Walk: Hart Fell horseshoe - vintage Moffat Dale

Dumfries & Galloway | Moffat Hills | Full day walk | ★★★

[There's a great view down Nether Torr Gill to Blackhope Burn and the west side of the horseshoe]

If the Southern Uplands have a stereotype of gently rolling hills then Moffat Dale must be an exception, with steep slopes rising 500 vertical metres or more on either side. After an immediate energy-sapping climb (nothing gentle about this!), the grassy ridges surrounding the tributary of Blackhope Burn form Scotland's best horseshoe route this side of the Central Belt. Hart Fell at the head of the valley is the highest summit but Saddle Yolk is the most dramatic, with a very short but airy ridge to reach it.

[The Saddle Yokes from Black Craig]

📌 Walk: Hart Fell horseshoe - vintage Moffat Dale ★★★
Start / finish at Blackshope cottage (layby - don't block access), A708 5 mi northeast of Moffat, G.R.: NT 147098 ///gulped.dimension.engages

▶ 13 km / 8 mi | ▲ 890 m | ⌚ Full day | Tough
Features: △ Swatte Fell (729 m, Donald); △ Hart Fell (808 m, Corbett / Donald); △ Under Saddle Yoke (745 m, Donald)
Terrain: Faint paths most of the time, potentially soggy in places. Some pathless sections including initial (very steep) ascent and above Whirly Gill.

Route & map

Layby - cross Blackhope Burn on A708 - Hang Gill north side - Black Craig - Swatte Fell - Falcon Craig - Hart Fell - Hartfell Rig - Under Saddle Yoke - Saddle Yoke - start

Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)
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On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep and annoying heather flies on ascent; a few wild goats on Swatte Fell.
Weather: Cloudy at start, becoming sunny. Moderate winds, fairly cool for August.

[Looking down Moffat Dale on the final descent - aim for the track (centre right)]


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