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Section 2 - Tibbie Shiels to Traquair

The section from Tibbie Shiels to Traquair is 14 miles / 22.5 km. This is almost all on hill and grass paths with only a final short section on a minor road.

St Mary's Loch

Starting out from Tibbie Shiels Inn the Way passes by the St Mary's Loch Sailing Club pavilion then keeps to the east shore of St Mary's Loch.
It was in the Tibbie Shiels Inn that Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg met, and this inn was renowned for the literary conversations that took place in past times.
Throughout this initial section there are fine views across the loch.

Sailing yachts on St Mary's Loch

St Mary's Loch takes its name as does its neighbouring Loch of the Lowes from the old church of St Mary of the Lowes. Mention of this church dates back to 1292.
The Loch is 4.9 kilometres, slightly over 3 miles, in length and has a depth of 40 metres. This is the largest natural loch in the South East of Scotland.

St Mary's Loch close to Bowerhope

St Mary's Loch has the Meggat Water flowing into it close to Cappercleuch. This water flow is now controlled from the large Dam built at Meggat. The dam created a large reservoir to serve some of the water needs of Edinburgh.
In bright summer days the Loch is busy with sailing yachts and sail boards.
Shortly after the yachting centre the path enters a small area of forestation. At its far end the path enters upon a new and slightly higher track to a point just short of Bowerhope Farm. This is a welcomed path improvement and you can find out more by clicking here.

Yarrow River just below the St Mary's Loch weir

The lochside walk following the dog leg close to Bowerhope Farm turns from grass path onto a single lane track, affording easy walking to the end of the Loch. The NE corner is where the Yarrow Water originates, this flowing first to the Ettrick and them to the Tweed on its way to the North Sea.

Dryhope Tower

At the NE corner of the Loch the route crosses the Moffat to Selkirk road near the Douglas Burn and to the SE below the Black Law, the area for the setting of "The Black Dwarf" novel.
Dryhope Tower now in ruin was one of many border towers used to protect the local population against cattle reiving from both the English and adjoining clans.

Douglas Burn at Blackhouse Tower

There now follows a 6 mile (10 Km) walk in a northerly direction to Kirkhouse. This passes Blackhouse Tower, climbs to Blake Muir then descends by the side of Fethan Hill.
At Blackhouse the way crosses the Douglas Burn and a track that has come north west from Craig Douglas. From this point onwards the way is by hill and moorland path.

Traquair Parish Church

The track reaches the minor road joining Traquair with the Gordon Arms in the Yarrow valley just south of Kirkhope. Just below is the parish church of Traquair, which has the burial aisle of the Stuarts, Earls of Traquair.
Now follow the B709 road for just under a mile until it reaches the small cross roads at Traquair.

Traquair SUW Direction Board

This section ends at the small village of Traquair. Close by is Traquair House. The gates of Traquair House are flanked by two stone Bears these being portrayed as Veolan in the Waverley Novel. Within a mile lies the community of Innerleithen on the banks of the River Tweed.

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