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 on: February 06, 2016, 07:21:11 pm 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
My previous entry stated that we would be travelling back from Fort William to Glasgow, on completion of the 'Way', by bus. The fare is over £23 each. Imagine my surprise to find that a Scotrail single ticket from Fort William to Milngavie, including 2 changes and avoiding Glasgow, is only £11-60 each on a Friday. No prizes for guessing which one we have opted for, especially as the railway line passes by so much of the route that we will have walked previously.

 on: December 14, 2015, 05:20:03 pm 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
Dates and accommodation for our journey are now finalised. 4 of us travel from Birmingham on 14th April 2016 and have b+b booked at the Best-Foot-Forward Guest House in Milngavie. We start walking the following morning, and are booked in to the Kip-In-The-Kirk bunkhouse in Drymen for the Friday night. Saturday sees us walk to the youth hostel at Rowardennan and Sunday we tackle LochLomondside before over-nighting at Beinglas Farm. Monday sees us undertaking a 20-mile day, via Tyndrum, to Bridge of Orchy, where we have reservations at Stance Cottage. Tuesday 19th April and a more leisurely day crossing Rannoch Moor to the Kingshouse Hotel. Just 8 miles on Wednesday to the West Highland Lodge at Kinlochleven, followed by a final day to Fort William, where we will be staying at the Bank Street Lodge bunkhouse. Everything confirmed including usage of Travel-Lite, bag-carrying service. Bus back on Friday 22nd to Milngavie then a 300-mile drive home. Looking forward to it. Just preparatory training now then  Roll Eyes.

 on: October 10, 2015, 06:33:24 pm 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
After much deliberation I have decided to revisit the WHW in April 2016, intending to complete it over 7 days. I will also attempt to update the Real Ale scene as we progress, as the previous one will be 5 years old by the time we depart. (Many thanks to all readers (over 50,000 of you) who have taken the time and trouble to read my report from 2011.) A lot has changed since my last visit, particularly in the accommodation stakes, so the preparation will be even more of a challenge.

 on: September 30, 2015, 07:24:14 pm 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
We left home at lunchtime on Monday 24th August 2015 and motored to Melrose, stopping briefly en route at St Boswells. We had agreed to take on the 68-mile walk over 4 days, finishing the last day with a 10-mile stroll before driving back to Birmingham. We spent the Monday night at the Kings Arms in Melrose.
DAY 1 - Melrose to Kelso. The day dawned bright and dry, and stayed that way. Under way at 8am. Good way-marking as far as the Rhymers Stone, where we followed a path to Newstead instead of sticking to the road to Newtown St Boswells. Found the route again in St Boswells and experienced no problems passing Dryburgh and on to Kelso, where we arrived at 4.30pm. Overnight at the Cross Keys Hotel in the town square.
DAY2 - Kelso to Denholm. Not so lucky with the weather today. Left Kelso at 8.15 and proceeded, via Roxburgh, to Jedburgh, where we stopped for lunch. Here it started to rain and we had a pretty miserable walk into Denholm, where we arrived at 6.55pm. A long and tiring 20-mile day. Stayed overnight in the Auld Cross Keys Inn.
DAY 3 - Denholm to Selkirk. Another showery day today. Dry as we departed at 8.30am and proceeded, via Hawick, towards Selkirk. A lot of road walking today but good signposting for the route, as far as Hartwoodmyres Forest, the highest point of the entire walk. As we descended towards the road the way-marking disappeared and, navigating around some black-wrapped bales at a farm entrance, we arrived at the road with no indication of the way to go. There then followed a 4-mile hard road walk into Selkirk, where we arrived at 6pm at the County Hotel, where we spent the night.
DAY 4 - Selkirk to Melrose. Left at 8am. Showery again. All went well until just after Cauldshields Loch, where again the way-markers vanished. Having consulted the satnav facility on our mobiles we descended by road in the direction of Sir Walter Scott's house where we regained the route, followed the pleasant river walk and arrived in Melrose at 1pm, to be reunited with our bags and my car. A light lunch and we were on our way south towards the M6.
OVERVIEW. The Borders Abbeys Way is generally well way-marked. The scenery is pleasant and there are very few steep ascents or descents. Our mileages of 17.5, 18.5, 20 and 12 miles made for long, arduous days, not helped by staying in B+B's forcing us to leave about 2 hours later than I would have liked. We used a bag-carrying service which was absolutely magnificent, including dropping our bags back at the Kings Arms in Melrose on the last day. £100 for 2 bags was not cheap, but they did exactly what was promised. In the entire 68 miles we never saw anyone else walking the Way. All of the accommodation mentioned was superb and we would be happy to recommend each of the hostelries we stayed at.

 on: August 28, 2015, 08:29:54 pm 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
I have today (28/08/15) completed the Borders Abbeys Way over 4 days. In the absence of any forum of its own I will report my experiences when I return from holiday in 2 weeks time.

 on: August 28, 2015, 01:39:37 pm 
Started by JennieL - Last post by JennieL
A friend and I just walked the inland section (Helmsley to Saltburn by the Sea) and found the directions really clear and good. Also, the guidebook survived being used in very heavy rain on the first day: hooray!

Here's a couple of updates since the book was published: the Hambleton Inn, just east of Sutton Bank, has now closed: it's mentioned on pp24 and 27 as a source of food and drink, but the National Park Visitor Centre is only about 1 km further on. It's worth knowing about the recently reopened High Paradise Farm which has has B&B, camping, tea rooms and is only about 4 miles north of Sutton Bank, on the Cleveland Way.

Also, take heed from my daft mistake of not finding out the exact location of our B&B before setting off: because it had Cold Kirby in its address, we tramped around the village in the rain looking for it! Huh In fact, if we'd just kept going along the Way for another few miles we'd have passed it! Embarrassed

It may be worth reminding other "townies" that in rural parts a postcode can cover a huge area, and that postal addresses often include the name of a village that may be several miles away. Always ask your B&B host where it's best to leave the Way to reach them!

 on: July 18, 2015, 12:12:36 pm 
Started by JennieL - Last post by Buggiba
Thanks. I have sorted all accommodation and bag-carrying service myself. I find the kind of maps you mention OK for spreading out on a table at the beginning and end of the day, but far too cumbersome to refer to en route. I have managed to download some info from the Borders Abbeys Way website and hope this is good enough. We plan to commence and finish at Melrose, leaving us with a 10-mile last day walk from Selkirk. Looking forward to it.

 on: July 15, 2015, 08:20:41 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by bsmyth
We did this walk in 2008 and from memory we may have had walking notes from Contours who organised the B and B and luggage transfer. However I can't lay my hands on any notes.They supplied us with four OS Explorer Maps which have the Borders Abbey Way route clearly marked except where it duplicates the St Cuthbert's Way e.g. when it leaves Melrose heading to the Eildons.
The map nos are 331 Teviotdale South (Hawick), 338 Galashiels, Selkirk and Melrose, 339 Kelso Coldstream and Lower Tweed Valley and OL16 The Cheviot Hills Jedburgh and Wooler. Hope this helps.

 on: July 13, 2015, 09:33:15 am 
Started by JennieL - Last post by Buggiba
Following the advice of B Smyth I am taking on the Borders Abbeys Way in August 2015, over 4 days. Being circular is a big advantage. There is a distinct lack of mapping, either RR or Footprint, for this walk but I am assured that way-marking is good. (Perhaps an addendum could be placed in the St Cuthbert's Way RR!!!) Accommodation and bag-carrying service is booked or reserved. Sadly no bunkhouses or hostels so reliant on B+B's alone. I will report back on completion of this amble.

 on: May 30, 2015, 08:15:07 am 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Jacquetta
That's splendid news, Buggiba: what a wonderful collection of names, steeped in brewing history! It's enough to tempt me back even without the challenge of walking the Path!

So glad to hear that real ale is alive and well in Hadrian's Wall country. Cheesy

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