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Tourism Scotland - Walking in Scotland
South of Scotland

The River Tweed and the Peebleshire hills

Ayrshire and Arran
Ayrshire and Arran have long been favoured by discerning walkers. Recent developments in Ayrshire include path networks around the villages of Straiton and Barr, while you can also enjoy excellent walking on the Ayrshire coast. Perhaps more famous for its Championship golf courses, it is worthy of exploration on foot, and as far down as Girvan has a good train service.

The island of Arran, reached by ferry from Ardrossan, is often called 'Scotland in Miniature'. The northern half of the island includes superb hills with fine craggy peaks. Goat Fell is the highest at 874m, but the many interesting - and sometimes narrow! - ridges all provide great sport, while the lovely glens below offer both fine approaches to the hills and great viewpoints for those seeking less of a challenge. The southern part of Arran has lower hills and good forest walking, while the coast has everything from cliffs to sandy beaches, historic sites and ruined castles.

Dumfries and Galloway
The Dunfries and Galloway region also provides a great variety of walks. The hills around Glen Trool contain surprisingly tough terrain, topped out by the highest peak in the area, The Merrick (843m). Long and satisfying days can be enjoyed here in solitude on the Rhinn of Kells or the Cairnsmore hills. Many summits here, such as Criffel and Screel Hill, enjoy particularly good views considering their modest altitude and the relative ease with which they can be reached.

Galloway's forests provide excellent shorter walks, as does the long and tortuous coast, which included the most southerly point in Scotland at the Mull of Galloway and the major historic site of Whithorn, where St Ninian introduced Christianity to Scotland. You can also find important wildlife sites such as Caerlaverock, beautiful gardens, and attractive villages served by quiet roads.

The Scottish Borders
The Scottish Borders area extends from the North Sea, which offers attractive coastal walking, inland to the bulky, rounded hills of Tweeddale, which rise to over 800m. The area is characterised by attractive river valleys, extensive forests and friendly towns.

There is an excellent local walks network and a special effort has been make here to attract walkers in recent years. More paths are being opened each year, especially around the towns and villages. A Scottish Borders Festival of Walking, running for a week in early September, is well established, and the St Cuthbert's Way trail, opened in 1996, starts at the magnificent 12th century ruin of Melrose Abbey, reputed resting place of the heart of Robert the Bruce. The route runs across the Borderlands, finishing on the Northumberland coast at Lindisfarne.

Southern Scotland has much to offer and provides the warmest of welcomes to walkers, and with an equitable climate can be enjoyed all year round.

Ayrshire & Arran Tourist Board:
Dumfries & Galloway Tourist Board:
Scottish Borders Tourist Board:

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