white horse logo

Ruins of Melrose Abbey
Melrose and the ruins of the Abbey

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No 135a - Saturday 16 April 2005
Melrose to Ancrum - 25km.
St. Cuthbert's Way - Scottish Borders

Map: OS Explorer OL44 Tweed Valley - Peebles to St. Boswells at 1:25000
Note: the route is marked on the OS maps and is well signposted

| Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday |

It was a misty drizzly morning. We had a good breakfast and set off before 9am. Melrose was very quiet with few shops open so early. We began the climb onto the Eildon Hills up a long wooden staircase and then continued up a wet muddy path to the misty ridge between two peaks. Well we couldn't see anything more than 50m away, but the peaks did appear in the distance behind us later in the day.

Ruins of Melrose Abbey
Ruins of Melrose Abbey

Staircase at the start of the climb onto the Eildon Hills
Staircase at the start of the climb onto the Eildon Hills

The whole route turned out to be very well sign-posted so that the map was hardly needed to navigate, but it was still good to follow where we were on the map.

The saddle in the Eildon Hills
The saddle in the Eildon Hills
Mist & drizzle on the Eildon Hills
Mist & drizzle on the Eildon Hills

We walked down the south side of the Eildon Hills through some pretty beech woods still shrouded in mist but by the time we had passed through the village of Bowden to the Bowden Burn we had dropped down out of the cloud and slowly the weather began to improve.

Woods to the south of the Eildon Hills
Woods to the south of the Eildon Hills

Dead bush covered in lichen
Dead bush covered in lichen

The Bowden Burn was in spate and we followed it past Newton St. Boswells to its confluence with the Tweed. What an impressive river the Tweed was almost bursting its banks after all the rain and flowing at a tremendous speed for such a big river.

The Bowden Burn in spate
The Bowden Burn in spate
The Bowden Burn flowing into the Tweed
The Bowden Burn flowing into the Tweed

We sat on a seat at a view point overlooking the River Tweed for a drink and could now see the saddle between the two main peaks of the Eildon Hills that we had walked across, but there was still some low cloud lingering on their tops.

The Eildon Hills still with their tops in the cloud
The Eildon Hills still with their tops in the cloud

The River Tweed in flood near St. Boswells
The River Tweed in flood near St. Boswells

We continued to follow the Tweed for about 3km to Maxton and the raw power of the river in flood was quite impressive.

At last the cloud has gone and the Eildon Hills look a bit farther away
At last the cloud has gone and the Eildon Hills look a bit farther away
River Tweed at Mertoun Mill
River Tweed at Mertoun Mill
Mertoun Bridge on the Tweed
Mertoun Bridge on the Tweed
Maxton Church
Maxton Church

From Maxton we made our way across the fields to the route of the Roman road to York called Dere Street. We followed this dead straight route for about 5km until we were opposite the village of Ancrum where we had booked our B&B for the night. The B&B was about 1.5 km off the route in the centre of the village.

Lady Lillard's Stone
Lady Lillard's Stone - a monument to her bravery in battle in 1545

Dere Street stretching away into the distance
Dere Street stretching away into the distance

After a welcome bath at our B&B we went across the village green to the pub for a meal which turned out to be more entertaining than I had expected. There was a large party of young women celebrating a 21st birthday. They were all dressed in fishnet stockings, miniskirts and nurse or police uniform tops. My wife kept me under close supervision all evening.

Dere Street stretching away into the distance
Dere Street stretching away into the distance
Dere Street stretching away into the distance
Dere Street stretching away into the distance

| Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday |