Scotland is an area that’s known for the beauty of its walks, and perhaps none more so than the Annandale Way. By walking the length of the river bearing the same name as it makes its way to the sea, you get to enjoy the full range of Scottish terrain. The ground gently undulates, a calming breeze keeps you nice and cool, and you’re surrounded by amazing wildlife – the Annandale Way is certainly one of Scotland’s best waking holidays.
To give you a little food for thought, we’ve put together everything you need to know about one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. There are even a few guidebook recommendations near the end so that you can become a local expert if that’s what takes your fancy.
A Riverwalk Unlike any Other That You Simply Must Explore
Riverwalks are rather special because they give you a naturally forged route to enjoy, and an appreciation for the sheer scale and power of nature. As the river twists and turns, you get to take in stunning scenery that will leave you in awe of the beauty you see before you.
As the hours and days fly by, you’ll form a connection with the river itself, and find a sense of calm as you hear the water gently making its way out to sea. You’ll also love that it’s largely untouched by man, so there aren’t lots of boats or manmade structures to spoil the views. Just Scotland in all its glory for you to enjoy.
55 Miles of Gently Undulated Terrain That You Can Walk in a Very Relaxing Week
The route is rather modest in length, which means it is ideal for walkers of all abilities. If you want to really push yourself, you could see if you can complete the entire route in just 2-3 days. Or if you want to stretch your legs, but have plenty of energy left at the end of the day, you can spend the week there.
It’s all about enjoying your time alongside the river, and getting a sense of what it feels like to be miles and miles away from big towns and cities. Perfect if you feel like you could do with getting away from it all for a few days.
Landscapes That are Perfect for the Nature Lovers Amongst You
The landscapes ebb and flow, and don’t offer too many steep and sharp inclines. This means that you can see for miles around on a sunny day, and you won’t work up too much of a sweat in the hotter summer months. The best time of the year to visit is probably mid to late spring. It’s when you’ll start to see all of the foliage come to bloom, and the wildlife will suddenly become a lot more active. There’s also just the right balance of a cooling sea breeze and plenty of sunshine.
Perfect Small B&Bs to Stop Off at Along the Way
Finding a place to stay on some of the more remote walking holidays can always be something of a challenge, but that’s not going to be the case here. There are a dozen or so small towns and villages along the route, and they’re all used to welcoming muddy walkers to put their feet up.
Look for a bed and breakfast so you can get a good sleep in the evening, fuel up in the morning, and then be on your way again. If you have the energy, you could also spend a couple of hours in the pub one evening. It’s a great way to bond with the locals and ask them about some of the other places you should stop off at along the way.
Hundreds of Species of Birds That You Can Sit and Watch when You Enjoy Some Lunch
If you’re a real nature lover, you’re definitely going to want to take your camera and binoculars with you. There are literally hundreds of species of birds along the banks of the river, and each of them has their own distinctive features. If you buy a bird watching book before you set off, you’ll be able to learn loads about the winged beauties you see on your travels. Ideal for really getting to know the place.
Get Yourself a Comfortable Pair of Waterproof Walking Boots
Whilst the rain will largely hold off during the optimal spring and summer months, that doesn’t mean you won’t come across plenty of mud. When you walk a riverwalk, you need to remember just how close you are to a gigantic water force. This means that the ground nearby can still be very muddy, even if it hasn’t rained for several days.
Choose a waterproof pair of boots so that you don’t end up walking for 3 hours in soaking wet boots. All that will do is make it far more likely you develop painful blisters. Something no one wants to have to try and manage when they’re 10 miles away from their bed for the night. Break them in well in advance, and make sure you pack a couple of spare pairs of socks just in case. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did once you start walking.
The 3 Best Guidebooks You Need to Know About
Annandale Way by Roger Turnbull is a must read guide for anyone who wants to explore some of the lesser known features of the Way. It offers great photos and plenty of local insight, so you’ll be able to make the most of your walking holiday.
Then there’s also The Annandale Way: A visual journey by Penny Humphreys. As well as offering plenty of advice on what you should take the time to see and which way to go, it provides stunning images that you’ll be excited to see with your own eyes.
Finally, there’s also Annandale Way by Columba Sara Evelyn. A short and sweet guide that tells you everything you could ever want to know about one of Scotland’s hidden gems.