three walkers with backpacks in the countryside

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Walking

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From the lush green uplands to shimmering sea, the area boasts a hugely diverse and enticing landscape that is perfect for exploring on foot. From gentle rambles to long-distance hikes, there are a vast array of trails and waymarked routes for newbie walkers or experienced alike.  

Forest Trails

The stunning forest of Glentress in the Tweed Valley offers numerous wildlife spotting opportunities on its many family friendly routes, including the Glen Trail with 100 year-old Douglas fir trees.  Roe deer, squirrels and even buzzards can all be sighted here.  Alternatively explore the woodland trails and footpaths of Craik Forest situated in the heart of the Southern Uplands near to Hawick.  The Waterfall Walk beside the Aithouse Burn is particularly stunning, or try the easy-access Burnside Trail on the Borthwick Water. 

Towns and Pathways

Extensive Paths around Towns can be found across the region ranging from mile-long leisurely walks along riverside, woodland and hill routes to more demanding twelve mile circuits.  Alternatively impress friends or family with a walking/talking history lesson using the variety of Town Trails on offer.  Each offers a fascinating insight into the history of each town and a perfect opportunity for a coffee and cake stop along the way!

Coastal

The Coastal Path features twelve wonderful routes for walkers of all abilities ranging from 2 to 6.5 miles in length.  A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the paths offer spectacular views of the heritage coastline from the stunning Cockburnspath and Pease Bay circular, to the amazing seabird colonies of St. Abbs Head, and the fishing port of Eyemouth with its fascinating stories of smuggling and shipwrecks.  You can even stay in a true smuggler’s haunt! - the stunning Merchant’s House at Gunsgreen in Eyemouth is packed with features and tales of illegal cargoes, and is now available as a unique and characterful holiday let.

Scotland’s Great Trails

If high-energy challenges are more your thing, there are much bigger walking routes under the auspices of Scotland’s Great Trails - each distinctively waymarked, largely off-road and at least 25 miles in length:  

St. Cuthbert’s Way charts the historic trail of the revered seventh century Saint on a 62 mile walk between Melrose Abbey where he started his religious life and his eventual resting place on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.  With stunning scenery and a wealth of historical and cultural features, this route can be easily completed in 4-6 days with a truly memorable finish across a causeway exposed only at low tide. Alternatively join the route for a short walk on any one of 24 sections developed to complement the long-distance route.

The 28 mile Berwickshire Coastal Path extends from Cockburnspath to the historic walled town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, and offers spectacular cliff-top scenery complete with arches, stacks and hidden coves.  A family friendly 3.7 mile stretch from St. Abbs to Eyemouth provides plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife such as puffins, kittiwakes or basking sharks.

Other long distance walks include the sublime Southern Upland Way which takes in beautiful remote hill country from Traquair in the Tweed Valley right down to Cockburnspath on the coast. Or explore the Borders Abbeys Way, a 68 mile route linking the four great ruined abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh.  Each offers sections for less experienced walkers or shorter half day sections - a perfect reason to come back and visit, and tick-off the entire length of the route over time!

For details of other free walks to inspire you right across the area, check out Walk Highlands/Borders.

Don’t miss….

The week long Festival of Walking which normally takes place in the Scottish Borders at the beginning of September and has a reputation for being one of the friendliest walking festivals of the year.  Led by the Countryside Ranger Service it includes a selection of walks suitable for all ages and abilities, as well as a full programme of evening entertainment. Weekly, fortnightly and monthly Ranger led walks also take place through the course of the year and provide a super chance to meet new people and make new friends.   For further information contact ranger@scotborders.gov.uk

 

 

a group of walkers with backpacks on a countryside path


 

Kelso