Scottish Lowlands Road Trip: Pt 2 – Devils Beef Tub

After leaving Moffat, we headed up into the Scottish Hills, on our way to the town of Peebles in the Scottish Borders. We were originally going to head to Lanark in South Lanarkshire using the motorway, then go across to Peebles but we decided to cut through the hills straight to Peebles first, and we came across a local landmark…

The Devil’s Beef Tub


The landmark known as the Devil’s Beef Tub is a deep hollow formed by four hills that meet up here. These are the Great Hill, Peat Knowe, Annanhead Hill and Ericstane Hill. We stopped the car in a layby looking down into the hollow, and what a sight it was! It’s a massive area, and the whole hollow is 500 feet deep.

You might be wondering how it got it’s name?

From the 13th to the 17th centuries, raiders known as the Border Reivers raided areas on both sides of the Anglo-Scottish Border. They were known as the devils locally, and they used to steal cattle and hide them in the hollow, hence the Devil’s Beef Tub.


We spotted this stone circle down at the bottom of the hollow, and once upon a time it would have been used to keep sheep or other animals in, and maybe the cattle themselves.

The hollow is also known as one of two sources that build up into the River Annan, that flows through Moffat, then on to the larger town of Annan, and out into the Solway Firth.

At one side of the Beef Tub is a monument to John Hunter, a covenanter fleeing a troop of Dragoons in 1685. He tried to run up the side of the Beef Tub from the bottom to escape, but to no avail, and he was shot down by the Dragoons. He is buried in a churchyard in the nearby village of Tweedsmuir.

From the Beef Tub, we kept moving through the hills towards Peebles, and there was some spectacular scenery, and some other local landmarks, waiting for us…


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