hand side.


Continue on through Moffat Dale that runs between the Moffat Hills to its north and the Ettrick hills to its south.
On this route you must stop at what to me is the most dramatic feature on this complete route know as the Grey Mares Tail. This is a fine set of waterfalls that drop in a narrow glacier carved hanging valley and fall over 200feet into Tail Burn a tributary of the Moffat Water.
The land here belongs the National Trust for Scotland and a small fee is required for the car park here. In the summer months there is also a visitor centre giving information of the nature and environmental issues in this area.


From here head again towards Moffat and the dale widens between the Moffat Hills dominated by The Carrifran and Saddle Yoke to the north and Bodesbeck Law to its south.
These are shapely hills that are worth a climb.


From here the journey is near its end and it is only a short distance back to the town of Moffat.


I hope if you do this journey you enjoy it as much as i do.
This route I have done many times and in different weather conditions and dependant upon the weather it changes the mood of the scenery.

The route has been described in a clockwise direction but of course can be done in an anti clockwise if preferred.

As this route totally encompasses the Moffat Hills and passes along side the west end of the Manor Hills along with the Ettrick Hills many summits can be accessed from points along this route.


The Moffat Tweedsmuir St Mary's Loch Circuit

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