Section 3 - Traquair to Galashiels or Selkirk
The section is from Traquair to
Galashiels or Selkirk
and is 13 miles / 21 km or 10 miles / 16 km.
This is on hill and grass paths with some forestry tracks near to Yair and Philiphaugh.
The Way starts from Traquair climbing South East before turning
East. The start of the section will be slow, but the reward is to stop
and look back over the Tweed Valley and west to the higher Tweedsmuir
The route now enters foresty and the ascent continues close to the
summit of Minch Moor. The pace can now quicken although there is still
the top of Brown Knowe to reach.
Brown Knowe is the second highest hill to ascend on the route at
1719 feet. The views from hear are wonderful in all directions, to the
East the Eildon Hills dominate and this range of three will be present
from many points for a further three days.
To the south no habitation can be seen, the hills are those
surrounding the Yarrow and Ettrick valleys.
From the highest point the route is along an old drove road
descending into a small valley with a thin line of pines. A less
strenuous ascent now follows round the shoulder of Broomy Law and the
final steep climb to the peak of the Three Brethren.
Along this section the view to the NE is towards
Clovenfords a community where Sir
Walter Scott used to stay prior to his move to the Borders. To the
south is the Yarrow Valley with the historic
The Three Brethren stands at 1522 feet. This hill has three large
stone cairns and it was the meeting point of the Yair and Philliphaugh
districts and Selkirk Burgh. This point is ridden to each year
by the Selkirk Standard Bearer and his followers as they ride the town
boundaries as part of the Common Riding tradition.
At this point a decision can be taken to walk via Selkirk (the location of the Courtroom where Walter Scott was Sherriff-Depute)
to Abbotsford or to continue via Yair and Galashiels. The former adds 2 miles / 3 Km to the overall Way.
For details on the various options and their distances click here.
To choose the Selkirk route click here otherwise continue to scroll down the page.
The Way now descends into the Tweed Valley. Much of the next hour
is in the Yair Forest as it quickly descends to a large house on the
banks of the Tweed. A short walk to the east along a private roadway
bring the route to the attractive single track Yair Bridge over the
Cross the Yair Bridge on the Selkirk to Peebles road.
There then follows on the right a farm track ascending out of the Tweed Valley to
the north-east as the route follows the final 3 miles to
Galashiels. The track crosses the private road to Fairnilee House
followed by a steep rise up the track to a ribbon wood.
Soon the walk is over grassland with extensive sheep and cattle
grazing. Looking back there are views over the valley to the Three
Brethren and the Yair Hill Forest. Be sure to take the right fork on
the track close to Calfshaw and head for the pathway between two clumps
of trees close to Hog Hill.
Just past Calfshaw and approaching the top of the climb, the
destinctive Eildon Hills again appear on the horizon to the east. The
route is now only maintained by the feet of walkers and sheep, but
there are regular reminders of the route with official waymarker posts.
The final 2 Kilometres of the section are a gradual descent into
Galashiels, the major commercial
centre of the Border region. The town
sites in the valley of the Gala Water and only the central and western
sides of the town can be seen from this part of the way. After most of
the descent is completed the Way enters the town by the side of the
Academy and close to the swimming pool. To enter the town leave the way
at this point, the main centre being about 1/2 kilometre further NE.