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Three Brethren via Selkirk to Abbotsford

This section opens up an alternative and perhaps a more popular route that is full of Sir Walter Scott connections, taking the Way past the famous courthouse where Scott was Depute-Sherriff then towards countryside that falls within the Abbotsford Designed Landscape. Much of the land in the latter part of this section was in the ownership of Sir Walter during the height of his literary career.

The section is from the Three Brethren to Abbotsford and is 10 miles / 16.5 km. This is on hill and grass paths with some farm and forestry tracks and town walking in Selkirk.

The Three Brethren

The Selkirk route option starts from the three cairns and heads almost due South down hill towards the Long Philip Burn below. Shortly the path crosses a track that runs from Broadmeadows to Yair, but do not be tempted to divert from the southerly track.

Long Philip Burn Reservoir to south of Peat Law

As the path descends it reaches the Burn and starts to turn to the left and proceeds in a SE direction towards trees and a track that develops as it gets closer to the Philiphaugh Farm.
As the way reaches the A 708 Selkirk to Moffat road the way is close to Selkirk. Exit onto the road and immediately there is a "Y" junction, take to the right hand fork and walk up to the corners at the Selkirk Rugby Ground.

Forest walk on way to Philiphaugh Farm

Having crossed the Ettrick River the final stage into the centre of Selkirk is on pavement climbing steadily all the way. As the route rounds a "Z" bend with a grass green on the left the way soon passes the archway of the Haining Estate, at this point the Borders Abbeys Way becomes common with the Sir Walter Scott Way and their waymark signs should now be used for directions(with the exception of the Bridgelands loop) till entering fields east of Lowood.
The Market Square is only a few hundred metres from the archway and the Square is dominated by the statue of Sir Walter Scott and the Courthouse behind.

Selkirk Common and Golf Course

In the centre the Courthouse is open to visitors and there is also the Halliwell Close with Museum and Visitor Centre also worthy of a visit.
If however your intention is to make Abbotsford the end of this walking day, remember that the Way is not straight or level and there is a further 8 miles to walk.

Leave the Market Square there are two routes available.
Selkirk Map

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Option 1 - Leave by the side of the Post Office and climb to the cross roads with the A 7 Selkirk to Hawick road. Just ahead and then to the left the Way returns to grass paths as the route heads NE over attractive countryside.

Option 2 - Leave the Square walking along the High Street passing the monuments to Mungo Park and Fletcher. Having left the built up area the way is on single track road past the French Prisoners Tree and the site of Selkirk Abbey before turning east to rejoin the other option at Shawmount Farm.

Looking to White Law from Lindean Moor

As the Way approaches the Lindean Moor and the mast there are panoramic views for about 270 degrees, back to the Three Brethren and the hills towards Traquair and into the Tweed Valley around Galashiels. To the East the Eildons appear and in the foreground the view is over the old drove road that is shortly to be walked towards Cauldshiels Loch.

East towards Melrose from close to Cauldshiels Loch

Cauldshiels Loch is a hidden gem and very popular for course fishing. Only a very short section of the shore is walked before heading uphill through the trees to emerge at the top with exciting new vistas.
This is very much the countryside that Sir Walter Scott loved and sections of it he designed and developed. This land however is under threat of development, something that causing concern to many locals and heritage bodies. If you are interested in knowing more about this outline proposal visit Save Scott's Countryside.

Borders Abbeys Way Waymarking near to Abbotsmoss

The route is now on single track country road all the way to Abbotsford but the surrounding fields and countryside make up for the harder walking surface. At the "T" junction the route goes left, on the right in the nearby trees is Rhymer's Glen named after Thomas the Rhymer who roamed around this countryside in the 13th century.

Fields between Abbotsmoss and Abbotsford

The final section on the narrow road is a steep descent in the midst of a mixed tree plantation. This leads to a junction with a car park on the left and opposite the visitors entrance to Abbotsford. Try to make the time to stop off at Abbotsford and look around the house and gardens. There is also a tearoom if all you are looking for is some refreshment.
If this is the stopping point for the day, there is plentiful accommodation in both Galashiels and Melrose, only 1 to 2 miles in either direction.

The Way has now returned to a common point at Abbotsford (4a) and from the house it follows the river side round the Tweedbank Community, past the side of Lowood House and out the estate drive next to the Lowood (Bottle) Bridge. This section of the Way runs alongside a part of the Borders Abbeys Way and is waymarked accordingly. By clicking here you can access our more detailed maps of the Abbotsford to Lowood section. Only refer to the parts 4a, 4, 5,6 & 7. To continue with the route into Melrose and then to Lauder click here.

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