Thursday, 10 January 2019

Grey Mare's Tale

grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

I am now officially no longer a fair weather hiker!  I've now experienced some awful weather while walking and it was on my local stomping ground of Grey Mare's Tale.
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

While we were home for Scotland we decided to go for a wee walk with the dogs and my Mum - so we checked the weather (mild and dry after 9am) and headed out! 

General Location and Logistics 
The walk is really easy to find and one of the best in South West Scotland - just outside the wee town of Moffat.

At the start of the walk there is medium sized car park, which is pay and display/suggested donations.  

The start of the walk is clearly marked out and then you are ready to go!
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

The Walk Itself
The walk itself is enjoyable and although strenuous in places due to steepness I wouldn't call it a "hard walk" as the paths are clear. 

Due to it being December we did the shortest walk - up the trail past the waterfall and to Loch Skeen and back.  There are a number of further walks that you can do from there but #Christmas.  Our walk took about 2.5 hours in total in terrible weather! 

The worst thing about the walk is the first part, which is slightly demoralising!  It goes straight into quite steep steps to get you up and to the waterfall itself.  The steps are really steep but it is clear and easy to follow.   
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall 
After struggling up the steps you come up alongside the waterfall itself and it really is a sight to see!  The Grey Mare's Tail is the 5th highest waterfall in the UK - an impressive 60m! 

I would stick to the path here and keep dogs on leads as it is a lot steeper than it looks.  

Fun fact - you might see some wild goats!  We saw 3! 


grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

Loch Skeen 
At the top of the steps you'll find Loch Skeen - which is an awesome place to chill out and relax in the summer!  You can even fish and camp up there! 

The loch is the the highest natural upland loch in the Southern Uplands as it's over 50m above sea level. 

grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

Dog Friendliness 
The walk we did is very dog friendly for the average active dogs.  Tilly was 100% fine with the walk, as expected.  

As for Hetty (she is a trooper), she went all the way up by herself - the steps tired her out a bit but she persevered.  However as we didn't want to exhaust her and she was wet she got the comfortable route back down in my backpack. 

If you have a dog which is smaller (like Hetty) or one that likes to run off there are areas of the path you will definitely need to keep them on the lead as there are uneven sections and steep ground.   
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike

Kit 
You don't need any special equipment in decent weather but there are some essentials:-
- Torch, weather is very changeable and visibility can dramatically decrease.  You need a torch to see the steps on the way down 
- Boots - 100% 
- Walking pole(s) if you have one and you prefer, it helped me for the steps anyway

grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike loch skeen

Overall 
Overall I think this is one of the best and accessible hikes in Dumfries and Galloway - I think you get a pretty good pay off for the effort you exert to get up the steps!  If you fancy it here is a handy guide and please have some common sense!  Also, happy goat spotting!  

grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike loch skeen
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
grey mares tale moffat scotland liquid grain liquidgrain hike
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