Interesting article by Chris Townsend in April tgo. Is there anybody else out there who has actually done the whole of this walk? I did it in two stages, in May 2002 and June 2003 and apart from the friend who walked it with me, I've never met anybody else who has.
Chris obviously enjoyed it and ends up saying "......I can now recommend it with a passion." Whilst I did enjoy it in bits, like I enjoy all walks, I do have some reservations and if I was recommending it to anybody I would add a number of caveats - such as the huge amount of road walking (some of it seemingly unnecessary as there is no lack of countryside all around?), long, long distances between accommodation at times for non campers, extensive conifer forests, diversions that are very badly waymarked (see the complaints on the forum on www.southernuplandway.com), not a lot of choice of accommodation and very few hostels which makes it quite an expensive holiday. I think Chris was fortunate to have done it in 2003, as although he mentions rain several times, that year the weather was so good compared to 2002 when we spent a lot of the time in mist and drizzle up to our ankles in mud and several sections were like a quagmire.
Having said all that, on the plus side there is some lovely scenery, solitude (we did not meet anybody else going the whole way in either year), an amazing variety of landscape and pleasant villages and small towns along the way but I do think that quite a lot could be done to improve the walk and make it more accessible and enjoyable for more people. It would be good if there was something to show for it when you get to the end at Cockburnspath. Once you leave the sea shore to go into the village, there is nothing - no pub, no cafe, no accommodation, the place was deserted and the only shop shut when we got there. Only a bus stop to get a bus to Berwick.