Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Iron Age earthworks
The Grey Mare's Tail is the 5th highest waterfall in Britain, tumbling down from a hanging valley in a spectacular landscape setting. Sir Walter Scott was impressed by the falls, for he was moved to write a poem extolling their virtues:
Where deep deep down, and far within
Toils with the rocks the roaring linn;
Then issuing forth one foamy wave,
And wheeling round the giant's grave
White as the snowy charger's tail
Drives down the pass of Moffatdale.
There is much more to the nature reserve than just the waterfall, however. The reserve is home to rare upland flora and a wealth of wildlife including wild goats which you can often see clinging to the steep-sided slopes. The reserve has been named a Special Area of Conservation, and is a magnet for hill-walkers, botanists, and bird-watchers keen to spot peregrines or ravens.
And there's ancient history in the reserve; take a walk to see 'Giant's Grave', which has nothing to do with giants and isn't even a grave! It is instead an Iron Age earthwork, and more properly known as Tail Burn fort.
But even that name may be misleading for it may not be a fort at all, but a turf enclosure made for ritual observances. The Iron Age inhabitants were not the only ones to make use of the remoteness of the area; in the turmoil of the late 17th century religious upheavals a group of Covenanters sought refuge here.
There are guided walks in summer, but the main walking trails are very well maintained and worth taking at any time.
Don't mistake this Grey Mare's Tail for another waterfall of the same name in Galloway Forest Park, well to the west.
About Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve
Address: Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Attraction Type: Countryside
Location: Adjacent to the A708, 10 miles north east of Moffat
Website: Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve
Phone: 07713 786230
National Trust for Scotland
OS: NT086 053
Photo Credit: Michael Graham, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Find other attractions tagged with:
17th century (Time Period) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Yarrow Stone - 12.8 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Dawyck Botanic Garden - 12.9 miles (Garden)
Glebe Stone - 13.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Stobo Parish Church - 14.4 miles (Historic Church)
Traquair House - 15.8 miles (Historic House)
Neidpath Castle - 16.4 miles (Castle)
Robert Smailís Printing Works - 16.5 miles (Museum)
Cross Kirk, Peebles - 16.7 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Grey Mare's Tail Nature Reserve:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts