2016-08-01 Langholm (Michael Webster)

Crossing Becks Burn
Crossing Becks Burn

Number in Group: 21                    

Distance: 11.1 miles       

Total Ascent: 1,402 feet  

Highest Point: Above Wauchope Burn 616 ft

Lowest Point: Murtholm 218 ft

This circular walk from the car park in Langholm was taken from “The Langholm Walks” Booklet, walk number 11. We started by crossing the bridge over to the West side of the River Esk, immediately turning south to cross a footbridge into Buccleuch Park. From the park, a path through woodland followed the river and led us to a track near Murtholm Farm. In the field, near the farm, the farmer was bailing hay. The machine behind the tractor which carries out this task is ingenious and completely mesmerising to watch. Continuing past the farm, we reached Skipper’s Bridge, where just around the bend in the road, a path led up through woods to a track. This led to our coffee stop at the wonderfully named Mouldy Hill.

Initially, following a track which soon disappeared, to a faint path, which also disappeared, we headed for the edge of the woods above Middleholm. Fortunately, there was a single waymarked post visible to keep us on track. After crossing Gaber Gill, we headed SSE towards Old Irvine following a very indistinct path, finally reaching the access track to the farm.  After passing the farm and a neighbouring cottage, we followed what the booklet describes as “a medieval route that linked Langholm and Annan”. This track is absolutely straight and must have its origins in Roman history. About half way along, near Cockplay Plantation, we took our lunch stop in a field just off the track.  

Continuing on the straight track, we reached Kerr Plantation and the underground Kerr Reservoir. Turning NW, we followed a very minor road to Bloch Plantation, Bloch Farm to B7068 at Wauchope School House. Near the plantation, we passed a fine bull, which was fortunately on the other side of a fence. After we passed him his bellows could be heard for some distance.  Just before the farm, there was a hedgehog crossing the road, which fortunately had been missed by a recently passing car. At the end of the wood after the schoolhouse, we turned NNE through a gate to cross Glencorf Burn, and then follow it to a fence line. From here the way crosses an open area, which is drained by a number of drainage sikes. There is no footpath but the posts of a power line provide good way markers. Fortunately, there had been very little rain in the past days, so the route was fairly dry and the sikes easy to cross. In wet weather, it would be a totally different proposition.  A track was reached just above Wauchope Bank which took us down to Becks. For some reason there was a Canadian Flag flying over Becks Cottage. At the first bend in the access road from Becks, a good footpath led down through woods to Becks Burn which was crossed by a footbridge. The path emerged from the woods onto a track which passed a number of smallholdings mainly occupied by horses. We then descended down the track into Langholm  to emerge at the Academy, then across the bridge to the car park. All in all, an enjoyable varied walk through different types of terrain, but possibly one to avoid in the wet. (Report and  Photos by MW)

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