Collect some objects which could have magic qualities (collecting may be in the form of sketching or a few words if the objects are too big to move!). Ask ‘what if…?’ e.g. What if leaves contain secret messages? What if a leaf floats downstream to Annan and a fisherman ‘reads’ it?
Tracing the river along its path like a palm reader following the lifelines on an open, eager hand
Head south out of the town and bear right after the church (signposted for Dalton/Hightae) turning left immediately after the bowling green and then right onto the Castle Loch Walk. At the end of the wood, turn left and then right through busy Castlemains Farm (worthwhile detour first to Lochmaben Castle) onto a tree lined path and then onto a minor road opposite some houses. Turn right here, then left down through a field and onto an embanked path towards and then over Calflake Bridge and uphill into the village of Hightae. Cross the village square and then out and over a staggered crossroads past Mossburn Animal Sanctuary, uphill and then a steep road ascent around the back (and to the right) of Rammerscales House. Follow markers to the left, down a track and then to the right and over the moor past a derelict farmhouse and up onto Joe Graham's Monument on the summit of Almagill Hill (217m). Truly wonderful views of the almost all of Annandale.
Head towards Almagill Farm and then downhill on a minor road sigposted for Dalton. Cross the main B7020 and turn left onto another minor road signposted 'Lockerbie 5'. At this point choices/detours abound - 1) Detour - continue walking on the B7020 for 15 minutes towards the Murray Arms Pub in Dalton village (check lunch opening times) 2) Detour - a further 10 minutes walk heading for Carrutherstown to visit the ORO Gin Distillery or 3) Continue on the Annandale Way past (and actually in, if Tours are available) Ninefold Rum Distillery at Dormont Home Farm House then after 1 mile cross Williamworth Bridge over the River Annan climbing wooden steps on the right. Keep right through a field, down into a pretty wooded path by the river and then out back onto a minor road past the remains of St Mungo's church and graveyards.
Uphill again through an S-bend, downhill before turning right and along a private road and ahead into Sorrysike Moor. Path will then lead you past an abandoned cottage and then head to the left of Brocklerigg Farm, walking downhill and over a bridge. Turn right immediately onto the path (orange buoys ahoy) which will follow the Water of Milk until this joins up with the River Annan again. The path continues over an old metal bridge onto the Hoddom Estate and around the golf course emerging through the gates of Hoddom Castle Caravan Park at Hoddom Bridge.
Head south on Carllisle Road from the town centre eventually turning right to follow Quaas Loaning and then crossing both the by-pass and the A74(M) footbridge. Keep straight heading for Eskrigg Nature Reserve (Red Squirrels may make an appearance) and then out of the woods turning left onto a minor road. Follow a number of Way markers, then past the tractor depot, Pilmuir and Firpark and straight across the next minor road signposted for Southfield. Follow this track past the cattle grid and into the open field, turning left (not over the small stream) and through a number of gates towards a wood at Hungryhill Covert. At a minor road turn left to a 4-way junction where you bear slightly right towards Kettleholm.
After 800m at Glenholm, turn right onto an estate track which over the next mile passes the disused Milkbank Kennels and the wonderfully derelict Milkbank House which still boasts some beautiful stonework. The river that soon joins you on the left is the Water of Milk, another tributary of the Annan. At the crossroads at Pathead go straight across onto a minor road for 1km and then turn right onto a track between two hedges, going west. After 600m turn left onto Sorrysike Moor.
The path will then lead you past an abandoned cottage and then to the left of Brocklerigg Farm, then walk downhill and over a bridge. Turn right immediately onto the path (orange buoy display) where you will follow the Water of Milk again until this joins up the River Annan (it's been a while since you've seen it). The path continues over an old metal bridge onto the Hoddom Estate and around the golf course emerging through the gates of Hoddom Castle Caravan Park at Hoddom Bridge.