Ettrick Hills lochs

Scottish Borders | Cappercleuch | Lochs | ★★★

[St Mary's Loch]

In between Moffat and Selkirk in the Scottish Borders are a whole host of beautiful lochs and reservoirs surrounded by the seldom visited Ettrick Hills. Miles from the nearest town, the only interruption is likely to be the odd motorbike touring the wonderfully quiet and scenic roads around here. St Mary's Loch is the largest loch anywhere in the Borders and reputedly the coldest in Scotland, although we didn't test the theory! A tiny stretch of river separates it from Loch of the Lowes (not to be confused with its namesake near Dunkeld) to the south. Another burn feeding St Mary's Loch is the Megget Water. Follow the narrow road up this valley from Cappercleuch and you'll reach two more water bodies: Megget and Talla Reservoirs, important water sources for the city of Edinburgh. Although both manmade, this is still lovely countryside with an isolated feel.

[Megget Reservoir]

📌 Megget Reservoir
Description: Large reservoir filling the valley carved by the Megget Burn, dating from the late 1970s and held back by Scotland's biggest earth dam.
Scottish Borders, G.R.: NT 192222 ///interest.importing.pretty

Anything else? A minor road with plenty of viewpoints follows the reservoir's northern edge.

📌 St Mary's Loch & Loch of the Lowes ★★
Description: Beautiful lochs drained by the Yarrow Water in the Scottish Borders: the former named after a church previously situated on its northern shore.
Scottish Borders. The car park in between the two lochs is on the A708 at Glen Cafe, G.R.: NT 238204 ///

Anything else? The car park above is on the bank of Loch of the Lowes. For St Mary's Loch, cross the bridge over the river and take the next left on the Southern Upland Way to reach the shore.

📌 Talla Reservoir
Description: Another water source for Edinburgh, opened in 1905.
Scottish Borders, G.R.: NT 117215 ///aware.eagle.imperious

Anything else? Good views on approach to Talla Reservoir on the minor road from the east, although quicker access probably from the west.

[Loch of the Lowes, Ettrick Hills beyond]


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