Section 6 - Longformacus to Cockburnspath
This last section is from Longformacus to Cockburnspath and is 16 miles / 26 km long. This is on mixed terrain with a few short sections of road work. The landscape changes markedly from moorland to coast.
The Way leaves Longformacus by the minor road to Whitchester and Ellem.
Owl Wood is to the north of the route then the way crosses to the north side of a ribbon wood. As the route reaches the corner of this plantation there are views west to the Cranshaws area and close to the joining of the Whitadder and Dye Waters.
At the end of the wood the way zig zags past a Waymarker sign. Turning
to the right for a few metres takes the walker to a viewing point
above Commonside and here there are views on a
clear day south and west as far as the Eildons. The Way however heads north and left
at the waymarker and descends toward the B6355 Preston to Ellem and
Cranshaws road. Ahead the Way is clearly seen as it start its next
climb out of the valley.
Roughside Wood consists mainly of conifer and runs on the hillside to the east and south of the Whitadder Water. This is a pleasant and main flat 2 km. track and as it starts to descend toward the river you are almost certain to be confronted by endless grouse, clearly the woods are used for breeding.
A further short section along the side of the river brings the Way into
Abbey St Bathans at the crossroads near to the church. This is a tiny
community although the needs of the long distance walker are recognised
with a walkers cottage located opposite the church and directly on the
Just after crossing a small burn the way meets a ford and further
pedestrian bridge. Turn left and to the north following the Whare Burn
soon reaching Edgar's Cleuch and Blakerstone Moor. To the north are
again the Lammermuir Hills with Heart Law and
Bransly Hill ahead and Spartleton slightly to the left. The track is
clearly defined between fencing and runs in a straight line before
turning right across a wide open pasture.
The route is now back onto grass or farm track before reaching a
minor road that runs down ultimately to a junction with the A1
Edinburgh to Newcastle Road. The sound of traffic is heard before the
road is visible and just behind in the East Coast Mainline Railway
The descent through the wood is towards the line of the original
A1 south of Edinburgh. The road had to cross Pease Dean this being
accomplished in 1786 with the opening of the Pease Bridge. This bridge
at the time of opening was the highest bridge in the world at 130 feet
above the water below.
The last 2 miles start along the cliff line to the west of Pease
Bay with the option of looking down on Cove Harbour accessed through a
tunnel made in the 18th century. From the coast the trail heads inland
for a very short distance crossing under the A1 and entering the
village square in Cockburnspath,
the end of the Sir Walter Scott's Way and the Southern Upland Way.
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