Cross Borders Drove Road

  • Drove road south of Peebles
  • Across the Tweed Valley from Minch Moor
  • Sign at Stewarton
  • Tweed Valley
  • Sign at Cauldstane Slap
  • Craik Forest
  • Gypsy Glen
Distance (km) Ascent (metres) Number of days
82 2165 3 - 5
Start: Little Vantage near Harperrig Reservoir (A70) Finish: Hawick
Linked to other Scotland’s Great Trail(s):
Borders Abbeys Way Romans and Reivers Route Southern Upland Way

Route type/direction

Linear.  Traditionally, droving traffic headed south, but the route is equally enjoyable in either direction.

Overview

Steeped in history, this fantastic route is based on the main route taken by the drovers who for hundreds of years drove cattle south from Falkirk and Crieff trysts to markets south of the border.  Winding its way along tracks and informal paths over the rolling hills and through the sheltered glens and woodland of the Tweed Valley, the Cross Borders Drove Road offers great variety in scenery, surfacing, cultural and other interest.  From purple heather-cloaked grouse moor and idyllic glens where the drovers stopped for a wee dram to historic castles and stately homes, there’s something to appeal to everyone.  All the gates, bridges and other facilities along the route were designed specifically to accommodate horse riders as well as walkers.  Mountain bikers may also enjoy some sections.

Highlights

  • following in the footsteps of the drovers
  • walking/riding between the original parallel dykes built to stop cattle straying e.g. between Peebles and Kirkhope Law
  • constantly changing scenery and spectacular views
  • hidden valleys such as Fingland Burn, between Peebles and West Linton

Be aware

  • the route through Peebles is not waymarked, and is on tarmac road.
  • the section between the A70 and the top of the Pentlands is not as horse-friendly as the remainder of the route
  • some boggy sections between Harperrig Reservoir and Cauldstane Slap on the west of the Pentlands

The challenge

Although generally well waymarked and mainly on clearly defined paths and tracks, the route intersects with a lot of other local paths. This can cause confusion so it’s important to carry a map.  Climbing up from Gypsy Glen, heading south from Peebles, will exercise your heart and lungs, as will the Minch Moor from Traquair or Yarrowford.  It’s worth the puff!.

There are suggested half and full-day rides based on Cross Borders Drove Road and other linked routes here.

Accommodation

Walkers and cyclists can choose from a variety of accommodation in West Linton, Peebles, Traquair, Innerleithen, Yarrowford, Selkirk and Hawick.  Horse and rider accommodation is available at Dunsyre, Peebles, Innerleithen, Ettrickbridge, Shirk and Hawick. Visit this page for details.

Support services

None are dedicated to this route, but it’s worth trying Walking Support.

Public transport

There are regular bus services to West Linton, Peebles, Inebriate and Hawick.

For details, visit Traveline Scotland, or, for the entire UK, Traveline. For travel from anywhere to anywhere, try Rome2Rio.

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