A Sunday Stroll… In The Scottish Borders

Wendy takes on the Meigle Circular at Clovenfords

 

First of all, a wee warning: this particular Sunday Stroll around the village of Clovenfords via the Meigle Circular is actually more of a Testing Tuesday Trek!

It’s worth every uphill step for the views of the stunning Scottish Borders countryside, though – and not to mention the well-deserved pint in the Clovenfords Hotel at the end!

The Meigle Circular starts at the Green Path in the centre of Clovenfords in the Scottish Borders – but our first task was finding that elusive Green Path!

Thankfully, the very helpful man in the village shop showed us exactly where the path was tucked away, and from then on it was simply a case of following the signposts for the Meigle Circular or yellow waymarkers on gates and fenceposts.

 

Holly berries, brambles and apples
provide dots of contrasting colour

 

The Green Path took us onto the Green Road, a stretch of lush green grass between Clovenfords and Caddonfoot, with holly berries, brambles and apples providing dots of contrasting colour along the way.

Once we reached the tree-lined Blakehope Burn, the path turned upwards and we began our ascent of Meigle Hill, punctuated by several stops to admire the view.

The route then led us across several fields, climbing all the time until, battling a very strong wind that felt as though it may sweep us off our feet, we reached the summit of Meigle Hill, which is adorned by two large phone masts.

The masts may not look pretty but for the first time in many hikes, I was able to phone home mid-walk!

 

We sheltered behind the
impressive hilltop cairn

 

Apparently, in the wood behind the masts lies Wallace’s Putting Stone, a large boulder left behind by a glacier, but we failed miserably in our attempts to find it so we sheltered instead behind the impressive hilltop cairn for a cup of tea.

The good thing about a long climb uphill is that you have to go downhill at some point and our descent of Meigle Hill was enlivened by a game of ‘spot the sign’ as the superstores in Galashiel’s retail park dominated the Galashiels skyline.

Thankfully, once we turned right half way down the hill, the views were once more only of hills, trees, farms and vast expanses of troubled sky.

We now had to walk around the bottom of Meigle Hill until we came to a large quarry, where we hid in a hollow for a gale-free lunch.

 

Natural amphitheatres
in the hillside

 

Revitalised after crackers, cheese and apples, we tip-toed over a burn across a set of stepping stones, smiled sweetly at the cows in the field and headed to the Meigle Pots, a series of natural amphitheatres in the hillside where, in the 17th century, the Covenanters would hold services.

By now, we could see Clovenford below us and although it was tempting to take a short cut into the village, we continued with the Meigle Circular path and turn back up the hill.

Not too much of a climb this time, though, and after crossing a couple of fields, we were back on the Green Road, heading towards the excellent Clovenfords Hotel, where three cheeky ciders were awaiting us!

 

For more information about the Meigle Circular walk and other walks in the Galashiels area, click here.