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Enjoying the view of the Hirsel Lake
Enjoying the view of the Hirsel Lake

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Route No. 778 - Friday 24 May 2019
Coldstream, Hirsel Estate,
circuit of the lake - 1.7km
Scottish Borders . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 339 Kelso, Coldstream & Lower Tweed Valley


My wife & I go walking once a month with a group of friends and once a year we have a short walking holiday together. This year we stayed in a holiday cottage by the River Teviot near Kelso in the Scottish Borders. Today we left the holiday cottage for the last time to drive home, but first we called at The Hirsel Country Park. It is the family seat of the former Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home. On the south western edge of Coldstream there is a long entrance drive off the A697 through The Hirsel Country Park to the car park (map ref. NT 827 403) and visitor facilities. There is a small art gallery, a tea shop and a number of craft shops & workshops. There is an information board with a map of the parkland and the routes of four short walks. We chose the walk around the Hirsel Lake, about 1.7km.

View of the Hirsel Lake from the car park entrance
View of the Hirsel Lake from the car park entrance

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Turning off the drive on to the path around the lake
Turning off the drive on to the path around the lake

Turning to the lake side bird watching hide
Turning to the lake side bird watching hide

After about 100m we turned right off the path to a bird watching hide on the lake side. There was a lovely view of the lake but very few birds.

From the car park we walked about 30m back along the drive towards the main road and then turned right off the drive at a finger post sign to follow a path through woodland around the lake.

Start of the path around the lake
Start of the path around the lake

Entrance to the bird watching hide
Entrance to the bird watching hide

View from the bird watching hide across the Hirsel Lake
View from the bird watching hide across the Hirsel Lake

Fork in the track not long after we left the hide
Fork in the track not long after we left the hide

Nearing the north western corner of the lake
Nearing the north western corner of the lake

Nearing the drive at the north eastern corner of the lake
Nearing the drive at the north eastern corner of the lake

At the north east corner of the lake we came to the drive way to The Hirsel house and across the parkland there was the house itself.

From the hide we returned to the path and continued around the lake. Along the northern side of the lake there were fewer trees and tall reed beds around the edge of the lake.

The track became a narrow path as we walked around the lake
The track became a narrow path as we walked around the lake

Path along the northern side of the lake
Path along the northern side of the lake

The Hirsel House seen from the drive
The Hirsel House seen from the drive

The drive heading back towards the car park
The drive heading back towards the car park

Seat with a fine view of the lake
Seat with a fine view of the lake

We continued back to the car park and the end of our little walk in the sunshine around the lake. We called at the tea shop and then we really did have to leave on the long drive home. We had had a great week's walking in the sunshine (five lovely day in a row!) in the Scottish Borders.

At the drive we turned right to walk along the mown grassland between the lake and the drive, back towards the car park. There was a much more open view of the lake here and a seat in the shade of the trees to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Looking across the lake
Looking across the lake

Returning along the drive to the car park and the end of our walk
Returning along the drive to the car park and the end of our walk

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