Notice all the ways in which water crosses your path on its way to the river. Give each crossing its own name. This might depend on the colour of the water, the sounds it makes, or your manner of crossing, e.g. ‘Linda’s Leap’ or ‘Guinness Gargle’.
I am the Annan River, the biggest of the land. the smaller ones go into me, to help me to expand.
You may wish to walk this section in two days, with a break in either Lochmaben or Hightae.
From the A701 one mile north of St Ann’s (OS Map 322 GR072, 953) head up through Hazelbank Plantation, down to Blackburn Cottage and over the fields past Greenbeck and Heathfield farms. A series of minor roads, paths through pastureland, and plantation tracks bring you past Lochbrow, through Spedlin’s Flow and Corncockle to Kinnel Bridge on the B7020, which is quite busy, walk 1½ miles into Lochmaben.
Departing Lochmaben follow the path beside Castle Loch and then through farmland to Hightae. From here a series of minor roads and forest track climb the slopes above Rammerscales House and out onto the open hill. Follow the waymarks over an old fort and up to Joe Graham’s monument where the whole jigsaw of Annandale spreads, hill to sea. The Annandale Way now goes east, through the fields of Almagill farm crossing the Annan at Williamwath Bridge. (Note that you could opt to leave this road at Dormont and follow the riverside track instead.) After the bridge, take a path on the right, then tracks and small roads, keeping you east of the Annan past the ruins of St Mungo’s Church, on through Sorrysike Moor and finding the river again at Brocklerigg. Follow the river until opposite Hoddom Castle, crossing on the Mainholm footbridge, either for the castle or Hoddom Bridge (B723). (OS Map 322 GR164,727)
From Hoddom Bridge on the B723, (OS Map 322 GR164,727) follow a path along the south bank of the Annan, crossing at Mainholm footbridge. Then head along the river to Brocklerigg, leaving it to go on through Sorrysike Moor and along minor roads past the ruins of St Mungo’s church until you reach Williamwath Bridge. After crossing the Annan, the official route follows the road left. Alternatively, turn right to follow the river, emerging back on route at Dormont. Follow minor roads before heading across the fields of Almagill farm and up the steep climb to Joe Graham’s Monument where you are rewarded by the whole jigsaw of Annandale spreading below you, hill to sea. You then drop over an old fort and through the woodlands of Rammerscales along minor roads into Hightae and then over the fields and along the shores of Castle Loch into Lochmaben.
Follow the B7020 out of Lochmaben for 1½ miles (note it is quite busy) and turn right at Kinnel Bridge. Out of these lowlands formed by the junction of the Annan and Kinnel Water, a series of minor roads, paths through pastureland, and plantation tracks gently lead you towards the uplands, firstly through Corncockle Plantation and Spedlin’s Flow, then past Lochbrow and over the fields of Heathfield, before heading up through Hazelbank plantation and finally emerging on the A701 one mile north of St Ann’s. (OS Map GR322072, 953)