The Border Abbeys Way walk links historically significant 12th Century abbeys placed at Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh and Kelso. The abbeys have held host to a long history of travellers throughout the ages.
On quieter paths, you can trace the medieval routes of monks between the four Borders Abbeys. The route goes through farmland, forest and across high moorland with fantastic panoramic views over the surrounding hills.
Take the ascent along old drovers' roads as well as the tracks and escape routes of the notorious 15th and 16th century Border Reivers. The final section of your walk along the riverside paths of the Tweed meets its confluence at the River Teviot, past Kelso. From here, the path follows the River Teviot most of the way back to Jedburgh.
This walk is also an opportunity to explore the charming historic market towns of the Borders; Jedburgh, Selkirk, Melrose and Kelso, with its impressive Georgian buildings arranged around a cobbled market square. Melrose, is often cited as the loveliest of all the Borders towns, and at Melrose Abbey lies buried the casket containing the heart of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland and victor of Bannockburn.
Sights of historic Scottish interest are manifold along this route: Mary Queen of Scots’ House; Jedburgh Castle; the views of Floors Castle, a fairy-tale castle of turrets, and cupolas overlooking the Tweed; the shattered remains of Roxburgh Castle, once the strongest fortress in Scotland; wonderful viewpoints of Black Law, the Bishop’s Stone and Cauldshiels Loch; and a visit to newly opened Abbotsford, the delightful “Conundrum Castle” built by Sir Walter Scott on the banks of the Tweed, all make this a walk to remember.
River banks, farm track and minor roads, with the going fairly gentle underfoot. Occasionally there are more strenuous sections following old cattle droving paths up the slopes, but these are generally rewarded with extensive views over the Eildon hills. Long stretches of this route are along the banks of the rivers Tweed and Teviot.
Your path begins where the Teviot and Tweed converge, breaking off from the confluence to follow the Tweed toward Hawick. Past the old gaol, this section up to Black Law is the largest ascent of the entire route, with further climbs up to Selwick. From here on the terrain is more level. Walking from Melrose to Kelso, the route follows the river Tweed, and its worth taking a detour at St Boswell's to visit The Temple of the Muses. Back into Jedburgh, the route follows alongside the river Teviot, before continuing along old railway line.
Bus – Local bus services to points on or closes to the Borders Abbey Way are available at: www.traveline.org.uk
The bus from Berwick upon Tweed to Jedburgh takes just under 3 hours.
Taxi - a taxi transfer can be arranged from Berwick upon Tweed to Jedburgh (55 mins), at approximately £60.
If you wish to upgrade your overnight accommodation on occasion, we will be happy to arrange this wherever availability allows – prices to be advised. Looking for different mileages or a different number of nights? Please contact us to discuss how our itineraries can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. Call one of our helpful team on +44 (0)1291 689774 or e-mail us here.
Borders Abbeys Way Client Reviews
5/5 based on 6 reviews
I would rate my overall experience with Celtic Trails as excellent; the service of the staff, the website, the walk pack and the walk information were all excellent.
The info about our accommodations was spot on, as was the taxi info. And by the way, all of the hosts at the B&Bs were wonderful, as were out taxi drivers. I would say that the thing that impressed me most, was how I felt you were keeping track of me. Early on, when I decided to take a day off … at each place we arrived, the hosts asked about my health. I had this feeling that you were making sure I was okay and that “unseen guardian” made me feel more secure. I would definitely recommend Celtic Trails to any who want to do a long distance walk in the future. M. Henderson - July 2019
Going through Celtic Trails allowed us to visit an area we would have been unlikely to do on our own.
The Borders are an area of great beauty, with a lot of history. Not only did we see four gorgeous abbeys, we also go to see the festivities of the common ridings. M. Bailey & M. Pattullo - July 2019
The walk was a good mixture of riverside, farmland, pasture moorland and forestry. It was also the quietest I've done - it deserves more attention.
Celtic Trails were very good all round. A. Dyer - June 2019
All accommodation choices were very good. Our luggage and personal transfers were all carried out as arranged. F&S - June 2018
All went to plan - would recommend. B&S - June 2018
"I enjoyed fine views in peaceful countryside which is remote with small towns, all with their unique character at the end of each day. Celtic Trails is probably the best!" Jack Hutchinson - July 2016
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