Walking in the Scottish Borders

The Borders is one of Europe's most beautiful unspoilt regions. There are rolling hills, mature forests, superb river valleys and interesting towns and villages. Each season brings its own pleasures, beauty and colours.

The region is seamed with tracks and paths so that you can walk for an hour, a day or a week - pushing yourself with a long trek on the Southern Upland Way, or just meandering along a gentle woodland track.

There are a number of experienced local walking specialists in the Scottish Borders, should you fancy a more organised tour or some knowledgeable company along the way. We are happy to put you in touch with them.

Venlaw and Soonhope Burn

Distance : 4 ½ Miles

Terrain : Forestry Roads

Equipment : Strong Shoes / Boots

From the steps of the Old Parish Church, proceed along the High Street; at the Mercat Cross, turn left into the Northgate. Continue along the Northgate; at the first road junction, on the right, turn right, into Dean Park. A short walk, will lead you onto the Edinburgh Road (A703). Turn left into Edinburgh Road and follow this road 200 yards and take the first on your right, a steep incline, which ascends around Venlaw Hill. Before reaching the first house on Venlaw High Road, take the Forestry track that rises on your left, climbing further up Venlaw through the woods. If you are quiet you may see deer. Above a whinstone quarry, the track turns north up Soonhope Glen. Follow the track around the north side of the glen until a gate leads out of the woods.

Do not go as far as Glenbield Farm but follow arrows pointing you downhill to cross the Soonhope Burn by plank bridge. Follow the fence up the other side and turn right onto the clear track. Follow the track down the glen to Soonhope Farm and then out to the main road. Turn right and return to the town centre via Innerleithen Road.

Hamilton Hill

Distance : 4 ½ miles

Terrain : Rough Paths

Equipment : Strong Shoes / Boots

A walk over hill and moorland, skirting Peebles Golf Course, return to Peebles by way of an old drove road and thereafter by Public Roads. A good panorama view over the town to the east.

Starting at the Old Parish Church, proceed over Cuddy Bridge and continue up the Old Town to Hay Lodge Park. Enter the park by the main gate and take the path immediately to the right. Continue on the path by the side of the high stone wall (Campbell's Dykes) and at the end of the path pass through a small iron gate. Go up the Rae Burn track on the opposite side of the main Glasgow Road (A72). At the top of the steep incline follow the road over part of the Golf Course to Jedderfield Farm. Go through the gate on your right just past the farm and straight up the face of the field. Rejoin the road at the top which is now a drove road and previously the main road to and from Peebles, leading west. Enter this drove road over a stile and go through the woods until a second stile is reached which leads onto a open moorland. The line of the old Roman Road from the Fort at Lyne can be seen ahead of you as you come out of the wood to the moor. The Romans took this route to avoid the danger of the Neidpath Gorge. There are a few grouse on this parkland and from Hamilton Hill a superb eastern panorama over Peebles to Lee Pen an ancient volcano above Innerleithen. At this point the road disappears; take the narrow path which bears to the right. Follow this path far a mile along the face of Hamilton Hill until reaching a junction turn right and follow the road until Standalane Farm appears. At the foot of the hill turn right, past Rosetta house and Rosetta caravan park (on the right), into Rosetta Road and continue into Young Street back to Peebles turning left into the Old Town and right over Cuddy Bridge.

The Sware

Cademuir

Distance : 7 miles

Terrain : Path, drove road, sheep paths

Equipment: Boots

From the Old Parish Church cross the Tweed Bridge bear right along Caledonian Road, second left up Edderston Road and follow for approx. 1 mile until it finishes at Tantah House. Pass through the metal gate on your right and follow the track along the side of Tantah House wall. Take the field gate on your left and ascend across the face of the hill following the upper path for the best views. Cademuir was once the common grazing land of Peebles and you are following the track of the burghers who exercised the ancient rights of soumin and roumin (grazing for cows and sheep) written into their title deeds. As you cross the ridge you have a superb view of the upper valleys of Manor and Tweed with Tinto Hill the big square one ahead of you and Broad Law the large round one at the head of Manor to your left. You descend slightly to the first of the forts and you can easily see why this site was chosen. Follow the ridge and down the drove road to the tarmac 'B' road turn left and follow the road back to Peebles through good arable land with grouse moors of Haystoun Estate rising above you to your right.