The River Annan rises in the Devil's Beef Tub in the southern uplands, just north of Moffat. Famous rivers such as the Clyde and the Tweed burst out of the very same hills. From being a small fast flowing burn it rapidly grows when two substantial tributaries, the Moffat and Evan water, join it at Three Waters Meet. The river flows in a southerly direction down through Annandale meeting many substantial and varied tributaries on its way to the sea. The river changes its habit several times on its way south from a brawling upland torrent into a large stately but sedate lowland river in its middle reaches before, once again, it picks up speed as the gradient increases on its final dash for the Solway.
The Annandale landscape is largely a pastoral one with sheep and cattle grazing the dominant land use. Many parts of the river are however separated from this by rich and varied native riparian woodland, which is filled with the heady scents of primroses, blue bells and wild garlic in the spring. The summer landscape is resonant with the barking of roe deer and the birdlike calls of otters. In the autumn the rich and varied tree species put on a dramatic display of yellow, ochre and amber. Red squirrels, which are still common in this part of Scotland, will be regularly seen feeding hard in preparation for the winter ahead.