Officially opened in 1984, the Southern Upland Way was Britain's first coast to coast long distance path. It runs for 212 miles from Portpatrick on the south-west coast to Cockburnspath on the north-east coast. It is rightly regarded as one of the best long distance walks in the British Isles and provides walkers with everything from challenging hill climbs to secluded woodland glades. Since 2005 Scottish Natural Heritage has actively promoted the walk describing it as a `magnificent trail' and a `tourist gem'.

However, walkers should not be daunted by the huge length of the trail. Although designed to be covered over several days, the walk can be spilt into fourteen sections allowing less serious walkers to pick and choose their most convenient sections.

One recurring criticism of the trail is the lack of eating establishments on the route. Walkers are therefore strongly advised to bring their pack lunches with them!