logo Walking Britain

Dumfries and Galloway Walk
Grey Mare's Tail & White Coomb

County/Area - Dumfries and Galloway

Author - Simon Tweedie

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km

Ascent - 2180 feet / 661 metres

Time - 6 hours 10 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference NT186145
Lat 55.417628 // Long -3.287443
Postcode DG10 9LH (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Grey Mare's Tail & White Coomb Photo from the walk - Grey Mare's Tail & White Coomb Photo from the walk - Grey Mare's Tail & White Coomb Photo from the walk - Grey Mare's Tail & White Coomb
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The walk starts from the car park of the Grey Mare's waterfall, which is ten miles north east of the pretty town of Moffat on the A708 to Selkirk (grid ref NT186145). The drive to the start of the walk provides ample evidence of the wild terrain in these parts and this walk gives at least an introduction to the many opportunities for walking in the area.

From the car park take the steep path on the north side. This path climbs fast offering great views of the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall as you gain height. the path exits into the hanging valley above and you follow the Tail Burn as it meanders through the moraines.

In a short time the wee jewel of Loch Skene appears as if by magic. The route traces the eastern shore of the Loch to Lochcraig Head, which is clearly in view ahead. Another steep climb up a grassy slope to the right of the screes leads up to the summit cairn of Lochcraig Head.

Beyond the cairn is an old dry stane dyke (stone wall) which leads westerly at first to Firthybrig Head and then continues to the Corbett of White Coomb. The summit of White Coomb (821 metres) is 100 paces to the south west of the old dyke. On a clear day the fells of the Lake District are visible over the Solway. Continue on following the dyke as it drops east to Upper Tarnberry. There is a short bit of scrambling on this section but no major difficulties should be encountered.

Eventually the dyke leads back to the Tail Burn. There is a boulder in the burn just up stream from the end of the dyke which makes a useful crossing point. You are now back on the path above the falls. Retrace your steps down past the Mare's Tail. Take care and do not be tempted to stray off the route. There have been tragedies in the past especially after rain and snow.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 330Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 330Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 79Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 79Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of Books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.