Borders Abbeys Way
A pastoral walk, crossing peaceful countryside of the romantic Scottish Borders. The few sections on higher, rougher ground reward you with extensive views. There are delightful stretches along the River Tweed and the River Teviot famed for their salmon/
The Borders Abbey Way is well way-marked and provides fairly straightforward country walking. The walk keeps mostly to lower levels, crossing peaceful pastoral countryside, with only a few sections that climb higher onto rougher ground, where you are rewarded with extensive views. There are long stretches along the River Tweed and the River Teviot, famed for their salmon fishing. You will also be visiting the Abbeys on your walks, beautiful monuments to the many Cistercian and Augustinian monks who lived here in the 12th - 16th centuries.
You can start the walk at any point, in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. The route splits easily into 6 days of walking, with the first shorter day allowing you time to explore all that Melrose has to offer or Sir Walter Scott's superb country home "Abbotsford".
As this is a circular route you can choose to walk from inn to inn with baggage carried by a local transport company. Another option is to stay in one location and use transport to radiate out - to & from the start and finish points along the route. All the towns on the route are well served by bus, with direct links between the start and end of every stage.
There is a train service from Edinburgh to Galashiels, stopping at Tweedbank by Melrose.
Many choose to begin the circuit in Melrose, but you can in fact choose any of these towns as your starting point. Kelso is also a popular place to start and is famous for Floors Castle and it's popular horse racing track.
- Day 1 Arrive in Melrose
- Day 2 Melrose - Dryburgh 5 miles/ 8 km, plus option to extend walk to Scott's View
- Day 3 Dryburgh to Kelso - between the two 12 Miles / 20 Km
- Day 4 Kelso-Jedburgh 12 Miles /19 Km
- Day 5 Jedburgh-Hawick 12.5 Miles / 20 Km
- Day 6 Hawick-Selkirk 12.5 Miles / 20 Km
- Day 7 Selkirk-Melrose 10 Miles / 16 Km
- Complete Walk 64.5 Miles / 103 Km
You will also be visiting the Abbeys on your walks, beautiful monuments to the many Cistercian and Augustinian monks who lived here in the 12th - 16th centuries.
Sir Walter Scott Country
Abbotsford is the extraordinary country estate of the 19th-century novelist who had a phenomenally successful literary career, popularised tartan and saved the Scottish banknote.
Discover a treasure trove of intriguing objects which inspired his greatest poems and novels.
Created almost 200 years ago by the River Tweed, you can follow the trail here from Melrose and spend a day immersing yourself in the life and times of this Great Scot.
Food & Drink
At all points, there are ample restaurants and inns where lunches and evening meals can be enjoyed. There are also opportunities, with the exception of Dryburgh, of finding shops where provisions can be bought for picnic lunches.
The Scottish Larder
Much more than haggis, porridge and shortbread - you can expect to be satisfyingly supplied with our finest meats, fish, cheeses, vegetables, craft beers and malt whiskies.
Traditionally, Scottish food is hearty fare; tasty, filling and simply prepared without fuss. Our 21st cuisine and top-end establishments offering refined dining are world-class, but more often you will encounter traditional dishes aimed at keeping folks warm and providing the energy required for a hard days labour. You will still find those typical stews, pies, broths - and porridge, but you can expect international and fusion dishes too.
Our lochs (lakes), rivers, streams and the sea provide wonderful fish and seafood. Our fertile soil produces farmed livestock and game. It also allows the cultivation of grains, vegetables and soft fruit.
In the Borders, you'll find many good pubs serving traditional meals as well as cosy cafes serving lighter meals and snacks. Just what the hungry hiker, cyclist and mountaineer require at the end of an active day in the hills and glens. Local bakeries, grocers and delis will provide all you need if you plan to picnic on your daily walk.
- Meat - Beef (Aberdeen Angus), lamb and mutton, venison are the staples.
- Game - Pheasant, grouse, partridge, pigeon, rabbit.
- Fish - Salmon, Haddock, Trout, Mackerel Herring
- Seafood - lobster, oysters, crab, langoustine, prawns, scallops, mussels, razor clams
- Crops/Grain - Oats and barley in stews and soups.
- Vegetables - Root vegetables in the main; potatoes, turnips and carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, peas and leeks.
- Dairy - our southern pastures support dairy herds producing cheeses, butter, cream, yoghurt and milk which all find their way into our hearty dishes
- Fruit - brambles/ blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, apples and rhubarb
- Malt Whisky, Craft Gin, Regional Beers, Whiskey Based Liqueurs
A Selection of Our Hotels
We pick the best accommodation available, from a selection of Bed & Breakfast, Guesthouses and Hotels. All provide a traditional full Scottish breakfast. We always endeavour to ensure en suite accommodation, depending on the demand at your time of booking.
- THE KINGS ARMS - MELROSE
- DRYBURGH ABBEY HOTEL
- KELSO - THE QUEENS HEAD
- JEDBURGH - ALLERTON HOUSE
- HAWICK - ELM HOUSE HOTEL
- SELKIRK - COUNTY HOTEL
Daily Bag Transfer
Our baggage transfer service will transport your luggage each day by vehicle, so all you will need to carry is your day pack. This really does make a significant difference to your enjoyment of the route.
Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports. Train from Edinburgh Waverley to Melrose Tweedbank Station. From here on foot or taxi to Melrose or to Kelso by bus.