The Annandale Way
Stretching 55 miles across Scotland, the Annandale Way can either be walked North to South or South to North. The Annandale Way begins at the source of the River Annan “with a circumnavigation of the Devil’s Beef Tub”, before following the River Annan along the valley and eventually to its source, in the market town of Moffat. The Source to Sea route of the Annandale Way has recently been developed by local communities along with the support of local farmers, as an attempt to promote the Annandale Way as an area which is fairly new for walking – perfect for the explorers amongst us! When walking the Annandale Way there are various plants and wildlife which are popular for our nature lovers. For example, a few miles West of where the Way begins, the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve is the winter home to the entire population of the “Svalbard Barnacle Geese”.
These geese are black and white and visit this area every year between September and March. Similarly, Red Squirrels, otters and Roe deer can be seen throughout the year all over the Annan Valley, mostly on clear mornings or on peaceful evenings. Ravens are common birds to find flying on the air currents above the valley too. Another feature on the Annandale Way is that of Castle Loch, prominent on this source to sea route. The castle is now run as a recreation and wildlife conservation service and it is known as the “largest natural area of fresh water in Dumfriesshire”. A bird hide on the Castle boardwalk has leaflets and there are also interpretation boards available for tourists to use and to enjoy, as well as the popular Chainsaw Sculpture Trail. This trail shows archaeology, creatures and the history that can be found at the Castle Loch.