This guidebook to the Border Country region in Scotland and north Northumberland contains 46 day walks, 5 long distance routes and 7 town trails in the broad uncrowded hills of the Southern Uplands, Cheviots, Tweeddale and Teviotdale, Ettrick Forest and the Tweedsmuir Hills. From gentle ambles to harder hill walks there are walks here to suit all.



Recommended months are April to October.


Melrose, Kelso, Jedburgh, Yetholm, Selkirk, Wooler, Hawick, Moffat, St Mary’s Loch


Varied – suitable for the committed mountain walker to the leisurely valley stroller. All routes graded for difficulty.
Must See

Must See

Wild solitude of the Cheviots; historic castles, pele towers and stone circles; Ettrick Horseshoe; Berwick-upon-Tweed trail
1 Jun 2005
6 Oct 2010
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.7cm
  • Overview

    Between England and Scotland lies the solitude of an upland area which, though neglected by rambler and mountain walker alike, offers a wealth of adventure to both. The Borders region of Scotland (comprising the districts of Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Ettrick and Lauderdale, and Tweeddale) and the northern fringes of Northumberland constitute the landmass known as the Borders covered in this guidebook.

    This Borderland has a character of its own, manifest not only in the green and rounded hills, the glens and bubbling burns, but also in Border legend poetry and music.

    The 46 walks in this guidebook have been planned to suit all tastes, whether they are those of the committed mountain walker or the leisurely valley stroller. They are arranged in geographical groups with one base covering several walks, which is handy as it reduces the need to continually hunt for overnight accommodation.

    The Border Country is divided into five chapters and each one is geographically different from the others. The chapters cover mountainous and hilly sections of the region as well as routes of a gentler nature. At the end of the guidebook there are brief route suggestions for five long distance walks plus seven town trails.

    Chapter 1 covers 16 walks in the Cheviot range of the hills, lonely and isolated and unchanged over centuries. Chapter 2 describes 11 walks in the romantic valleys of the Tweed and its largest tributary, the Teviot, while Chapter 3 follows in the footsteps of the literary giants of the Borders’ past, with nice walks in the Ettrick Forest. Chapter 4 comprises of 10 walks in the massifs of the Moffat and Manor Hills.

  • Contents

    The Border Hills and Southern Uplands
    Climate and Weather Patterns
    Flora and Fauna
    History: Time Charts
    Public Rights of Way
    Using the Guide
    Special Interests Table
    Clothing and Equipment
    Chapter 1 The Cheviot Hills
    Walk 1 Early Christianity and Iron Age Forts
    Walk 2 The Cheviot
    Walk 3 Mountains, Crags and a Waterfall
    Walk 4 A Gentle Introduction to Cheviot’s Foothills
    Walk 5 Up and Down the Cheviot Hills
    Walk 6 A Border Foray over White Swire
    Walk 7 The Lure of the Hen Hole
    Walk 8 The Schil, Guardian of the College Valley
    Walk 9 To the Changing Summit of Cheviot
    Walk 10 By Clennell Street to Windy Gyle
    Walk 11 A Walk into the Sixth Century BC
    Walk 12 By the ‘Clattering Path’ to Iron Age Forts
    Walk 13 A Redundant Reservoir to Celtic Hilltop Forts
    Walk 14 In the Footsteps of Agricola’s Legions
    Walk 15 The Iron Age and the Romans Inspired this Walk
    Walk 16 Border Line and Miners’ Road over Carter Fell
    Chapter 2 Tweeddale and Teviotdale
    Walk 17 A Sea View Figure-of-Eight
    Walk 18 Two Castles and a Keep
    Walk 19 A Walter Scott Connection
    Walk 20 Dryburgh Abbey and the Winding Tweed
    Walk 21 Three Peaks (Trimontium) above Melrose
    Walk 22 Three Brethren and Border Mischief
    Walk 23 The Cheese Well and the Bear Gates of Traquair
    Walk 24 Venerable Beech and Waterloo Monument
    Walk 25 An Iron Age Fort, Roman Signal Station and Covenanter’s Pulpit
    Walk 26 A Druids’ Stone Circle, Castles Most Sombre and a Rail Bed
    Walk 27 ‘Bundle and Go’ – a Reivers’ Cry
    Chapter 3 Ettrick Forest
    Walk 28 In Search of an Army’s Pay Chest
    Walk 29 Pele Towers and an Italian Balloonist
    Walk 30 Fair St Mary’s and Literary Giants
    Walk 31 ‘That’s the Way for Billy and Me’
    Walk 32 A Drovers’ Way
    Walk 33 ‘A Glacialist’s Walk’
    Walk 34 The Ettrick Horseshoe
    Walk 35 By Forest and Fell over Ettrick Pen
    Walk 36 An Eagle’s Eye View of the Moffat Water Valley and the Tweedsmuir Hills
    Chapter 4 The Tweedsmuir Hills
    Walk 37 Two Dramatic Waterfalls
    Walk 38 Dark and Deep Loch Skeen
    Walk 39 A Waterfall, a Loch, a Gorge and Surrounding Summits
    Walk 40 ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’ – 9000 Years Ago
    Walk 41 On the Edge of Blackhope’s Glacial Glen
    Walk 42 A Walk of Two Halves – Equally Appealing, Distinctly Different
    Walk 43 Broad Law – the Borders’ Highest Mountain
    Walk 44 Broad Law plus Cramalt Craig
    Walk 45 A Walk Through Time
    Walk 46 Benign Surroundings Hide a Dark and Dangerous Past
    Long Distance Walks and Town Trails
    The Pennine Way
    The Alternative Pennine Way
    The Southern Upland Way
    St Cuthbert’s Way
    The Borders Abbeys Way

    Appendix 1 Glossary
    Appendix 2 Bibliography
    Appendix 3 Useful Information
    Appendix 4 Summary of Walks

  • Maps

    OS 1:25,000 Explorer: OL16 - The Cheviot Hills sheet 338

    OS 1:50,000 Landranger: sheet nos. 67, 72, 73, 74, 78, 79, 80, 81,

    OS 1:25,000 Pathfinder: 460, 474, 484, 486

    Harvey: 1:40,000 Superwalker - Cheviot Hills; 1:40,000 Walker’s Route - St Cuthbert’s Way; 1:40,000 Peebles Manor Hills 7 St Mary’s Loch

    Forestry Commission - Scotland: Craik Forest Walks & Cycle Trails

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    Feb 2018

    Walk 23:

    Page 138 at the end of the second paragraph after “ ie north” new sentence, “The walk now follows a clearly defined forest road leading downhill to the public road in the valley floor.”

    Page 138, paragraph 4: There is no longer an “open flank of Bold Rig”. Both sides of this track are densely planted replace paragraph 4 with the following description:

    “Descend with the forest road for 1 1/2 miles (2.4km). First northwest then north past Bold Rig to a T junction. Turn sharp right on the road leading initially southwest then south before turning back northeast and north. There is a pleasant plantation of hardwoods on the right hand side of the road here, alongside Bold Burn. Keep to the left at the next junction, continuing downhill and north for a pleasant 1 1/4 miles (2km) to reach an engineering works and a group of wooden and modern houses at Glenbenna and the junction of the Forest Road with the public road (D31).”

    Walkerburn House no longer houses the Scottish Museum of Textiles

    Please note Map on page 137 is incorrect as you do not descend on the west flank of the burn to Glenmead. Follow route description.

    Thanks to Patricia for this update.

  • Reviews
    'This book has all the hallmarks of a Cicerone guide book. It is excellent value for money and will take the walker safely across the miles of Border lands it explores. Alan Hall is an experienced walker and writer who has produced a masterpiece which takes us through both landscape and time. This is the third edition of the guide and contains:
    • Around 50 routes as well as outlines of a number of long distance trails that cross the region, several new walks, including an ascent of the charismatic coned summit of Rubers Law and a challenging route through lonely Craik Forest. All routes illustrated with OS mappings.
    • Alan has written walking guides which include Scotland and Northumberland. An inquisitive pedestrian, full-time writer and photographer, he has walked in, in addition to Britain, Catalunya and the French Pyrenees, Italy and his favourite island of Crete.
    • I ask myself how he has fitted it all in! The answer is bound to be … devotion and dedication. Another lovely walking guide.'

    (Joyce Wilson, The Keswick Reminder July 2005)

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Alan Hall

Alan Hall is an experienced walker and full-time writer and photographer. Author of ten books on the outdoors, he is the author of several Cicerone guides, including 'The Border Country – A Walker's Guide' and 'Walks in the Lammermuirs'. Alan has explored many parts of the Pyrenees, Italy and Sri Lanka, plus some 20 Greek islands, of which Crete continues to be his favourite island.

View Guidebooks by Alan Hall