A wonderful new guide written by Mark Porter and published by Cycle Guides Jedburgh entitled Tweed Horizons is available which details four new border cycle rides. The guide is highly informative, free and fits in your pocket. Each ride is detailed with information on what to do and see places to stay and eat and many interesting facts about each area. The thing that grabbed me most about this guide though was the photography. The guide really illustrates the beautiful Borders countryside at its best; this will appeal to everyone not just cyclists. The Borders is a super location for cycling with quiet roads, magnificent
scenery and a multitude of places to stay and eat all with a typical warm Borders welcome thrown in.
The guide covers four new rides:
Tweed & Castles: 25mile (40km) easy moderate ride taking in Cornhill – Coldstream – Norham – Etal – Branxton – Cornhill. This route takes you through stunning scenery passing the 12th Century battle weary Norham Castle and on to the Flodden Fields where the Scottish casualties were high on that day nearly 500 years ago. Well worth a stop is Ford and Etal which has a miniature railway linking the two and a fabulous tea room and pub. The village is immaculate and the inexpensive food is delightful, you might share a pint with a Morris dancer here in the summer.
Kelso via the Bonny Banks: 25 mile (40km) easy/ moderate ride taking in Kelso- Eccles- Birgham- Coldstream – Cornhill. Kelso is a bustling market town with a Flemish style cobbled market square and was once described by Sir Walter Scott as the most beautiful, if not the most romantic village in the whole of Scotland. Once visited few would disagree. There is so much to see and do in Kelso from the magnificent Floors Castle, home to the Duke & Duchess of Roxburghe to the mighty junction pool where the Rivers Tweed & Teviot meet; you may struggle to start your journey!
The route takes you through delightful picture perfect villages where again you will be met with a warm Borders welcome.
Battlefield Trail: 34 miles (55km) moderate difficulty taking in Branxton – Kirknewton – Kirk Yetholm.
The scenery on this route will take your breath away with many 360 degree vistas across the rolling Borders countryside. The route will also take you past Hoselaw Chapel and Hoselaw Loch an important wildlife reserve with the rolling Cheviots in the back ground, a truly inspiring and tranquil spot. You will also visit Kirk Yetholm which sits at the end of the Pennine Way and is a main stage in the St Cuthbert’s Way Walk, a 62km walk from Melrose where St Cuthbert is said to have begun his monastic life to the breath-taking Holy Island where he ended his days. Here you will find the delightful Border Hotel where fine food and beer awaits.
Moorland, Coast & River: the Holy loop: 65mile (104 km) demanding ride taking in Flodden Field – Ford – Doddington – Belford – Holy Island – Berwick – Norham – Colstream – Cornhill – Flodden Field.
The highlight of this ride I would say is the breath taking Holy Island which the guide says you will need to set off early if you wish to take this detour. Crossing the causeway and visiting the island is an absolute delight but make sure you have checked the tide times as you would not be the first to get stranded on the causeway!
This is a fantastic guide detailing some wonderful rides throughout the hidden gem that is the The Borders. The scenery and the people will remain with you forever and keep you coming back again and again and again!
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