The Southern Uplands

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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.

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HIgh above Talla

The cloud far below us was funnelling over the Megget Stone.

Frozen loch

I caught this bizarre scene on Loch Skeen near Moffat where two walkers dressed as if they were Christmas shopping in Sauciehall Street wandered out towards an island.

Grey Mare's Tail

On of the UK's highest drop waterfalls is located close to Moffat and when it freezes, it draws winter climbers from all over the UK to tackle its ice.

Cloudberries by Loch Skeen

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.

Loch Skeen near Moffat

An early winter view towards the loch and some of the hills that surround it.

Saddle Yoke

Early winter snow on the haul to the summit.