St Cuthbert's Way - Part 1

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We start the first part of our journey along the St Cuthbert's Way at Melrose Abbey, a 12th Century Cistercian foundation that is now a magnificent ruin. We leave the town and start a gradual climb onto the open hill, heading for the Eildon Hills, via a long flight of stairs, with convenient rest points. Following a clear path and admiring the views along the way, we soon reach the saddle between the two main Eildon Hills, where an optional excursion to the top of Mid Eildon comes highly recommended for views, though hold onto your hat!

Leaving the saddle, we descend to the woods of the Buccleuch Estates for a lovely walk through mature broadleaved and coniferous trees that are alive with wildlife of many species.(Watch out for the fairies who are said to have spirited 'Thomas the Rhymer' away to Elfland from here!) Passing through a small plantation we reach the village of Bowden, now a conservation area, where refreshments can be purchased.

From the village we head for Bowden Kirk, although just slightly off our track, unless you are accompanied by a dog, where we have to make a detour and pass it. Following the Bowden Burn, we head towards Newtown St Boswell, where after a short road section into the town, we leave it to walk through 'The Glen', a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with over 200 species of flowering plants, herbs and grasses recorded so far. Onto the riverbanks of 'The Tweed' we walk to a super viewpoint to record our steps so far, looking back to the Eildon Hills, then it's onto Dryburgh footbridge, where a detour can be made to visit Dryburgh Abbey, the William Wallace statue or the Temple of the Muses - an open gazebo.

The final stretch of this walk continues along the riverbank, on an undulating path with many steps and footbridges crossing where the ground has been washed away with winter floods, to reach the village of St Boswells. From here we can use public transport to return to Melrose for a small fee.

Scotland - South Scotland - Scottish Borders - Tweed Valley


Ancient Monument, Birds, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, National Trust, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland