May Day Trip to the Moffat area

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The extra day walk in May replaced the cancelled Mallaig weekend. Bob, Heidi, James and Ally drove down from Glasgow and I met them at the Rumblin' Tum for coffee and rolls and to finalise the walking plans for the day. The decision was made to follow the proposed walk round the Devil's Beef Tub on the Annandale Way, with the option of including the Donald of Whitehope Heights.

There were no cars at the start point at Annan Water Hall when we arrived in the Bobmobile, but within minutes another 3 cars appeared and filled up the small parking space.

We started along the road to Ericstane, continued on the track towards Corehead then took the hill path to Spout Craig. At 445m this is the start (or finish) of the Annandale Way and is marked by an unusual aerodynamically shaped cairn. By now we were in the clag with a steady drizzle, a gusting wind and wet underfoot conditions, but we were still keen so we put on the waterproofs and set out for Whitehope Heights.

The cairn on Whitehope Heights (637m) was on the wrong side of a high deer fence and the stile over it was broken. We were a bit unhinged by the situation, but not as much as the nearby gate we found few minutes later. The summit was ours! We squelched our way back to Spout Craig and continued on the Annandale Way over Chalk Rig Edge, round Great Hill to Annanhead Hill where we found a wooden bench inviting us to admire the views. Along the way we had been looking for a sheltered spot to stop for a break but, like the views, there was none so we trudged on down to the A701. After a short road section we followed to old coach road over Ericstane Hill and crossed the A701 again. By now we were below the clag with no drizzle and little wind but we were not so keen to do the full circuit so we left the Annandale Way and took a short cut to Ericstane to get us back to the start point 3km sooner.

On Spout Craig   On Annanhead Hill

After a quick change we piled into the Bobmobile and went back to a warm, dry kitchen to finally eat our hill food.

It was a good walk to test the boots and waterproofs .. and not all of them passed.

Willie Robison

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