Category Archives: St. Cuthbert’s Way.


St. Boswells – Mounthooly.     


Our lovely hosts gave us a lift to the bridge on the Tweed where we left off yesterday.

Forgot to mention in the last post that I’m with my mate from school days, we meet up for a long distance walk every year – though these are getting shorter.

With all the rain in the night the river was running a good foot higher and the paths muddy. The morning was dry and the day remained so, only just!

Good progress was made along the river bank. We met a version of Two Blondes Walking   [if you know the reference!]  with a group of primary school kids. There was lots of interest along the way – particularly the pumping station up to an old house. To save the maids carrying the water up they had installed a pumping station using mule power in the upper room. The water from the spring looked crystal clear.Climbing slightly away from the the river we came to the hamlet of  Maxton, a cluster of typical Scottish workers’ cottages. We reached the start of a few miles along the line of the Roman Dere Street. At its highest point  there is a stone commemorating The Battle Of Ancrum fought here in 1544 and the mythical Lilliard –                                                                                                                                                           Fair maiden Lilliard
lies under this stane
little was her stature
but muckle was her fame
upon the English loons
she laid monie thumps
and when her legs were cuttit off
she fought upon her stumps.
We had good views back to yesterday’s Eildon Hills, in fact they remained in the background for several more days. Relief came at the end of this as we dropped into forest and the lovely Birdhouse Cafe in the atmospheric Woodside walled garden, This is how cafes should be – walker friendly, warm and comfy, relaxed atmosphere and excellent fare. Would be perfect on a sunny day with it’s outside seating. A stretch of walking by the River Teviot provided a pleasant end to the day.  Our B&B spot was something from the past with an enthusiastic hostess, countless dogs and no hope for any hotel inspector. Suited us fine.




 Melrose – St. Boswells.


                                                                         The Damp Eildons.                                                                                               The walk is named after Cuthbert a 7th-century saint, a native of the Borders who spent his life in the service of the church. He began his work at Melrose Abbey. He achieved the status of Bishop and when he died he was buried on Holy Island.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunny evening in Melrose, a great little town with it’s Abbey and main street full of interesting shops and pubs. There was an interesting clock in the main street with an inscription to a past worthy GP,  why have I not achieved this status?

                                                                                                                                                                                  The next morning we woke to the sound of rain and it was to stay with us all day. Full of a full Scottish breakfast, having picked up The St. Cuthbert waymarks, we tackled the steep climb up into The Eildon Hills on a muddy path through the gorse.

They like to keep Melrose clean and tidy – a sign on leaving the village…..

At the col in the hills we spared ourselves the climb up to the higher top and it’s view-marker – there were no views.

Down the other side damp woodlands and lanes took us to the Dryburgh Arms in Newton St. Boswells for refreshment and respite from the rain. A decision was made to use the afternoon and walk the next three miles along the bank of the River Tweed and shorten tomorrow’s section. This proved to be a delight. Sand Martins were prolific catching insects above the water. The fly fishermen were having less success with the Salmon.

                                                                               Fly fishing.

The River Tweed.

    The River Tweed.

Using the excellent local bus service we were soon back in St. Boswells and our B&B. We made the mistake of ordering a Chinese takeaway, delivered, it was dire but we escaped any subsequent ‘problems’.