The Southern Uplands
The Southern Uplands of Scotland exhibit a surprising variety of forms from broad-topped rolling moorland hills to steep-sided craggy mountains. The Moffat and Tweedsmuir Hills are the bulkiest group with the most high ground and peaks rising to 840 metres. The Lowthers are less lofty but they're characterful and criss-crossed by passes and deep valleys. The Galloway Hills boast the Merrick, at 843 m, the highest hill in the south of Scotland and a range with more of the characteristics of Highland peaks, being granite cored and liberally adorned with lochs at their feet. No matter where you roam amongst the Southern Uplands though, you'll always find solitude because these hills don't attract the hordes of Munro baggers and Wainwright tickers that the Scottish Highlands and English Lake District tops always do.
Part of the Clyde wind farm north of Moffat. Vast swathes of the Southern Uplands have been industrialised by large estates to maximise their profits from land ownership. Unfortunately, very little protection is given to our hills, wind farm planning refusals by D&G and Borders councils are regularly overruled by Holyrood, and we don't benefit from government agency support towards sustainable development in tourism, leisure and small business like the Highlands and Islands have for many years.
Seen from the Southern Upland Way, Scotland's longest long distance path and a coast to coast route. The Loch of the Lowes and St Marys Loch are at the head of the Yarrow which runs to Selkirk, merges with the Ettrick and joins the Tweed a few miles later.
Cloudberries are common in the Moffat Hills but they are very rare in the UK growing elsewhere only in the Cairngorms. They are hard and bitter when red but ripen yellow-orange to a soft, creamy, delicately flavoured sweet berry. They are considered a delicacy in Scandinavia where they are eaten fresh as I eat mine, or preserved as a jelly.