Geo-Trips :: A circular tour of two lonely Scottish glens

Sanquhar

A cycle ride from Sanquhar, Thu, 22 Oct 2009 by Oliver Dixon

If I get up early enough, I can catch a through train from Hexham to south-west Scotland. I have done this for three years running each October, and this has given me an opportunity for some excellent cycle rides in remote countryside. For my 2009 trip, I headed out to Sanquhar and followed the tarmac road up the lonely glen of the Euchan Water. Eventually this gave way to forestry roads and I continued over the Polskeoch Rig to drop down to Polskeoch at the head of the Scar Water in the next glen to the south. Polskeoch lies at the end of another long cul-de-sac road which I followed down the spectacular wild glen for many miles. At Woodside, I left the glen and followed an undulating road, with fine views over to the Lowther Hills before dropping down into Nithsdale to complete my circuit back to Sanquhar. A cup or tea and a cake in a cafe filled in the time until my train back home was due.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NS6603 : Polvaddoch Burn by Oliver Dixon
Polvaddoch Burn
Looking downstream. A narrow cleared strip through the forest is maintained along... more

NS6603 : Polvaddoch Burn by Oliver Dixon
Polvaddoch Burn
Looking upstream. A narrow cleared strip through the forest is maintained along the burns.

NS6702 : Pot Burn by Oliver Dixon
Pot Burn
Looking downstream. Throughout Polskeoch Forest, a narrow cleared strip has been... more

NS6702 : Pot Burn by Oliver Dixon
Pot Burn
Looking upstream. Throughout Polskeoch Forest, a narrow cleared strip has been... more

NS6702 : In Polskeoch Forest by Oliver Dixon
In Polskeoch Forest
Looking across the valley of the Polvaddoch Burn. The light green of the larches... more

NS6703 : Forest road at Polskeoch Rig by Oliver Dixon
Forest road at Polskeoch Rig
Looking north-eastwards from the highest point on the forest road which links... more

NS6703 : Fence on Polskeoch Rig by Oliver Dixon
Fence on Polskeoch Rig
A finger of moorland separates Polskeoch Forest and Euchan Forest.

NS6703 : Forestry quarry on Polskeoch Rig by Oliver Dixon
Forestry quarry on Polskeoch Rig
The construction of forest roads calls for a prodigious amount of road building... more

NS6704 : Valley of the Rye Grain at Black Shoulder by Oliver Dixon
Valley of the Rye Grain at Black Shoulder
Throughout Euchan Forest, a narrow cleared strip has been maintained along the burns.

NS6802 : Fields and walls at Polskeoch by Oliver Dixon
Fields and walls at Polskeoch
Polskeoch Forest beyond.

NS6802 : Ford over Polskeoch Burn by Oliver Dixon
Ford over Polskeoch Burn
The locked gate beyond marks the end of the forest road - the public road down the... more

NS6802 : Polskeoch by Oliver Dixon
Polskeoch
Highest house in the valley of the Scar Water.

NS6802 : Puddles on the road at Polskeoch by Oliver Dixon
Puddles on the road at Polskeoch
A badly maintained stretch of road at the head of the valley of the Scar Water... more

NS6804 : Burn in Euchan Forest by Oliver Dixon
Burn in Euchan Forest
A small strip clear of trees along a tributary of the Euchan Water.

NS6805 : Euchan Water by Oliver Dixon
Euchan Water
Looking downstream from the bridge.

NS6805 : Forest road in Euchan Forest by Oliver Dixon
Forest road in Euchan Forest
Deep ditches beside the road.

NS6806 : Euchan Water by Oliver Dixon
Euchan Water
Here the road up the Euchan valley leaves the river and climbs up the hillside to... more

NS6902 : Mixed planting in Polskeoch Forest by Oliver Dixon
Mixed planting in Polskeoch Forest
A small cluster of broadleaf saplings introduces a touch of variety into the... more

NS6903 : Dalgonar Cleuch by Oliver Dixon
Dalgonar Cleuch
A tributary of the Scaur Water. Rough Shoulder in the background.

NS6906 : Ford over the Poltallan Burn by Oliver Dixon
Ford over the Poltallan Burn
The track leads down the Euchan valley to the road head.

NS7002 : Sheepfold in the Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Sheepfold in the Scaur Water Glen
Near the head of the Scaur Water, a lonely glen running down to eventually reach... more

NS7003 : Dalgonar by Oliver Dixon
Dalgonar
The second highest house in the Scaur Water Glen.

NS7006 : Euchan Water and Glenglass by Oliver Dixon
Euchan Water and Glenglass
The forested slopes of Cruffel in Euchan Forest beyond.

NS7103 : Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Scaur Water Glen
A narrow road runs the length of this spectacular lonely glen, a tributary of the... more

NS7103 : Bicycle as planter, Polgown by Oliver Dixon
Bicycle as planter, Polgown
This imaginative use of a redundant bicycle is obviously an innovation since 2002... more

NS7103 : Southern Uplands Way at Polgown by Oliver Dixon
Southern Uplands Way at Polgown
At this bridge over the Craw Burn, the Southern Uplands Way leaves the Scaur... more

NS7106 : Cross at your peril! by Oliver Dixon
Cross at your peril!
An extremely dilapidated bridge over the Euchan Water.

NS7106 : Cross at your peril! by Oliver Dixon
Cross at your peril!
A closer view of an extremely dilapidated bridge over the Euchan Water.

NS7203 : Bridge over the Scaur Water by Oliver Dixon
Bridge over the Scaur Water
A narrow road runs down the remote spectacular Scaur Water Glen, here crossing... more

NS7203 : Scaur Water by Oliver Dixon
Scaur Water
Looking down this remote and scenic glen, which is a tributary of the Nith.

NS7207 : Euchan Water by Oliver Dixon
Euchan Water
Looking upstream, just above the Water Works.

NS7207 : Waterworks in the Euchan valley by Oliver Dixon
Waterworks in the Euchan valley
Presumably supplying the town of Sanquhar with drinking water.

NS7207 : Waterworks in the Euchan valley by Oliver Dixon
Waterworks in the Euchan valley
Presumably serving the town of Sanquhar with drinking water.

NS7303 : Road down the Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Road down the Scaur Water Glen
A long narrow road runs down this remote and spectacular glen.

NS7304 : Sheepfold in the Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Sheepfold in the Scaur Water Glen
Looking northwards across this lonely spectacular glen.

NS7307 : Valley of the Glenlarie Burn by Oliver Dixon
Valley of the Glenlarie Burn
Tributary of Euchan Water.

NS7403 : Road down the Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Road down the Scaur Water Glen
A long narrow road runs down the lonely and scenic Scaur Water Glen. Glenwhargen... more

NS7404 : Shiel by Oliver Dixon
Shiel
A lonely cottage in the scenic Scaur Water Glen.

NS7407 : Autumn colours in the Euchan Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Autumn colours in the Euchan Water Glen

NS7503 : Old walls in Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Old walls in Scaur Water Glen
The walls on the far side of the valley are described as a sheepfold on the... more

NS7503 : Scaur Water by Oliver Dixon
Scaur Water
In a remote and lonely glen, tributary of the Nith. The dramatic cliff in the... more

NS7507 : Looking across the Euchan Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Looking across the Euchan Water Glen
Autumn colouration.

NS7508 : Gateway to Euchan Cottage by Oliver Dixon
Gateway to Euchan Cottage
Off the narrow road up the Euchan Water Glen.

NS7508 : The road up Euchan Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
The road up Euchan Water Glen
A narrow cul-de-sac road leads up the lonely Euchan Water Glen.

NS7601 : Dalzean by Oliver Dixon
Dalzean
Farm in the Scaur Water Glen. The hill beyond is Dalzean Snout [[NS7501]].

NS7602 : Meander in the Scaur Water by Oliver Dixon
Meander in the Scaur Water
Innumerable sheep graze the flat land in the floor of the glen.

NS7602 : Sheep near Glenwhargen Farm by Oliver Dixon
Sheep near Glenwhargen Farm
In the Scaur Water Glen.

NS7608 : Footpath and footbridge at Old Barr by Oliver Dixon
Footpath and footbridge at Old Barr
In the mouth of the Euchan Water Glen. Public footpath signs are rare in Scotland;... more

NS7609 : Bridge over the Barr Burn by Oliver Dixon
Bridge over the Barr Burn
On the road up the Euchan Water Glen.

NS7700 : Scaur Water by Oliver Dixon
Scaur Water
Looking downstream, towards the lower end of this lonely glen.

NS7701 : Hallscaur by Oliver Dixon
Hallscaur
Farm at the foot of some impressive crags in the Scaur Water Glen.

NS7800 : Rocks and scrub in the floor of the Scaur Water Glen by Oliver Dixon
Rocks and scrub in the floor of the Scaur Water Glen

NS7900 : Chanlockfoot Farm by Oliver Dixon
Chanlockfoot Farm
Towards the lower end of the Scaur Water Glen.

NS8106 : Track up Howlett Cleuch by Oliver Dixon
Track up Howlett Cleuch
Leading to Little Mark. Glengenny Wood to the left.

NS8107 : Rapids on the River Nith by Oliver Dixon
Rapids on the River Nith
Below Mennock, the River Nith runs through a series of rapids. A popular spot for... more

NS8200 : Fields below Cleuchhead Farm by Oliver Dixon
Fields below Cleuchhead Farm
The extensive woods in the middle distance are those surrounding Drumlanrig Castle... more

NS8200 : Farm near Holehouse by Oliver Dixon
Farm near Holehouse
Enjoying extensive views over Drumlanrig Woods and Nithsdale.

NS8200 : Fields below Cleuchhead Farm by Oliver Dixon
Fields below Cleuchhead Farm
Extensive views over Drumlanrig Woods and Nithsdale to the southern Lowther Hills... more

NS8206 : Quiet road beside the Nith by Oliver Dixon
Quiet road beside the Nith
The quiet road on the west side of the River Nith forms a pleasant alternative to... more

NS8206 : River Nith near Glengenny Wood by Oliver Dixon
River Nith near Glengenny Wood
Traffic on the A76 can be seen on the far side.

NS8300 : Passing place on country road near Ballaggan by Oliver Dixon
Passing place on country road near Ballaggan
The Lowther Hills can be seen in the distance beyond Nithsdale. It is just... more

NS8301 : Bridge over the Marrburn by Oliver Dixon
Bridge over the Marrburn
At Ballaggan Cottage.

NS8302 : Autumn at Breconside by Oliver Dixon
Autumn at Breconside
Farm road leading up to Breconside. Contrast this with the springtime view at [[414190]].

NS8305 : River Nith at Glenairlie Bridge by Oliver Dixon
River Nith at Glenairlie Bridge
Looking upstream.

NS8306 : Autumn colours by the Nith by Oliver Dixon
Autumn colours by the Nith
A quiet road on the west bank offers an alternative to the A76.

NS8306 : Angler on the River Nith by Oliver Dixon
Angler on the River Nith
The rapids on the River Nith below Mennock are very popular with anglers.

NS8402 : Beech hedge near Breconside by Oliver Dixon
Beech hedge near Breconside
The Tacholm Burn runs on the other side of the hedge.

NS8403 : Burnsands by Oliver Dixon
Burnsands
The Lowther Hills can be seen in the distance on the far side of Nithsdale.

NS8404 : Valley of the Burnsands Burn by Oliver Dixon
Valley of the Burnsands Burn
Running down to the Nith.

NS8810 : Lowther Hill by Oliver Dixon
Lowther Hill
Long range view from Ballaggan on the far side of Nithsdale.

NX7999 : Roadside logpile by Oliver Dixon
Roadside logpile
Near Chanlockfoot Farm.

NX7999 : Woodend Burn by Oliver Dixon
Woodend Burn
Just above its confluence with the Scaur Water.

NX8098 : Scaur Water near Woodside. by Oliver Dixon
Scaur Water near Woodside.
The tree-lined lower reaches of the Scaur Water form a striking contrast with the... more

NX8098 : Arkland Bridge by Oliver Dixon
Arkland Bridge
In the Scaur Water Glen. Seen from above Woodside.

NX8098 : Roadside logpile by Oliver Dixon
Roadside logpile
Near Woodside.

NX8098 : Woodside by Oliver Dixon
Woodside
Overlooking the lower reaches of the Scaur Water Glen.

NX8099 : Back Wood by Oliver Dixon
Back Wood
A broadleaf wood above the Scaur Water Glen on the slopes of Whitecraig Head.

NX8199 : Hazel hedge near Merkland by Oliver Dixon
Hazel hedge near Merkland
In glorious autumn colours.

NX8199 : Row of cottages by Oliver Dixon
Row of cottages
A row of old cottages on the road between Merkland and Cleuchhead.

NX8299 : Autumn colours by Oliver Dixon
Autumn colours
Wood near Cleuchhead.

All images © Oliver Dixon and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.