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Hamish started this walk from Moffat town centre. The distance could be reduced by starting further North of Moffat as the walk utilises the Old Edinburgh Road . This road is fairly narrow so there are few suitable places to park a car. If you do this you will miss a pleasant walk beside the River Annan. Hamish was on the lead for most of this walk but was off the lead beside the river.
Start from war memorial in the High Street. Go along Church Street (opposite war memorial) . At river TURN RIGHT and follow path in a north-westerly direction to reach road bridge for A701. If water level is low you can continue on path underneath the bridge. Alternatively bear right on path to reach road, cross over and turn left to rejoin riverside path.
Continue following riverside path for approx ½ mile until you reach a kissing gate in the fence on your right hand side (kissing gate is just before a footbridge over the river marked Adamsholm on the map). TURN RIGHT and go through kissing gate, follow track across field to reach another kissing gate beside a gate. Go through kissing gate, TURN LEFT on lane (the Old Edinburgh Road ) and follow road for just over 2 miles.
Shortly after passing March Cottage and a red corrugated iron building (possible parking spot), cross bridge over burn then TURN RIGHT on a footpath marked by green and white finger post marked to Hartfell Spa 1.5 miles. Access path through kissing gate. Cross field keeping fairly close to Auchencat Burn on your right hand side. Go through another kissing gate, then over the higher ground - still with the burn on your right hand side but now a little further away.
Through another kissing gate, keeping in broadly the same direction - you soon see some earthworks ahead - keep just to the right of these then through another kissing gate. Ahead again - perhaps a little closer to the burn to reach a kissing gate in the bottom right hand corner of the fence. The 'official' path goes down two 'flights' of steps to the burn. The path then runs along the valley on the left hand side of the burn. The path has suffered from landslides and is difficult to follow at first. This path would be impassable if the burn is in full flood in which case do not descend the steps but climb the hill on the left. We didn't go this way but we understand there is a track above the landslip.
At the end of the valley continue more or less ahead (slightly left if anything) into the steep scree sided valley that Spa Well Burn runs from. Follow the burn uphill to reach the Spa head enclosed in its own fence. Use the gate to gain access to the 'building' over the spa - you'll need a torch if you want to attempt to read a carved stone in its roof. Return to your starting point via the same route. If you'd rather not use the river-side path when you reach it continue ahead on the Old Edinburgh Road to reach the outskirts of Moffat - then ahead past the church to reach the High Street.
Copyright Dogpeople Limited 2004.