This circular route covering many of the main Borders towns, as well as linking the four great Border abbeys on foot, is now complete. The route can be walked in sections from Kelso to Jedburgh, Jedburgh on through Denholm to Hawick, and Hawick to Selkirk, Selkirk to Melrose, and Melrose through to Kelso via Dryburgh completing the loop. This route is ideal for a long distance walker or a leisure walker on a short break, and it takes in the wonderful Borders countryside with spectacular views, catch a glimpse of wildlife and enjoy the outdoors.
Melrose to Kelso 18miles/29km
Relatively flat and easy terrain, this section of the route offers scenic countryside on the northern side of the River Tweed, passes the Temple of the Muses and the Rhymer's Stone. Offering a range of possibilities, this is the longest section of the route.
Kelso to Jedburgh 12miles/18km
This is a fairly flat and reasonably easy walk, largely beside the River Teviot. There is one moderate climb towards the end of the section along the Roman Road, Dere Street, followed by a gradual descent into Jedburgh.
Jedburgh to Hawick 13miles/20km
This is a mixed walk, with a fairly steady climb from Jedburgh Town Centre and later a steep section up the side of Merlin Wood onto the side of Black Law. There follows a gradual descent through mainly agricultural land to the village of Denholm and into Teviotdale where the route follows the north bank of the River Teviot into Hawick
Hawick to Selkirk 12miles/19km
This section of the Way starts with a long, steady climb out on to Drinkstone Hill and into typical Border hill farming countryside. The route then drops down into the valley of the Ale Water near the village of Ashkirk and then proceeds by way of the old track known as the Thief Road over The Woll golf course. At Hartwoodmyres the route passes through the forest and continues to Selkirk.
Selkirk to Melrose 10miles/16km
This section of the Way climbs out of Selkirk to cross Selkirk Hill, which is a haven for wildlife and flowers. Then the route gradually rises through farmland to Cauldshiels Loch by using one of the Borders ancient drove roads. A short road section descends down to the River Tweed by Abbotsford House where the route follows the south bank of the river to Melrose.
The route is waymarked throughout, in both directions with an 'AW' symbol denoting 'Abbeys Way'. Leaflets and details on transport links between the sections are available for all the stages and can be collected from one of our Visitor Information Centres, contacting us 01835 863170, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by downloading a pdf leaflets from Scottish Borders Council site.