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Walking Holidays in Scotland: The Borders 4 Abbeys Way in the Scottish Borders

Updated: Jul 6, 2023


Rich in history, the Borders Abbeys Way is a captivating 107km walk connecting the 4 magnificent Abbeys of Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso, and Jedburgh, along with the notable Abbotsford House, the former residence of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Traversing the historic towns and villages of the Scottish Borders, most of the route is gentle, with only a few rugged hilly sections, making it a top pick for ramblers and history enthusiasts looking for a Scottish walking holiday. Additionally, long stretches alongside the picturesque salmon-fishing Rivers Tweed and Teviot provide ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their peaceful habitat.


Highlights

  • Explore the the four major ruined abbeys of the Scottish Borders

  • Enjoy the scenic beauty along the Tweed and Teviot rivers

  • Visit Abbotsford House, the former residence of Sir Walter Scott

  • Do some wildlife spotting along the more remote stretches

The Route

The route is divided into five-six day walks, covering a circular route of 107km that link all four abbeys. Divided into five stages, each stage concludes in an attractive town: Jedburgh near the English border, the old mill towns of Hawick and Selkirk, picturesque Melrose, and Kelso with its impressive Georgian buildings surrounding a charming cobbled market square.


The 5 Stages of the Borders Abbeys Way

Here are the stage descriptions with their respective lengths and estimated times:


1. Jedburgh to Hawick: 20.75km, 5-6 hours

2. Hawick to Selkirk: 19.75km, 5-6 hours

3. Selkirk to Melrose: 16.75km, 4-5 hours

4. Melrose to Kelso: 28.5km, 6.5-8 hours

5. Kelso to Jedburgh: 21km, 5-6 hours


The circular nature of the Borders Abbeys Way allows you to start anywhere, and Bowden House B&B is conveniently located in Melrose as a perfect place to rest en route. Most of the walk remains at lower elevations, traversing peaceful pastoral countryside, with only a few sections that ascend to rougher terrain, rewarding you with expansive views. You'll enjoy extended stretches along the renowned salmon fishing rivers, the Tweed and the Teviot. Additionally, all the towns along the route have excellent bus services, providing direct links between the start and end points of each stage. The Borders Abbeys Way is clearly signposted throughout, offering a straightforward and stunning walking holiday in Scotland.


Scottish Walking Holidays at Bowden House B&B

With a hearty breakfast, packed lunches on request and luggage transfer Bowden House B&B is the perfect place to stop off or base yourself if you're walking the Borders Abbeys Way. Spend a night (or 2) here on your next walking holiday in Scotland and enjoy everything the area has to offer.



a walker in the Scottish Borders
Taking a rest on the river Tweed

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