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 on: April 24, 2016, 10:58:21 am 
Started by Buggiba - Last post by Buggiba
Well what a week that was  Smiley. Four of us left from Birmingham on April 14th 2016 and drove to the Best-Foot-Forward B&B in Milngavie. The room was excellently appointed, the staff friendly and the breakfast was huge. At £35 pppn it is not cheap but the Travel-Lite Bag-Carrying Company collect from here so you have no need to haul your bag to the obelisk.
Set off on Day 1 (15/04) to walk to Drymen. Showers as we proceeded past the Glengoyne Distillery which turned to rain as we departed the Beech Tree Inn. Made good time into our destination and quickly located the Kip-in-the-Kirk accommodation, where we had reservations. Scones with jam on arrival and an amazing continental breakfast prior to departure. Friendly staff. Not cheap at £30 a night but worth the experience.
Day 2 (16/04) was a walk to the Youth Hostel at Rowardennan. We departed at 0910 in freezing temperatures. Stiff climb up Conic Hill and harder one down. Break for lunch at Balmaha before an incident-free stroll to Rowardennan. Arrived just prior to 6pm. £27 per night here but the views and location make this not unreasonable. There is also a food/tuck shop for snacks etc.
Day 3 (17/04). Not looking forward to this one. Reasonably easy going as far as Inversnaid in rain and showers. Cold. Enjoyed lunch at the Inversnaid Hotel before setting off to tackle the assault course that is the walk to the end of Loch Lomond. Really hard going. Called in to Doune Bothy to put waterproof trousers on. A wise move  Sad. Walked in to Beinglas Farm about 5.55pm, cold, wet and tired. The pre-booked 4-bed bunkbarn was comfortable and quickly got warm. Good value at £15 each.
Day 4 (18/04). The long day - 19.5 miles. Departed at 0655 and headed off, in rain, past Derrydarroch Farm and on to the junction with the path to Crianlarich. Making good time. Rain is heavier as we approach Tyndrum and our lunch stop at the Best Food Café. Whilst inside there is an absolute downpour. Perfect timing  Smiley. 2 o'clock sees us depart the Green Welly Stop and head off to Bridge of Orchy. Pleasant, dry walk and getting warmer. Arrive Stance Cottage B&B at 4.30pm. Lovely people here, although it is up for sale. £42-50 a night made this the most expensive accommodation. No lounge, so breakfast is served in your bedroom. Novel. No TV either.
Day 5 (19/04). Looking forward to this day, to Kingshouse Hotel. Weather is glorious sunshine. Over the hill and Inveroran comes up quickly. Onto Rannoch Moor. Amazing how many people are doing this walk so early in the year!! Pass the Fleming cairn and look down on our destination. Arrive Kingshouse at 2.30pm. Feeling good. Views to Buachaille Etive Mor are stunning. £40 for B&B seems good value.
Day 6 (20/04). Short day today, only 9 miles. Sun shining magnificently. Views to die for. Didn't leave till 10am after leisurely breakfast. Struggled up The Devil's Staircase and had lunch at the summit. Incredible vista from up here. Ben Nevis visible in all its' glory. Strolled into Kinlochleven about 3.15. Booked in to the West Highland Lodges but, on arrival at Blackwater Hostel, we were offered the opportunity to reside here overnight for the same price (£18 each) which included an en-suite bathroom. Accepted.
Day 7 (21/04). The hard last day here already  Wink. Depart Blackwater Hostel at 8.05am. Long, steep, arduous climb up to the Mamore Ridge then a longer walk on rough-going, past the two ruined cottages and into the forest. Sun still beaming on us but the wind is bitingly cold. Eventually exit on to the pavement and make our way into Fort William. Arrived at the official finish statue at 1615 hours, just in time to fall into the Great Glen, the local Wetherspoons outlet  Grin. Overnight booked at the Bank Street Lodge. Good accommodation but £31-50 each.
22/04 - made our way to the railway station for the 0744hrs train. The journey from Fort William to Glasgow by train is one of awesome views and outlooks. 2 changes and we are back at the car and returning to Birmingham. As I said - What a Week!!

 on: February 07, 2016, 06:52:28 pm 
Started by drlogs - Last post by drlogs
We are planning to walk the Kerry Way in September 2016.  Can anyone comment on whether it really matters if you walk the route counter clockwise or clockwise?  Thank you.  Lisa and Dennis

 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.

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