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Section 3 - Traquair to Galashiels or Selkirk

The section is from Traquair to Galashiels or Selkirk and is 13 miles / 21 km or 10 miles / 16 km. This is on hill and grass paths with some forestry tracks near to Yair and Philiphaugh.

Tweed Valley at Innerleithen

The Way starts from Traquair climbing South East before turning East. The start of the section will be slow, but the reward is to stop and look back over the Tweed Valley and west to the higher Tweedsmuir Hills.
The route now enters foresty and the ascent continues close to the summit of Minch Moor. The pace can now quicken although there is still the top of Brown Knowe to reach.

Eildons from Brown Knowe

Brown Knowe is the second highest hill to ascend on the route at 1719 feet. The views from hear are wonderful in all directions, to the East the Eildon Hills dominate and this range of three will be present from many points for a further three days.
To the south no habitation can be seen, the hills are those surrounding the Yarrow and Ettrick valleys.

Looking south towards Yarrowford

From the highest point the route is along an old drove road descending into a small valley with a thin line of pines. A less strenuous ascent now follows round the shoulder of Broomy Law and the final steep climb to the peak of the Three Brethren.
Along this section the view to the NE is towards Clovenfords a community where Sir Walter Scott used to stay prior to his move to the Borders. To the south is the Yarrow Valley with the historic Newark Castle.

Three Brethren Cairns

The Three Brethren stands at 1522 feet. This hill has three large stone cairns and it was the meeting point of the Yair and Philliphaugh districts and Selkirk Burgh. This point is ridden to each year by the Selkirk Standard Bearer and his followers as they ride the town boundaries as part of the Common Riding tradition.

Route Choice
At this point a decision can be taken to walk via Selkirk (the location of the Courtroom where Walter Scott was Sherriff-Depute) to Abbotsford or to continue via Yair and Galashiels. The former adds 2 miles / 3 Km to the overall Way.
For details on the various options and their distances click here.
To choose the Selkirk route click here otherwise continue to scroll down the page.

Yair Hill Forest

The Way now descends into the Tweed Valley. Much of the next hour is in the Yair Forest as it quickly descends to a large house on the banks of the Tweed. A short walk to the east along a private roadway bring the route to the attractive single track Yair Bridge over the Tweed.

Yair Bridge

Cross the Yair Bridge on the Selkirk to Peebles road. There then follows on the right a farm track ascending out of the Tweed Valley to the north-east as the route follows the final 3 miles to Galashiels. The track crosses the private road to Fairnilee House followed by a steep rise up the track to a ribbon wood.

Three Brethren

Soon the walk is over grassland with extensive sheep and cattle grazing. Looking back there are views over the valley to the Three Brethren and the Yair Hill Forest. Be sure to take the right fork on the track close to Calfshaw and head for the pathway between two clumps of trees close to Hog Hill.

Eildon Hills

Just past Calfshaw and approaching the top of the climb, the destinctive Eildon Hills again appear on the horizon to the east. The route is now only maintained by the feet of walkers and sheep, but there are regular reminders of the route with official waymarker posts.

Galashiels

The final 2 Kilometres of the section are a gradual descent into Galashiels, the major commercial centre of the Border region. The town sites in the valley of the Gala Water and only the central and western sides of the town can be seen from this part of the way. After most of the descent is completed the Way enters the town by the side of the Academy and close to the swimming pool. To enter the town leave the way at this point, the main centre being about 1/2 kilometre further NE.

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