Scotland's Great Trails

The Borders Abbeys Way

The Scottish Borders are famed for their magnificent ruined abbeys at Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh, and the more ruinous Kelso. The Borders Abbeys Way is a long distance walk that links all four Abbeys in a circular route of 107km. The walk has five stages, each ending at an attractive town as the route takes in Jedburgh near the English border, the old mill towns of Hawick and Selkirk, picturesque Melrose and Kelso with its impressive Georgian buildings arranged around a cobbled market square.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Jedburgh to Hawick 20.75km 5 - 6 hours
Hawick to Selkirk 19.75km 5 - 6 hours
Selkirk to Melrose 16.75km 4 - 5 hours
Melrose to Kelso 28.5km 6.5 - 8 hours
Kelso to Jedburgh 21km 5 - 6 hours

As a circuit, the route can be started at any point. The walk keeps mostly to lower levels, crossing a peaceful pastoral countryside, with only a few sections that climb higher into rougher ground, rewarded with extensive views. There are lengthy stretches along the River Tweed and the River Teviot, famed for their salmon fishing. All the towns on the route are well served by bus, with direct links between the start and end of every stage.


The Borders Abbeys Way is waymarked throughout and provides fairly straightforward country walking.


Each of the five stages of the way listed above ends at one of the Borders towns with all facilities including a choice of accommodation available.

There is bed and breakfast and hotel accommodation in all five towns.

Kelso, Melrose, Hawick and Jedburgh all have campsites, and Melrose also has a youth hostel.


The five towns along the route are all well served by bus; each of the stages has a direct bus link between the start and finish.

The longest stage - between Melrose and Kelso - can be split by making use of the bus stop at the road end just beyond Clintmains.

Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

The following users have walked the Borders Abbeys Way:

Paul Webster  helenw  christine george  Pearcy  Paderlan  coopar  GEOFFCARSON  lizzynightstar  colin gump  duncanmacdonald  AliBe  joe.cassidy  anxious-ambler  Purple  Janet Burton  choupacha  Janettemair  Dan Scheer  austineal  chrismuirhead  julesG  vixana  theflights  roccoamber  johntherambler  Becs  denrep  smarijsse  rucksackrose  Lhowie  chrismcleary  olav  walk_ltc  Aln09  Scougs  ASJ1712  baranges  josiet1950  paco  grimpeter  vincent47  helen972  Andy Gabe  ggregoire  Bordersboy  Ally60  DebsO  mushy63  Alpine Lass  ron6632  baja  dynamod 

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User reports from the Borders Abbeys Way

Title Author Likes
Abbeys, Daffodils, Lambs and Blisters Purple 0

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.