After over a year of research and planning, I have finally finished writing the guide books for the first 3 of the Upper Nithsdale Poetry Trails.  These will be available for sale in A’ the Airts in Sanquhar, and at Rigg House B&B in Kirkconnel within the next few weeks.

And I’ve even managed to set up a (sort-of) website!  As you’ll see, it is pretty basic right now but it will get better as the project progresses; for now its main purpose is as an online poetry library for the poems which I have included on the trails.

Whilst planning my intended exhibition about the trails, I realised that there was scope to expand this project; I had been solely focusing on poetry written about Upper Nithsdale (and the Covenanters!), but it dawned on me that if there was this much poetry written about this part of the Nith Valley, then surely there must be loads of pieces written about Mid and Lower Nithsdale.

So, this post is a request – if you can think of any poems which were written about any location along (or within a day’s walk from) the River Nith, then please let me know.  I want old poems, modern poems, funny poems, sad poems, thought-provoking poems, short poems, epic poems and everything inbetween!  I want poems about the Nith itself, and about the burns and tributaries which feed it, and about the glens, hills and secret beauty spots along it.  I want poems about the history of the towns and villages along the Nith’s course, and poems about the people of the area, all the way from New Cumnock down to Dumfries.

The eventual plan will be to have an interactive map of the area with all the poems pinpointed on which can be continually added to as more poems are suggested, and as newer ones are written.  It is hoped that this will be a great resource for people living and visiting the area, as well as for people all over the world who have a connection to this little valley. Below is my work-in-progress list of locations I have so far and the poems written about them.

If you think you can contribute to this project in any way, then please get in touch.  Email me at:


  • Glenwhargen – James Blair Currie



  • Fair Euchan Glen – Robert Cluckie
  • A Walk up Euchan in the Snow – Frances Maxwell Findlay
  • The Euchan – Pauline Copeland
  • The View – Hugh McMillan



  • Crichton Peel – Robert Cluckie
  • The View from Sanquhar Castle – Rab Wilson
  • Caladonia – James Kennedy



  • Eliock Wood sae Bonnie O – James Kennedy



  • Sanquhar – George Logan
  • Sanquhar – Pauline Copeland
  • Sanquhar Toon – John Murray
  • Sanquhar Cross – Alexander Weir
  • Doon on the Waird – Stewart B. Nivison
  • Sanquharian Dream – William Dalgleish



  • A Walk to Pamphy Linns – Alexander Anderson
  • Pamphy Linns – James Kennedy



  • The Holm Woods – Robert Cluckie
  • The Talking Frog – David Graham
  • Crawick’s Bonnie Braes – Johnny Edgar
  • Crawick Forge and its Improvements – James Kennedy
  • Crawick Mill and her Carpet Manufactory – James Kennedy
  • A Threnody for Dead Lovers – Tom Johnson
  • Ode to Crawick – William Laing
  • Luogo di Delizia – Grace Nichol
  • By Hyslop’s Memorial – Cushie Knowe



  • Po’veoch Raw – Cushie Knowe
  • By Kello Linns – Cushie Knowe
  • The Fifth Fa’ – Cushie Knowe
  • The Fifth Fa’ Again – Cushie Knowe
  • Auld Kelloside – Cushie Knowe
  • Kirkconnel – Cushie Knowe
  • Polveoch No More – Cushie Knowe



  • St Conal’s Cross – Rab Wilson



  • Sunsets – Cushie Knowe
  • Auld Saint Conals – Cushie Knowe
  • In Kirkconnel’s Old Churchyard – Alexander Anderson



  • Shades around Glen Aylmer – Cushie Knowe
  • By Vennel Burn – Cushie Knowe



  • An October Dream – Edwin Young
  • Sweet Afton – Robert Burns
  • Afton Glen – Cushie Knowe



  • On Walking in Mennock Pass on a Sunday Afternoon – Raymond Kerr
  • Mennock – Robert Reid



  • Wanlockhead – Rev. William Hastie
  • The Auld Grey Glen – Robert Reid
  • To a Pit Pony – James A. Harkness
  • Pegasus at Wanlockhead – Robert Burns



  • Kirkbride – Robert Reid
  • Lonely Kirkbride – Cushie Knowe



  • Thornhill – Agnes Mounsey
  • Choir at Thornhill – Hugh McMillan



  • Glen Valentine – Francis Bennoch



  • Enterkin – James Brown



  • The Brig O’ Glenairlie – Alexander Anderson
  • Glenairlie Brig’ – Cushie Knowe



  • Allen’s Cairn – Cushie Knowe



  • The Martyr’s Grave – Cushie Knowe
  • The Ayrshire Hills – Cushie Knowe



  • Moniaive – James Shaw
  • By Renwick’s Monument – Cushie Knowe



  • December in Penpont – Hugh McMillan
  • The Kirk Fete – Nell Thomson
  • Keir Mill – Nell Thomson
  • A View from a Hill Top – Nell Thomson



  • Not Actually being in Dumfries last Weekend – Hugh McMillan
  • Lock-in – Stuart A. Paterson
  • Not Summer Yet – Stuart A. Paterson
  • Dumfries – Robert Fergusson
  • Churchyard Musings – Cushie Knowe



  • Verses on the Destruction of the Woods near Drumlanrig – Robert Burns