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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
Now follow the B709 road for just under a mile until it reaches the small cross roads at Traquair.
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.