Map of walk 13
The walk starts from the MacDiarmid Memorial parking area on the Langholm and Newcastleton Hills. From Langholm take the A7 north and follow signs for the MacDiarmid Memorial.
From the parking area follow the road east towards the cattle grid. Turn left before the cattle grid through the kissing gate. Follow the dyke, keeping on the left side, along the ridge onto Terrona Hill and Muckle Knowe enjoying the spectacular views up the Ewes valley. The dyke and fence that you are following along the ridge marks the western boundary of The Langholm and Newcastleton Hills. These Hills are one of the few remaining large areas of moorland in southern Scotland. Their importance has been formally recognised in the designation of the Hills as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for breeding hen harriers.
Continue along the ridge following the dyke. Cross over the stile at the dyke junction and continue to follow the dyke on your right along the ridge and onto Hogg Fell. The summit of Hogg Fell at 371m (1217ft) is marked by a triangulation point and commands superb panoramic views of the surrounding moorland.
Descend from Hogg Fell following the dyke on your right. At the field corner follow the dyke left until reaching a stile at the southern edge of a shelterbelt. The field corner is often very wet and can be avoided in clear conditions by bearing left towards the shelterbelt when it comes into view. Cross over the stile and after a short climb of approximately 100m turn right onto a wide track. Follow the track through the gate after which care is necessary, as the track becomes a narrow path that can be difficult to follow in poor conditions. Continue along the path bearing left towards a large area of forest. At the path junction shortly before reaching the forest turn left and enter the forest through the gate. Continue approximately 100m to a wide track taking care due to the recent felling operations. Turn right onto the track and follow the track down to the road. Look out for feral goats that often shelter in the forest.
At the end of the forest track cross the bridge over Tarras Water, go through the gate and turn right onto the road. Walk along this long but quiet stretch of road and enjoy the beauty of the Tarras Valley.
Along Tarras Water dippers can often be seen darting amongst the rocks and the blue flash of a kingfisher may be spotted. On fine days birds of prey such as hen harrier, merlin and buzzard soar overhead and as night falls bats forage for insects over the Water.
Before reaching the Langholm to Newcastleton road you will find a parking area and picnic tables. This is an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic and experience the peace and tranquillity of this special place.
Pass the picnic area on your right and at the T-junction turn right onto the Langholm to Newcastleton road. Follow the road uphill and then turn left onto the track towards Middlemoss. Continue along the track turning right just before the gate that crosses the track. Go through the kissing gate and continue through the field following the dyke on your left. At the field corner go through a second kissing gate and continue through the field with the dyke on your left until joining a track. Follow the track through the gate. At the end of the dyke bear right on the track that is narrowing to a more uneven path and continue downhill into the Little Tarras valley.
A stone sheepfold or stell can be seen in a sheltered location next to Little Tarras Water. The stell is largely intact and has a simple, circular design. Many other stells can also be seen on the moor, some of which have bothies, one-roomed houses, for shepherds.
Cross Little Tarras at the footbridge and continue uphill to rejoin the Langholm to Newcastleton Road. Turn left at the road and continue around the cattle grid and back to the MacDiarmid Memorial parking area.
The Moorland Walk has been set up by The Moorland Project, a partnership between The Langholm Initiative and The Buccleuch Estates Ltd. The Project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage Special Places Fund that was jointly supported by Leader+ and Dumfries and Galloway Council. The generous support and co-operation of The Buccleuch Estates, Arkleton Estate and farmers over whose ground the Moorland Walk crosses is gratefully acknowledged.
Please respect the country code. Enjoy your walk!