The Upper Nithsdale Poetry Trails

Come and discover a secret landscape scattered with tales of witches and ghosts, and of bloody battles, moorland chases and martyrs!

Your adventure awaits…


The Curlew Trail. This 42 mile trail begins in the village of Kirkconnel in Dumfries & Galloway and leads up to Muirkirk in East Ayrshire, and back down again. This route focuses on poetry written about the history of the Scottish Covenanters.

Polstatcher Burn

The Lapwing Trail. This 48 mile route begins at the spot where the Curlew Trail ends, before leading you high up into the windfarms and forests of Upper Nithsdale and then down to the Royal Burgh of Sanquhar.

The Heron Trail. This is a 10 mile circular route beginning in Kirkconnel. This walk leads you to a number of sites of historical interest and picturesque beauty spots.

About the trails

We moved to Kirkconnel in July 2017 and took over the running of Rigg House B&B. It didn’t take long to begin exploring our new surroundings and learning about the history and folklore of the area.

These trails were researched and planned during 2019 and early 2020 as a way of sharing the historical tales and poetry written about the locations highlighted on the routes.

This website has been set up to compliment the trail guidebooks which detail the specifics of the routes. Here you will find the full versions of each of the poems connected to the beauty spots, ‘hidden gems’ and sites of historical interest which you will discover along the trails.

The trails include many different styles of poems; some old and some more modern pieces. After walking these routes it will soon become clear why this landscape has been such an inspiration to so many over the years.

This project has been made possible by the support from the Whiteside Hill Community Fund, along with the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership and the Kirkconnel & Kelloholm Development Trust.

With thanks to the above, and to all the individuals who have helped me by sharing the stories of Upper Nithsdale and lending me books, and with very special thanks to Sanquhar gentleman, William Dalgleish.

Get in Touch

The Upper Nithsdale Poetry Trails
Rigg House B&B, Kirkconnel DG4 6NR

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