Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall, Dumfriesshire: ‘Mesmerising even to the peregrine falcons that nest in the crags around’

Annie Elwes recommends the waterfall and surrounding wild countryside of the Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve.

The extraordinary Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall tumbles 200ft from Loch Skeen into the Moffat Water, perhaps mesmerising even the peregrine falcons that nest in the crags around it and little ring ouzels showing off their white necklaces.

The loch, surrounded by soaring Lochcraig Head, Mid Craig and 2,694ft-tall White Coomb, where montane willows grow, is home to Britain’s rarest freshwater fish, the vendace.

The Tail Burn, the river coming from the remote Loch Scene which cascades into the Grey Mares Tail waterfall further downstream from this location.

There are wonderful yet strenuous walks to be had in the Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve, following feral goats up and down hills, past 4,000-year-old burial cairns and the Iron Age Tail Burn fort, across boggy moorland and through a deep hanging valley.

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Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve, Moffat Hills, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. July 2018.