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Borders Abbeys Way

25 Oct 2018

In the picturesque Scottish borders, the Borders Abbeys Way is divided into five sections of very similar distances, ultimately making up a circular walk of approximately 64.5 miles. This walk can be completed in any direction – due to it being circular – starting or finishing at any town on the Scottish borders. The walk as a whole has been “developed around four ruined border abbeys”; Kelso Abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey and Dryburgh Abbey.

One part of the Borders Abbeys Way is from Kelso to Jedburgh. This section stretches 12 miles along an old railway line, a country track and along a scenic riverbank, making this part of the walk fairly level and easy going. Beginning at the Abbey Memorial Gardens, this section of the walk heads to the West of the Country, crossing a fairy-tale stone bridge which is not far from the convergence of the River Tweed and the River Teviot. Roxburgh Castle is one of the main historical sites along this walk, despite being in ruins now: in the 12th century, Roxburgh Castle was seen as a secure place, so much so that in the 13th century, it “acted as a royal residence” for King James 2nd. In the decades after this, however, there were many battles as the castle was passed between the Scottish and the English. Due to this, Roxburgh Castle now consists of minimal remains upon a grass mound. Along from this come changing views, with higher hills on either side of the valley. A riverside path will then lead you to the centre of Jedburgh, with the famous Abbey of Jedburgh not far away. This Abbey seems to be much more ‘complete’ than that of Kelso.

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