A walk in the Borders

As the warmer spring weather finally arrives in Scotland this April, inspiring us all to get outside and explore nature, Senior Visitor Assistant Linsay takes us on a trip south of Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders.

“A day out visiting the Scottish Borders is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh in high season (April-September). The Borders town of Peebles is easily accessible from Edinburgh by public transport or by car, and situated only around 24 miles from Edinburgh, getting there is half the fun! The drive or bus ride takes you through a couple of lovely small villages and through some stunning, picture perfect countryside.

Buses to Peebles: catch the X62 bus from Edinburgh Bus Station which gets you to Peebles in around 1 hour and 10 minutes. Buses run every half an hour, and a single ticket is around £4.50 or £7.99 for a 24-hour unlimited 24 hour pass with Borders Buses. For updates, see their website.

The Scottish Borders is a fantastic place for a good walk and a chance to explore somewhere a little different. As a keen photographer, I always have my camera on hand with me as there is such a range of landscapes to photograph in the Borders, and of course wildlife too!

Walking trails in the Borders

A squirrel in the Borders (Credit and copyright: Linsay Elgin)

There’s nothing like stretching your legs in the beautiful Scottish countryside, and there are many walking trails in the Borders to be explored. Below I have listed a couple of the best places around Peebles to take a leisurely stroll.

River Tweed walk

The town of Peebles offers many walking trails that are easily accessible for everyone, whether it’s a gentle fun stroll or a full days’ walk. One of my favourite walking trails follows the banks of the River Tweed and takes you through woodland and past Neidpath Castle which dates back to approximately 1190. The castle itself is L shaped, and areas of the castle lie in ruin which really adds to its quirky character.

Explore the River Tweed walking route here

Glentress Forest

Glentress Forest (Credit and copyright:  Linsay Elgin)
Glentress Forest (Credit and copyright: Linsay Elgin)

Another one of my recommended areas to walk in can be found around a mile outside of Peebles at Glentress Forest. With a mixture of mountain biking and walking trails it is a perfect way to spend a day outdoors that caters to everyone. Depending on what trail you take there are many information boards providing a brief history of the local area from the Iron Age and what life was like back then.

One of the best things about this forest is the abundance of wildlife and is a great opportunity for taking photographs. A few years back I was very lucky to have been able to spot a native rare red squirrel in this area. Always worth keeping your eyes peeled.

The forest itself provides beautiful surroundings and the tall trees rise up towards the clouds. Even on a weekend visit, the forest makes for a tranquil and peaceful walk, perfect for those who love and are inspired by nature. As for those mountain bike trails, there are plenty of biking tracks to choose from if you fancy an adrenaline rush.

Fungi at Glentress Forest (Credit and copyright: Linsay Elgin)

Glentress Forest has many varied species of trees too including Scots Pine, Douglas Fir and Norway Spruce. The forest has some interesting fungi growing amongst the trees and is always worth having a closer look whilst wandering through, and of course makes for a good photo opportunity.

Explore the Glentress Forest walking route here

A trip to the Scottish Borders makes for a good day out, and are the perfect escape from the busy city life of Edinburgh. The Borders have so much to offer and I highly recommend it to make it part of your itinerary.

Find more of Linsay’s amazing nature photos on her Instagram page, here

The website Walk Scottish Borders is a great resource for exploring the Borders area.

Read our 2017 blog post on distilleries in the Lowlands here.

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