St John’s Town of Dalry to Sanquhar

Walking Route

St John’s Town of Dalry to Sanquhar


This route is one of 12 sections of the Southern Upland Way. The start of the section goes through farmland, getting higher and wilder as you pass around Ardoch Hill and start climbing Culmark Hill.

When you get to manquhill you pass through forestry as you start the big climb of the day up to the summit of Benbrack. As you get to the very top the Striding Arch suddenly comes into view. Standing right on the highest point this four metre high stone arch is one of four built by artist Andy Goldsworthy in this area. From here you will be able to see two other arches on the summits of nearby hills.

After a short stretch walking across the open moorland admiring the views you drop back into foresty. This will take you down to the bothy at Polskeoch where you can stop for the night if you need to.

Leaving the bothy the route comes out of the woodland and into the Scaur Glen. First along a minor road and then a path up onto the moorland where you get stunning views across the valley to Glenwhargen Craig. Once you get to the top the panoramic views of the Nith Valley on the other side of the hill open up. You will be able to see all the way down to the end of the section in Sanquhar.

Sanquhar is a small town and has several shops for supplies, pubs and cafes. There are also the ruins of Sanquhar castle which are worth stopping to see.

26.5mi / 42.5km
Total climb:
3,575ft / 1,090m
Total descent:
3,411ft / 1,040m
Towns along route:
St. Johns Town of Dalry, Sanquhar
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What you'll see

St. Johns Town of Dalry

Towns & Villages

Historically also known as ‘St John’s Clachan of Dalry’, the town is named after St John the Baptist: a figure who was venerated by the…


Towns & Villages

Sanquhar is an exciting market town on the River Nith, north of Thornhill and west of Moffat.