As well as being Scotland's Horse Country, the Scottish Borders is known as Scotland's leading short-break destination. It's the ideal place to come walking for a few days, or with your horse for a short break on horseback.
You can stay in one place and ride from there somewhere different every day (all of the Horses Welcome listed hosts can provide suggestions of where to ride from them), or you could do a 2-3 day trail ride returning back to where you started from. The following suggestions will help whet your appetite! Further details of the individual routes are given in the Where to Ride section.
Ettrickbridge, west of Selkirk, is the ideal location from which to explore the clearly waymarked Buccleuch Rides which include circular routes north and south of the Ettrick Valley taking in the best of the Duke of Buccleuch’s Estate around Bowhill, ranging from peaceful parkland and well managed hay meadows to wild moorland. You can stay with your horse at Sunrise, a Horses Welcome host, or over the road at the Cross Keys Inn. A highly recommended weekend or 2-day itinerary:
Saturday/day 1: arrive at Ettrickbridge in time for lunch at the Cross Keys Inn. Set off after lunch on the Fanns Ride (see suggested day rides and further details under Buccleuch Country Rides), riding back to Ettrickbridge mid-evening in time to settle your horse in at Sunrise before you go over to the pub for supper and a well-earned drink.
Sunday/day 2: after a hearty breakfast, set off with a picnic lunch on the Witchieknowe Ride. Depending what time you set off and how fast you ride, you will be back in time to drive home for dinner.
Top quality accommodation for horse and rider at three Horses Welcome hosts (Townhead of Cavers, Wiltonburn and Woodsisde) allows you to take your time enjoying this 26 mile circular riding route over a number of days. There is plenty to see and do for friends and family not interested in riding who want to stay with you.
Day 1: From Peebles via Gypsy Glen to Traquair
Day 2: Traquair via Cardrona to Peebles
Day 1: Traquair to Ettrickbridge via the Minch Moor and Bowhill
Day 2: Ettrickbridge to Traquair via Glengaber and Witchie Knowe
The Cheviot Hills offer some of the best riding in Britain, with miles of historic off-road tracks and truly stunning scenery. You don’t need to be an experienced endurance rider to enjoy these routes – both of those suggested are easy to follow. Start from Cliftoncote Farm in the Bowmont Valley, a Horses Welcome host where you can stay overnight and safely leave your trailer. Leave your worries behind as you climb up Clennel Street to the English border, continuing south via Alwinton to Well House Farm at Harbottle, who will have a three-course meal ready on arrival, with good grazing for your horse and hard feed if you want it. The views are entirely different as you ride back to Cliftoncote the next day on The Street, stopping for a picnic at the England-Scotland border or at one of the many ancient forts on route (Well House will provide a packed lunch if required). If the weather is bad or you want something tamer, there are plenty of shorter circular routes from Cliftoncote or Well House Farm.
Sue Rogers has also developed a variety of other longer circular riding routes on the Cheviots, mainly on the English side of the border. Further details are available by e-mailing email@example.com.