Langholm : A Walker’s Paradise

The picturesque burgh of Langholm lies at the confluence of the River Esk and the Ewes Water in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Known locally as “The Muckle Toon”, Langholm boasts a number of superb examples of historic architecture, set amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in South Scotland.

With the River Esk practically flowing through the center of town, fishing is a popular activity in Langholm. Salmon season runs from 1 February through to 31 October, while sea trout season is from 1 May to 15 October. Fish are plentiful and anglers are seldom disappointed. Walking is a wonderful way to appreciate the beauty of the countryside around Langholm and with this in mind, the Langholm Walks Group have marked out no less than fourteen walking routes that can be used all year round. During the summer months, guided walks of different distances and varying levels of difficulty are on offer and trained guides make each walk both enjoyable and informative.

Langholm and the Newcastleton Hills are among the few remaining extensive areas of moorland to be found in southern Scotland. In recognition of the importance of conserving this moorland and the wildlife that it supports, the area has been declared as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as well as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the banner of the Moorland Project. Many of the Langholm Walks Group’s demarcated routes take walkers through this tranquil area. While the Moorland Project area may appear to never have been occupied, there is abundant evidence of human occupation going back thousands of years, such as standing stones, remains of farmsteads, settlements and burial mounds, and these are pointed out on a guided walk. The geology of the area also tells a tale of how the earth shifted millions of years ago to form the various landscapes. Depending on the time of year, walkers can look out for a variety of wildflowers, as well as wildlife and birds.

The Archaeological Society regularly arranges talks and expeditions relating to the fascinating and ancient history of Langholm and the surroundings. In June each year locals and visitors enjoy the Langholm Walking Festival, while the Langholm Common Riding festival held on the last Friday of July sees around 200 riders joining in the inspection of the bounds in what has come to be one of the great Border festivals.

Interesting places to visit include the Clan Armstrong Museum which is housed in a quaint wooden building that was formerly a church. The museum tells the fascinating story of the Armstrong family, highlighting noteworthy members both past and present, from Neil Armstrong and his famous walk on the moon, to the musical side of the clan, Louis Armstrong and Dido. An unusual steel and bronze memorial on a hill to the east of Langholm, pays tribute to renowned Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid who was born in Langholm and the nearby Malcolm Monument stands as a memorial to Sir John Malcolm.

There’s no doubt that peaceful, picturesque Langholm has plenty to offer holidaymakers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.