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Grey Mare’s Tail

The Grey Mare’s Tail Nature reserve is best known for its magnificent waterfall – the fifth highest in the UK – and its uniquely dramatic scenery. The tumbling waters from Loch Skeen high above cascade down the ancient rocks as the features of this incredible hanging valley gradually unfold. The waterfall was sculpted from a succession of Ice Ages and when the ice sheets melted the tail burn was left dramatically hanging over 200 metres above the Moffat Water Valley below.

It is just a short walk for spectacular views of the fall or for the more adventurous there is a clear path all the way to the top which gives some of the most beautiful views in Southern Scotland. You can also see the Tail Burn ‘fort’ which is an Iron Age earthwork from over 2000 years ago and was used to protect the surrounding areas.

Grey Mares Tail

The surrounding area forms the Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve, owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The landscape is an open mosaic of heather and rough grazing and is botanically diverse containing the richest group of rare upland plants in Southern Scotland.

During the Religious wars of the 16th-18th Centuries the Covenanters used these hills and valleys to hide away from government troops. The reserve also includes Dobb’s Linn which is a site of world-wide importance to geologists. The name Dobb’s Linn originates from the name of a 17th Century covenanter, Halbert Dobson, who escaped from Government soldiers by hiding under the waterfall in the Linn Branch. In 1864 an amateur geologist, Charles Lapworth discovered at this site that you can discover the age of a layer of rock by studying the fossil graptolites within it. This process is still used for dating similar rocks across the world.

GRey Mares Tail 3

The Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve site is a must see on any visit to Scotland.


Mark and Lesley guided us around some fascinating sites within the region, some of which we did not know were there - even as locals!  The day was informative, relaxed and a great way to see around the wonderful, beautiful part of the world that we live in.

S Watson, Dumfries Read More Testimonials
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The history, scenery and culture of Southern Scotland needs to be told and Lesley and Mark offer a fantastic balance of story telling and insightful knowledge of the area.

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5 days ago

Scotland in a Snapshot

Are you visiting Scotland in 2018? Do you have connections to a Scottish Clan or want to see some of the best historic sites and scenery that Scotland has to offer?

We offer five star rated, award winning, guided historic tours across Dumfries and Galloway and throughout Scotland! We guarantee a personalised and emotive experience which captures the best that Scotland has to offer!

We do specialise in genealogy and can help support you make the best of any trip across to Scotland. We will get you to all those places you may think would have been impossible and will fill in those gaps about why your ancestors made certain decisions that will make your tour extra special!

If we can help make your trip to Scotland memorable then please get in touch at

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About Us

The history, scenery and culture of Southern Scotland needs to be told and Lesley and Mark offer a fantastic balance of story telling and insightful knowledge of the area.

About Us

The Tour

Southern Scotland has a unique landscape and culture which is both evocative and beautiful – Scotland in a Snapshot captures the very, very best of this stunning corner of Scotland.

The Tour

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Scotland in a Snapshot tours run regularly, with pick-up points in both central Edinburgh and Dumfries – book online via Eventbrite to secure your place.

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