The Borders is a land of contrasts - one of Europe‘s most beautiful unspoilt regions. For the walker, it offers space to breathe clean air. There are rolling hills, extensive mature forests, superb river valleys and interesting towns and villages. The region is seamed with tracks and paths so that you can walk for an hour, day or week. For the walker, it offers the space to be invigorated - experience the tranquillity and freedom of walking in the Scottish Borders.
Walking in the Borders is good all year round. In spring the tress are coming into glorious fresh leaf and bird life is extensive and varied. In summer the clear skies and fresh air offer exhilarating conditions. In autumn the colours, on the trees and the heather moors, are truly magnificent. Winter has its own special attractions with perhaps a little snow on the hills tempting the more experienced walker, and still plenty to see in the valley.
When you‘ve got 1,800 square miles of hills, moorlands, valleys, rocky coastline and secluded coves as well as 1,500 miles of paths to play with, it comes as no surprise to learn that walking is the preferred activity of both locals and visitors to the Scottish Borders. Combine spectacular views with an abundance of natural wildlife for all to see and you have a seductive mix to tempt you outdoors. The landscape of the Scottish Borders is characterised by green, rolling hills divided by beautiful river valleys, the most famous of which is the Tweed. The river runs right through the region for nearly 160km/100 miles from its source above Tweedsmuir to the sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. Along or close to the river are many fine walks and in the South-West of the region, the valleys of Teviotdale and Liddesdale, steeped in Borders history, also provide splendid walking with wide views over rounded hills or through the large forests.
To the north and east of the River Tweed, the Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills, are lower and gentler, but provide their own beauty and spectacular views. The Lammermuirs in particular are heather-clad, providing magnificent displays of colour in late summer and autumn.
As the land runs down towards the North Sea coast of Berwickshire, it becomes flatter and the soil richer. This area is called the Merse and is characterised by farms with enclosed fields and small woods.
One of the great delights of walking the Scottish Borders are that there is literally something for everyone. In addition to the wealth of history in the regions, you will find walks featuring sites relating to the Romans, the iron age, the turbulent medieval periods of battles and bloodshed, Victorian development and more modern times. Border heroes including William Wallace, Sir Walter Scott and John Buchan are associated with many routes.
Throughout the region, the emphasis in developing walks has been on quality. We want our visitors to leave feeling the experience has been a good one, and keen to return another time. We recognise that while many people do not come on a specific walking holiday, they do want to enjoy a walk or two, and we have therefore developed an extensive network of easily accessible short walks that often lead to interesting places such as a ruined abbey, tower, castle or scenic outcrop.
There are many publications both free and saleable produced to help you make the most of the walks in the Scottish Borders and surrounding area. All these publications, including guides and maps are available at our VisitScotland Information Centres, call in when here, or call the brochure hotline on 01835 863170.
There are also a number of experienced local walking specialists in the Scottish Borders, should you fancy a more organised tour or just fancy some knowledgeable company along the way. To search for these specialists Click Here