Longer trail rides
South of Scotland Countryside Trails offers endless scope for longer trail rides, from a few days to a few weeks. Or even longer if you want. The following offer some ideas to get you started, but you can plan your own route and itinerary to suit yourself, including time to explore the rest of the Borders and have a day or two off from riding if you need a bit of a break from the saddle.
Biggar to Ettrickbridge
Day 3 Traquair/Innerleithen to Ettrickbridge via Glengaber and Witchie Knowe
Day 4 Etrrickbridge to Innerleithen or Cardrona via Bowhill and Minch Moor
There are so many fantastic routes on the Cheviot Hills that it's a shame not to make the most of them. You can stay in one place (such as Cliftoncote Farm south of Yetholm in the Bowmont Valley) and ride or box out for a week or more, or you might like to try the following:
Day 1 Cliftoncote via Clennel Street to Harbottle
Day 2 Harbottle return to Cliftoncote via Clennel Street
Day 3 Day ride from Cliftoncote via Sourhope, across the border to Mounthooly, north along the College Valley, returning via Trowupburn to Halterburn, Burnhead and Primsidemill to Cliftoncote
Day 4 Hownam and Dere Street
Day 5 Day ride from Wooler Common
Cross Borders Drove Road
Most riders interested in riding the Cross Borders Drove Road are probably better starting off at West Linton, unless you can get someone to drop you off at Harperrig, or don't mind riding along the main A70 to get to Harperrig. Otherwise, from West Linton, you can ride up to the regional border at the Cauldstane Slap, then retrace your hoofprints back down to Baddinsgill, and follow the clearly waymarked track via Stonypath to circle back down to West Linton.
Ride through the village of West Linton on the B7509, following the waymarked route over Broomlee Hill, around the back of Kaimes estate, through to Halmyre, where you will link back onto the old drove road through Cloich to Peebles, and then on to Traquair, Yarrowford - and if you've still got the energy, to Hawick.
If you're still game for more, how about carrying on west along the Romans and Reivers Route to Ae Forest in Dumfries and Galloway - an entirely different experience to the Cross Borders Drove Road.
Day 1 Ae to Moffat
Day 2 Moffat to Eskdalemuir
Day 3 Eskdalemuir to Hawick
The Full Whammy!
Starting at Ae, in Dumfries and Galloway, you can follow the SOSCT Romans and Reivers Route east via Moffat to Eskdalemuir and Hawick. Link through to the Cheviots via Jedburgh. If you still want more, ride along The Street from Hownam soth across the border to Alwinton, then turn north again up Clennel Street to Cliftoncote Farm in the Bowmont Valley near Yetholm.
If you're still game for more, you could turn west from Cliftoncote back via Jedburgh to Hawick, and then north via Buccleuch Rides to Ettrickbridge, where you can link back with other routes summarised above. Component parts of this full route are:
- Ae-Moffat (entirely hard forest track and minor public road)
- Moffat – Eskdalemuir (virtually all on hard forest track. Note that section immediatley east of Garrogill is very steep and in places stony, you will probably need to dismount and lead, no alternative as yet negotiated.)
- Eskdalemuir – Roberton/Hawick. Hard forest track most of the way from Eskdalemuir to Craik, east of which pleasant grassy tracks and very quiet minor lanes.
- Hawick – Jedburgh. Scottish Border Council responsible for development of this section of route, mainly on quiet lanes.
- Jedburgh – Cliftoncote, Yetholm
- Cliftoncote to Alwinton/Harbottle via The Street
- Harbottle back to Cliftoncote via Clennel Street
- Cliftoncote to Hawick taking northern arm of Jedburgh circular
- Hawick to Ettrickbridge (Hawick circular route is off road, link to Ettrickbridge mainly road)
- Ettrickbridge to Traquair
- Traquair to Peebles
- Peebles to West Linton via Cloich Forest and old Drove Road or Peebles to or Biggar via John Buchan Way and Broughton
Note that there is currently no link between Biggar and Ae. To make this a complete circular route you would need to follow alternative Tweed Trails (or other) routes back to Hawick and then retrace steps to Ae.