Grey Mare’s Tail, Dumfries and Galloway

Grey Mare’s Tail
One of the highest waterfalls in Scotland, and the fifth highest in Britain, is the Grey Mare’s Tail. This impressive landmark inspired Sir Walter Scott to mention the fall in his work ‘Marmion’. Situated about 10 miles from Moffat in Dumfrieshire, the Grey Mare’s Tail is a ‘hanging valley’ formed by glaciers which scoured the land during the last ice age. The water from Loch Skene tumbles dramatically into the Moffat Water Valley some 300 feet below.

The area is a nature reserve and has been described as a jewel in the Scottish uplands for its outstanding botanical richness. There is a popular and well maintained walk at the Reserve. The walk takes you from the car park to Loch Skene, some three miles away. The walk involves an overall climb of about 300 feet and you are advised to wear proper footwear and pack waterproofs!

There are other walks to be had in the area but they are not as well maintained and can tend to be somewhat muddy and therefore more challenging to the walker. They are designated as being walks for the more hardy and experienced hikers. The walks in the area may not be the easiest but they are certainly going to reward you with some spectacular sights. The valleys and lochs in the area of the Grey Mare’s Tail offer some quite breathtaking photographic opportunities for those keen in photograph the beauty of nature. 

Dumfrieshire has much beauty to offer and if you are looking for peace and solitude then the autumn is a good time to visit, when the summer’s peak has died down.  There may be fewer flowers at this time of year, but the bird life is still plentiful.  Winter is a spectacular time to visit, particularly when the Grey Mare’s Tail is covered with snow, on some occasions the waterfall freezes up completely. When this happens, the waterfall becomes a very popular location for ice climbers. Care should be taken at this time of year, however, as the pathways very quickly become icy and can be very treacherous.

St Mary’s Loch nearby is a place where you can enjoy sail-boarding, sailing and fishing. The Grey Mares Tail is accessible via the A708 from Moffat. The town of Moffat offers a wide variety of accommodation including hotels and guest houses, as well as offering many restaurants for the hungry traveller.

More British Natural features?

Other Dumfries and Galloway Naturals

River Tweed
Solway Coast
Solway Firth
Rhins of Galloway
The Southern Uplands
River Esk

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