Approximate Duration:

1 hour 14 mins

Approximate Distance:

42.9 miles (69 km)

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Three Lochs Run

South East Scotland

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Route at a Glance

The Three Lochs run may be short on miles (only just a tad over 43 miles) but it is certainly not short on thrills, scenery and just about anything else that makes an incredible motorcycle route one of the greats! This route is sensational. The route is essentially triangular – offering up three legs/roads. Each leg being unique and offering its own special qualities.

The First Leg is from Moffat to St Marys Loch and the smaller Loch of the Lowes. The pleasure literally starts as soon as you leave Moffat and travel North East along the A708. You are immediately into the hills and running through the valley known as the Moffat Waters. The road becomes decidedly adrenaline inducing within a few miles of Moffat. With ups, downs, twisties and bends, Cambers from heaven and cambers from hell. This is roller coaster stuff. It is truly a pleasure to ride.

You will go past the Grey Mares Tail which can be seen from the road or you can pull, over into the clearly visible parking and take a photo. We do not often mention places but it is worth a stop at the Glens Café which overlooks the Loch. Very bike friendly and great people.

The Second Leg takes you west along the Meggett and Talla road. This road is narrow but does have passing places. The very few cars that you may come across tend to be very well behaved and respectful to bikers and other road users. Ride this road with a bit of care and focus. It is a little challenging. If you do have a performance bike or a sensitive cruiser, take it even more easy as there are a few bumps and lumps. But it is still absolutely worth doing regardless of the bike type. A number of photo opportunities will come up along this stretch but none better than the very top of Talla looking down at the reservoir. You will find places at this peak to pull up the bike for a photo. PRO TIP – get behind your bike with the reservoir down beneath you, the hills will make an automatic and natural frame.

The Third Leg takes you South along the A701 known as the Scenic Route (Edinburgh to Moffat). This leg is two lane and fast but beware of some tight but fantastic bends.
Approximetely seven miles from Moffat you will ride alongside the Devils Beef Tub – A deep, dramatic hollow in the hills. The unusual name derives from its use by the Border Reivers, namely the Johnstone clan, whose enemies referred to them as “devils”, They used the “TUB” to hide stolen cattle from England. If you do stop, lean over the edge and it will all make sense. A perfect natural enclave to hide, secure and protect many hundred head of stolen cattle. The last seven miles into Moffat are just sheer riding curvy pleasure. Enjoy!

PRO TIP – Do not leave Scotland without doing this route.
PRO TIP – Do this route twice – the second time in reverse. You will love it and appreciate it even more.

Route Notes & Highlights

(Icons on the map)

  • Moffat – The biking heart of the region. A quaint picturesque market village with a variety of choice in shops and eateries. The home of the renowned Moffat toffee shop. Also the burial place of Tar Macadam the creator of the tarmac as we know it.
  • Grey Mare’s Tail – A little waterfall that sometimes freezes up in winter. Loch Skeen is a 40 minute walk above it. It starts off with a steep ascent so not suggested with full biking gear.
  • St Mary’s Loch – St Mary’s Loch is the largest natural loch in the Scottish Borders. Often mistaken, there are actually two Lochs here, St Mary’s being the northern and longest and Loch of the Lowes being it’s southern sister. It is actually the Loch of the Lowes that is more commonly visited due to the small café on it’s shores.
  • Glen Café – This little café is a perfect tea and coffee stop along the A708, the views are serene. It truly is a biker hotspot that can see 60/70 bikers on its doorstep at any given moment on a hot summers day.
  • Megget Reservoir – Along with Talla, this reservoir also feeds Edinburgh and all it’s 64 million tonnes of water is held back by the largest earth dam in Scotland. Also a lovely ride along its shores.
  • Talla Reservoir – Believe it or not this reservoir actually serves the city of Edinburgh and has done since its construction in the early 1900’s! It has become one of southern Scotland’s iconic viewpoints and photographic points for motorcyclists. There is a layby near the top of a steep climb at its South Easterly end.
  • Photo Oportunity – What is now becoming an iconic motorcycling photo point.
  • Devil’s Beef Tub – The Devil’s Beef Tub is a deep, dramatic hollow in the hills 3 miles North of Moffat. The unusual name derives from its use by the Border Reivers, namely the Johnstone clan, to hide their plundered cattle from raiding expeditions across into England. Their enemies, the English, referred to them as “devils”!


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Filling Stations on Route

Shorter than 50 miles this is not the longest route but be aware there are NO fuel stations on route, so fill up before you leave Moffat and you will be ok.

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