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Broad Law and White Coomb Walking

Big rolling summits, easy grassy going (on the high ground at least), wide open horizons and some surprisingly empty country - if you walked here every weekend it might get monotonous, but for occasional visitors there's a lot to be said for the hills between Moffat and Peebles. This route combines two of the area's three Corbetts in a manageable day. First up, a there-and-back leg to Broad Law, a little uneventful in itself but with a top-of-the-world view that takes in Skiddaw, The Cheviot and Arthur's Seat among many others. Once back at the road, head south into the White Coomb range, where the combination of craggy corries and high plateau would not look out of place in the Cairngorms. With a lot more effort, or a wild camp along the way, the area's third Corbett, Hart Fell, could also be added from here.

White Coomb and Loch Skeen  © Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
White Coomb and Loch Skeen
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Detailed description

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NT1504820269 From the cattle grid at the high point of the road go northwest on an obvious path, following a fenceline up Fans Law. Now stay with the fence over boggy ground (it's easier than cutting a corner) for the steady climb onto Cairn Law. A long stride over close-cropped turf, still with the fence, brings you to the plateau summit of Broad Law, where there's a collection of radio masts.

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NT1463923518 Retrace your steps to the road, then hop over a fence and pick your way east-southeast over boggy ground. Climb across a slope of lumps and bumps, then pass through a gate in a fence. A vague trail now climbs the northwest flank of Nickies Knowe, again handrailing a fence all the way.

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NT1641119142 Follow the broad grassy ridge up onto Lochcraig Head, a great viewpoint overlooking Loch Skeen. One of southern Scotland's more picturesque hill lochs, this feeds the mighty Grey Mare's Tail waterfall (sadly not seen on this walk).

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NT1671017464 Descend beside a tumbledown wall to the boggy saddle of Talla Nick. It's tempting to cut a corner here and head direct towards White Coomb, but the low ground is boggier than the ridge above, and not recommended. Instead, stay with the wall up onto Firthybrig Head. Now just follow the hight ground south-southwest over Donald's Cleuch Head to Firthhope Rig - it's joyously easy striding. Turn left here for the out-and-back leg to White Coomb's summit, where there's an interestingly ancient-looking cairn (wikipedia sheds no light).

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NT1632615112 Go back the way you came to Firthybrig Head, where there's a wall junction. Turn left here for yet more grassy wall-side striding, out to Molls Cleuch Dod.

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NT1512517930 Stay with the high ground out to Carlavin Hill, the final summit on the ridge. Descend the northeast flank, steep and pathless, down to the little grassy gorge of Molls Cleuch. Hop over the burn and cross to the Talla Water. Ford this too, then bear roughly north over increasingly boggy ground, where a fence line is met leading back to the cattle grid at the high point of the road.

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