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Create your own itineraries

spootsspoots Member ✭✭
Does what it says on the tin, this is a place where you can create your own travel itineraries for anywhere in Scotland!  Here's my first effort:

The Scottish Borders by public transport
The Scottish Borders is a unique region of Scotland, a land of rolling landscapes, astonishing abbeys and babbling rivers.  Here's the best of the region - in three days.

You'll arrive in Edinburgh at around three o'clock or three-thirty.  Take the time to stroll around the city and get some food before boarding a train on the Borders Railway.  Get off at Galashiels or Tweedbank.  There are hotels and other places to stay in Galashiels, Melrose and Selkirk - buses from Gala's interchange will take you into Selkirk, while a bus typically meets trains at Tweedbank to take passengers to Melrose.

DAY ONE: wonderful writers
From either of the three towns, Abbotsford House is easy to reach - this country home, with its gardens, was the residence of Sir Walter Scott.  Stay and have lunch at the café before walking into Tweedbank and catching the X62 bus west to the pretty town of Peebles, where John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps.  Find out more at the John Buchan Story Museum in the town, or board the 91 bus towards Biggar.  Ask to get off at Dawyck Botanic Gardens and take a look round before boarding the bus back into the town.

OVERNIGHT: stay in Galashiels, Melrose, Selkirk, Peebles or Innerleithen

DAY TWO: astonishing abbeys
From the central Borders, journey to Jedburgh.  Jedburgh Abbey is the first abbey you'll encounter on your trip, and it's possibly the grandest.  If time permits, you can also pop into the Jedburgh Castle & Jail Museum in the town.  Another bus will take you back to Melrose.  Have lunch at the Greenhouse Café before visiting Melrose Abbey, which dominates the town.

OVERNIGHT: stay in Galashiels, Melrose, Selkirk, or St Boswells

DAY THREE: Borders bonanza
From your hotel, journey out to Newtown St Boswells.  Ask to get off at the Garden Centre.  After crossing the main road (the A68), walk up a lane that will take you past a Donkey Sanctuary and eventually to a green bridge with great views over the River Tweed.  From here, there's a Victorian Folly to explore, then, turn right at the end of the bridge and follow the signs to Dryburgh Abbey, a beautiful, secluded ruined abbey that's very photogenic.  Walking to the abbey takes about half an hour.

Afterwards, return to the bus stop on the edge of Newtown St Boswells the way you came.  You have a choice of what to do with the rest of the afternoon.  Either:

-get the 52 or 67 bus to the lovely, well-sited Borders town of Kelso, where you can walk to the beautiful stately home of Floors Castle on the edge of the town, and visit the smaller Kelso Abbey in the centre of the town

-get the 51 or 52 bus to Lauder, where you can visit the grand 16th-century home of Thirlestane Castle, the residence of the Duke of Lauderdale, during the summer months

-return to the central Borders, and get the bus to Selkirk and explore the town 

OVERNIGHT: stay in Galashiels, Melrose, Selkirk, St Boswells, Kelso, Lauder or Earlston

The next day, get the train back up to Edinburgh.  Consider stopping off at Stow - formerly Stow of Wedale - on the way, a Borders village with its own railway station, a café, and a picturesque packhorse bridge over the river of Gala Water.

BUS PROVISO:
Getting to Kelso or Jedburgh from the central Borders (i.e. Galashiels or Melrose) may require a change at St Boswells.  Buses in the region are almost entirely run by Border Buses (https://www.bordersbuses.co.uk/timetables).  Not all routes run on Sundays.  Bus route 91 is operated by BARC Coach Hire: https://www.travelinescotland.com/pdfs/timetables/BODO091.pdf

During the summer months, the council-run Border Weaver serves Abbotsford: https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/downloads/file/1706/bus_timetable_2016

Train times: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/assets/download_ct/sr1705_newcraighall-tweedbankv2.pdf

(p.s. does anyone know of any famous monument harder to get to by public transport than Smailholm Tower?  I realise that you could probably broker a deal with your bus driver to drop you off at the road end, but I wouldn't like trying)
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