Answers to the Questions we are most commonly asked
 
1. How long will it take to walk the entire route?
 
There is no definitive answer to this but most walkers manage to complete the route within 10 to 14 days. Others may choose take their time and spend up to twenty days walking the route. The choice is yours.
Much will depend on the experience and fitness of your party, the weather and of course, how many stops at the pub you incorporate into your itinerary! The best advise is to plan your trip well and give your self time to enjoy it!


2. When is the best time to walk The Southern Upland Way?
 
The best time is when you have the time and the weather is fine. The Southern Uplands are usually driest between April and June.
There can also be wonderful autumn spells of weather in September and October. Spring does not really get going here until the first week in May.
By the end of May everything should be in full leaf but the higher hills will not turn green until well into June.


3. Are midges a problem?
 
Midges are small biting insects similar to the 'no-see-ums' of North America and other places in the northern hemisphere. Individual bites are small and usually of little consequence (though some sensitive skin types may experience some local swelling). The trouble arises when they are out in great numbers and seem to get everywhere. They are most numerous in moist humid weather when there is no wind and the worst months are June, July and August. They are unwilling to fly at all in sunshine and even light breezes are enough to ground them. Do not worry too much. Conditions for them are rarely suitable on consecutive days because the weather is so changeable. Bring insect repellent with you, or consider an insect hood as the most effective means of protection, especially if you mean to camp. There are a number of effective midge repellents but honestly the best one is actually not a repellent at all! Use “Skin so Soft, Soft & Fresh Dry Oil Body Spray” from Avon. Word has spread about just how effective this stuff is, the army and forestry commission would not leave home with out it! Click on the bottle for more information.
 
4. How can I manage with a long stretch between two towns if I do not want to camp?
 
Many of the B&Bs and hotels now offer vehicle support service. This really is the best way to deal with the long stretches between Bargrennan and St John’s Town of Dalry, and onto Sanquhar.
Have a look at our the accommodation guide to see if there are any B&Bs slightly off the route that will enable you to break your journey, for example, there is one off route B&B between St John’s Town of Dalry and Sanquhar.
 

5. Can I take my dog?
 
If dogs are taken they must be kept under close control at all times. It is especially unwise to take your dog anywhere near cows with young calves, whether it is on or off a lead. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code link on our home page will give you more detailed information. In addition please check go to the Staying Safe page, also on the home page.
 

6. Can we use mountain bikes?
 
Parts of the Southern Upland Way are not suitable for Mountain Bikes, some sections of the path are not built to sustain frequent bike use. However, there are a number of purpose built mountain bike trails that cross and run parallel to the SUW and cover the South of Scotland.
7 Stanes Mountain Biking Trails are world renowned for their excellence. Also see Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
 

7. Can I do the Southern Upland Way on horseback?
 

It is not possible to travel the whole length of the Way on horseback because there are steep stone steps, ladder stiles and two-step stiles without nearby gates, particularly in the western section. Horses are welcomed on forest tracks in the Galloway and Ae Forest Districts. Of particular note is a new horse riding route from Ae Village to Beattock that will eventually link up with the Scottish Borders to form the South of Scotland Countryside Trail www.southofscotlandcountrysidetrails.co.uk In the Scottish Borders there is a 57-mile Buccleuch Country Ride. More information from the British Horse Society Scotland This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it A leaflet entitles "Are you Riding Responsible?" is available at www.bhsscotland.org.uk

 
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