Yarrowford to Hawick

The waymarked Cross Borders Drove Road brings you down the track off the Minch Moor to the village hall in Yarrowford.  Follow the tarmac road south onto the A708, turning left (east) towards Selkirk for several hundred metres.  Although this is an A road, this is also a very rural area so it's relatively quiet, but still take care: there may be timber waggons or farm vehicles.  Cross the Yarrow Water by the road bridge, and then continue due south on the tarmac lane which branches off at North Lodge, instead of continuing along the road towards Selkirk.  From here, the Cross Borders Drove Road coincides with one of the Buccleuch Country Rides through to Hawick.

From the bridge over the Yarrow Water, follow the quiet tarmac road up the hill along the east side of Black Andrew Wood, passing the impressive stone remains of Newark Castle on your left, continuing south-east past several cottages to the main entrance to Bowhill.  Turn right up the tarmac drive, and then left on a woodland track signed as Buccleuch Country Ride which skirts the east side of Upper Lake.  Fork half-left along the same waymarked track, heading south-east, which will bring you out at the south-east corner of the wood at Gillkeeket.  Cross straight over the road, keeping the buildings on your left, and follow the farm track down to the Ettrick Water.  There's a narrow footbridge for walkers, and a ford immediately upstream for riders to cross the river.  If the river is in spate and the ford is too deep, riders will need to divert along the B7039 via Carterhaugh Bridge to the west.  Otherwise, after crossign the river, go through the waymarked gate onto a fenced path along the edge of the field which leads you through the middle of the steading at Oakwood Mill onto the B7009.

Cross straight over the road onto a stony track which climbs east between fields, continuing straight ahead along the road to Middlestead, where wooden fingerposts sign the Cross Borders Drove Road south-west through the steading onto a stoned farm track.  Keep following this farm track south-west.  Where the track ends at the entrance to a field, walkers may choose to climb over the stile in the fence to the south  follow the footpath which runs parallel to the northern edge of the wood, waymarked as the Border Abbeys Way.  Horse riders and cyclists should continue through the field gate, following the rough track through the field to a bridge over Middlestead Burn, which loops back to rejoin the Borders Abbeys Way through a gate at the south west corner of the field.  A stoned track (not shown on older maps) links back to the forest road.  (Note: anyone following the Cross Borders Drove Road north rather than south needs to look out for this track branching off the main forest road on the bend, the waymark post is not always clear to see!).

Turn left (south) along the forest road, then right (south-west) at the T-junction, continuing along the track, ignoring the right fork, to join the public road south of Hartwoodmyres.  Turn left (south-east) along the quiet minor road to the sharp bend at Wollrig.  The waymarked Buccleuch Country Ride continues east along the road to New Headshaw before turning south up the stony track through Woll, and then west along the public road north of th Ale Water to Woll golf course.  Alternatively, walkers may prefer to follow the old drove road, shown on the OS map as "thief road", which branches off the public road just before the bend at Wollrig, through several gates and then follows the edge of Blaeberry Plantation before crossing the golf course.  Lopcal riders sometimes use this route, and there are no physical barriers to stop others doing so, but the short grass across the golf course very easily chews up in wet weather so riders and cyclists need to be particularly careful to avoid damage if they are to remain within their access rights.

South of Woll golf course, the Cross Borders Drove Road, Borders Abbeys Way and Buccleuch Country Ride all follow the same route along a clearly signed track which crosses the Ale Water heading south towards Salenside.  The waymarked route branches left off the main access lane, climbing south-east up the east side of Salenside Plantation onto a broad forest track around the east side of Ashkirk Hill.  Keep on along this track, following the waymark posts onto a broad grass path which climbs further up the hill to a gate in the southern forest fence which leads onto the open hill.  Keep heading in the same direction (south-south-east), climbing up the hill to another gate.

The waymarked Cross Borders Drove Road and Buccleuch Country Ride branch off immediately after the gate, following the field boundary south-west to the gap between the trees, through another gate, past the trig point on Drinkstone Hill, to join the farm track west from Hayside over the northern side of Outer Grey Hill, which leads gradually down to the old drove road south past Whitehaughmoor to the public road which runs east of the Cala Burn.  South of Whitehaugh cottages, a wooden waymark post signs the final section of the old drove road between twin dykes, leading south-west towards Wiltonburn, where the route links with the Romans and Reivers route.

Those headed for Hawick have various options.  The most direct is to follow the Border Abbeys Way, which stays east of Drinkstone Hill, continuing south from the second gate south of the forest  along the broad farm track down to Sunnybank, and then follows the road down into Hawick.  A less direct alternative is to follow the Cross Borders Drove Road to Whitehaugh Cottages then continue south-east along the road down to Wilton Dean and then through the park to the main car park in Hawick, where there is usually ample space for horse boxes and trailers.  Those determined not to miss the last tantalising section of drove road may choose to stay at Wiltonburn, which offers B&B and self-catering accommodation for walkers, cyclists, horses and riders, or turn east along the public road through Wilton Dean into Hawick.