Grey Mare's Tail

Walkers visit Moffat and the Grey Mare’s Tail

The Cambuslang Parish Church Walkers recently travelled to Moffat where one group of walkers proceeded on a circular walk from the town. Although it was a lower level walk it was by no means flat. Starting at Well Street the group walked for about quarter of a mile uphill through a tree lined path to Gallowhill Wood just below the summit of Gallowhill. The weather was ideal for walking, beautiful sunshine but not too hot. On the way were fortunate to meet a fisherman who was also an employee of The Forestry Commission and what he didn’t know about planting trees, especially on Gallowhill, was not worth knowing, in fact, we had so many questions to ask him, I think he was sorry he stopped to speak with us. The good news is that we are now all experts on tree planting.

Grey Mare's Tail

After Gallowhill and morning tea the group returned to the foot of the tree lined path near the beginning of the walk. From here, the path to Heatheryhaugh was the start of the circular walk back to Moffat. This took took the group through the beautiful, peaceful countryside that had been seen from above on Gallowhill. The route followed a tarmac road which in turn lead over a gorge then up to the former health well. Following lunch the route took us over some fields and up the last hill, the sun was still smiling down on us through a gap in the stone dyke. Engraved on the bolder which marked the gap was ‘Jenny’s View’ and what a view it was. Jenny, whoever she was, was obviously a woman who appreciated the finer, although perhaps the more simple, natural, things of life. The vista before us was like a painting of fields of different hues of green turning to yellow and brown, some trees here and there, the odd barn dotted around, and in far the distance – the town of Moffat, our final destination.

Arrangements had been made in the morning to meet up with the high level walkers for the usual social after four hours’ walking, we returned to Moffat bang on time, but where were the high level walkers? That’s another story.

The other group journeyed on from Moffat to the Grey Mare’s Tail car park for the more difficult challenge of the day. Any reader who has been to the Grey Mare’s Tail will know that one of the hard parts of the walk starts right away. Before you have had any time to warm up the steep path is before you and it sure is steep! After about an hour the path reaches the shore of Loch Skeen from here the group crossed the river and started another climb up a grassy slope towards Firthybrig Head.

Looking down the Tail
Looking down the Tail

On reaching the penultimate summit of Firthybrig Head the party had a choice of walking across some rough ground to the final hill or climbing another 200 feet to the top of Firthybrig Head, then following the ridge for some way before descending down to the base of the final hill, Lochcraig Head. Having already climbed over 2,000 feet the group decided to take the rough ground. In places this ground was very rough and great care had to be taken to avoid any falls or twisted ankles, fortunately there were no mishaps and the group sat in the warm autumn sunshine on a low wall to enjoy their lunch before the final climb.

Lochcraig Head was yet another steep grassy slope however the view from the top made all the hard work worth it. From this point there was a steep descent down to the level of the Loch where of the ground was very boggy in places and everyone was grateful there had been no recent rain which would have made it much worse. There was a path of sorts along the edge of the Loch and soon the group were heading back down the rocky path past the Grey Mare’s Tail to the car park.

Looking across Loch Skeen towards Lochcraig Head
Looking across Loch Skeen towards Lochcraig Head

This had been a difficult walk and had taken longer than planned however everyone agreed that it had been a most enjoyable walk. The problem of running over time was our Group missed joining up with the other Group for a bit social time together. As our Group reached the Woollen Mill in Moffat the other Group had already finished their teas and coffees, there was however time for us to takeaway coffee to drink on the road home.