Full day rides
Looking for an enjoyable off-road day ride in the South of Scotland? Then you've come to the right place. The following are just some initial suggestions. Once you've tried these, why not look at the map showing all the South of Scotland Countryside Trails routes and plan your own ride?
A truly spectacular circular route, steeped in history. From Peebles, climb between the twin dykes of the old drove road from Gypsy Glen up to Kailzie Hill and Kirkhope Law. The views are well worth the puff climbing up! For a shorter version, follow the new path which branches off at the southern end of the forest back down to The Glen. Alternatively, continue south on the old drove road over Birkscairn Hill around the east side of Stake Law. Below Banks Burn, follow the grass path east past Glenshiel Banks to pick up the track which leads towards Traquair. Past Glen House, turn up the signed track at the gamekeepers cottage to link on the far side of the wood with the shorter route which came down from Yellow Mire. Follow the lovely grass path which crosses the burn, skirting around the east side of Orchard Rig. Take your pick of forest tracks back through Cardrona to the toilets/car park, and the B7062 back to Peebles.
This enjoyable ride between the Tweed and Yarrow Valleys never fails to disappoint. Park at Traquair Village Hall, or the Forestry Commission mountain bike car park just before Tweed Bridge south of Innerleithen. Take the B709 south for a short way over Fingland Bridge, follow fingerposts through Damhead and climb up the lovely grassy track to Glengaber. Continue east then south on the signed path, climbing up to Peatshank Head, from where a grassy track leads north of Cat Craig down to Old Tinnis. Follow A708 (usually very quiet) east to Yarrowford. Turn north at the fingerpost past the village hall following the Minch Moor Road back to Traquair. For a longer ride, park at Bowhill and link through to the Minch Moor Road at Yarrowford.
Parking as above. From the village hall, follow Minch Moor Road (also southern Upland Way at this point) uphill over the Minch Moor through to Yarrowford. As you drop down off the hill on a stony section with old stumps of beech trees on your left (east side of the track, forest on the west), follow the track east through the trees, through a gate (should all be waymarked), turning north to cross the Gruntly Burn leading onto a lovely track which follows the burn north to the head of the valley (gorgeous canter right the way along here). Past the old chicken sheds, cross through the gap in the remnant dyke and climb up the steep hill (stopping to admire the view rather than because you are out of puff!!!) to join the Southern Upland Way either at Four Lords Lands, or any point west of this. Turn west on the SUW to rejoin the Minch Moor Road at Hare Law, back down to Traquair.
4. Fanns Ride (Buccleuch Rides, information pack from Visit Scotland)
Circular loop south from Ettrickbridge offering spectacular riding, climbing gently on a clearly defined track through farmland onto open moor. The old steading at Fanns is a lovely place for a picnic lunch before riding on past Outer Huntly, through the forest and along a grass track to Middlestead. Ford the River Ettrick just beyond Oakwood Mill and return to Ettrickbridge on enjoyable tracks via Bowhill, Shielshaugh and Fauldshope.
5. WitchieKnowe – Black Andrew Wood (Buccleuch Rides, information pack from Visit Scotland)
The northern loop from Ettrickbridge climbs up an unfenced quiet lane to the watershed with the Yarrow Valley, where a grass track runs along the spine of the hills linking onto Duchess’ Drive above Bowhill. For a shorter route, cut back from here to Ettrickbridge. For a longer ride, carry on through Black Andrew Wood, past Newark Castle and Bowhill back to Shielshaugh, Fauldshope and Ettrickbridge.