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 Done
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 6½-8 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.


Click to find organised Borders Abbeys Way walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.


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.


Users' walk reports for the Borders Abbeys Way

There are 193 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Borders Abbeys Way. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 6 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
All done in 4 days  revalation 20/08/2021  4
Wet Borders Abbey Way  paulodipaulio 26/08/2020  1
Borders Abbeys Way Section 3 - Nisbet to Melrose (2016)  nigheandonn 10/12/2016  1
Abbeys, Daffodils, Lambs and Blisters  Purple 08/04/2014  1
Borders Abbeys Way Section 2 - Hawick to Nisbet (2016)  nigheandonn 26/11/2016  0
Borders Abbeys Way Section 1 - Melrose to Hawick (2016)  nigheandonn 19/06/2016  0

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Walking can be dangerous and all walkers must take personal responsibility for their own safety. You should always carry a backup means of navigation and not rely on a single phone, app or map. Walkhighlands strives to provide accurate information but cannot accept responsibility for changes, errors or omissions.