Explore for a Day
Itinerary 2 - Tweed Valley
Itinerary 2 – Tweed Valley
This route follows the course of the River Tweed in an easterly direction as it winds its way towards Melrose. The Tweed valley has an abundance of mature woodland, riverside walks and wildlife to enjoy as well as many historic and cultural sites to visit.
Enjoy the delights of Glentress Forest and watch magnificent birds of prey before stepping back in time and getting a taste of a day in the life of a Victorian printer. Take a leisurely walk through an ancient wooded valley and learn about its wildlife, before visiting the former home of a famous Scottish historical novelist.
Glentress Forest (6)
1.5 miles/2.4 km east of Peebles on the A72 you’ll find the entrance to Glentress Forest on the left. Follow the signs for the Peel car park, which is on the right.
Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Innerleithen (7)
Return to the A72 and turn left towards Innerleithen. 1 mile/1.6 km further on at Cardrona, you’ll pass the turning for the B7062 and the chance to visit Kailzie Gardens, a well-established walled garden; turn right and follow the Kailzie signs for 2.5 miles/4 km. Otherwise, continue for 3.5 miles/5.6 km to Innerleithen. Parking is available outside Robert Smail’s Printing Works on the High Street or around the corner on Leithen Crescent; there’s also a car park situated 5 minutes away on Leithen Road.
Glenkinnon Burn (8)
Continue east along the A72 for 7.2 miles /11.5 km to a roundabout and take the A707 (2nd exit) towards Selkirk. After only 0.2 miles/0.3 km, turn right onto a minor road. Cross the bridge over the Tweed and after 200m turn left into Glenkinnon Burn car park.
Abbotsford House (9)
Retrace your route back to the A707 and turn right towards Selkirk. After 2.7 miles/4.3 km turn left onto the B7060 towards Galashiels. This 2.3 mile/3.7 km stretch of road has one of the most stunning views of the Tweed Valley; after you climb the hill, stop at one of the lay-bys and take a look. At the junction with the A7 turn right, cross the bridge over the Tweed, then immediately turn left onto the B6360. Abbotsford is 2.1 miles/3.4 km further along this road.
6. Tweed Valley Wild Watch, Glentress Forest
Fascinating and educational, the Wild Watch Centre facility at Glentress Forest allows visitors to watch live CCTV pictures of nesting ospreys (May – August) and recorded highlights out of season. Artificial nest platforms have been constructed all over the Tweed Valley Forest Park to attract these magnificent birds back into the Borders to settle and breed. This modern, spacious, well thought-out visitor centre also has a bank of cameras trained on nest boxes, ponds, bird feeders and even bees! After viewing the wildlife, why not explore more of the forest along one of the many walking and mountain bike trails.
Wild Watch Room open daily, 10am – 4pm
Grid reference: NT283397
Tel : 01750 721120
Parking, paths, toilets, refreshments, information, wheelchair access, wildlife watching
7. Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Innerleithen
Listen to thunderous, clanking noises and watch belts and pulleys whirr, as you discover how we used to print everything from news sheets to books in this authentic Victorian print shop. Get your hands inky and have a go at setting and inking your own type, and even get a proof sheet of your efforts. Robert Smail’s Printing Works has changed little since the 1860’s, so you can truly experience a vital part of our industrial heritage and social history by watching hands-on demonstrations throughout the fascinating and entertaining tour of this living museum.
Open April-October, Thurs-Monday 12 noon -5 pm (Sun 1am – 5pm)
Grid reference: NT332367
Tel : 08444 932259
8. Glenkinnon Burn
Glenkinnon Burn is a beautiful place and a rare local example of ancient woodland that’s home to red squirrels, butterflies, insects and many breeding birds. Wild flowers, grasses and mosses can be found here throughout the year. It’s a protected site with over 190 species of flowering plants and over 160 species of lichen; it’s regarded as the finest place in the Borders for woodland lichens. Find out more about the flora and fauna by following the waymarked Biodiversity Trail that starts from the impressive Glenkinnon Oak in the car park. It’s suitable for all ages, takes about 30 minutes and includes some fine viewpoints.
Grid reference: NT438350
Tel : 01750 721120
Parking, paths, information, wildlife watching
9. Abbotsford House
Abbotsford is the former home of Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century historical novelist and poet. Unlike the homes of other great writers, this is a house that the writer himself designed and, as such, uniquely embodies a physical representation of the Romantic Movement that he helped to create. Tour the house or visit the excellent visitor centre with its exhibition about Scott’s life and legacy. Explore the beautiful formal gardens, or take a scenic walk through the wider estate. There’s also a new Family Play Trail inspired by Scott’s novel Ivanhoe that follows a winding route through the trees.
Admission charges to House and Gardens - open daily April to September, 10am-5pm/October to November 10am-4pm.
Free admission to Visitor Centre - open daily April to September 10am-5pm/October to March 10am-4pm.
Grid reference: NT508343
Tel : 04896 752043
Parking, toilets, refreshments, information, wheelchair access