A fine mixed route starting in Jedburgh and taking in parts of the Justice Trail and also St Cuthbert's Way. Plenty of shops etc in Jedburgh and the route goes through the villages of Denholm and Ancrum.
Locate the old bridge over the river at the north end of the High Street. Don't cross it but take the road to the left passing the fire station and High School then heading uphill. You have to gain height and this is as good a way as any so just get the head down and put some Gorecki on the iPod...
You're looking to join the Justice Trail where it crosses the road and is signed up a track to Lanton Wood, a short way after passing Sharplaw. This part of the Trail forms a loop and you might want to go round it as an optional extra - you'll end up coming up this track again if you do. The track goes through the woods and, if you don't follow the loop, meets a road and crosses straight over heading SW along the side of Dunion Hill.
Meeting the golf course, the track follows its perimeter before kinking to the left and dropping downhill a little. You'll emerge onto another road. Go straight across following a narrow trail for a short way until it joins a wider track which leads, eventually, to meet yet another road at Swinnie Cottage. Good views along this section looking towards the Cheviots.
A leisurely cruise down the hill now, but take care not to miss the R turn to Bedrule. The hill to your left with the low crags at the top is Ruberslaw. Turn L at the war monument and cross the river to make your way to the main Hawick-Jedburgh road. There's just a short stretch along here before you reach Denholm where there are a couple of pubs by the village green offering refreshments.
Another village with a green is Ancrum where we're heading next. Cross the Teviot and take the quiet road along the north side of the river, passing Minto Crag and Fatlips Castle on the way. Ancrum also has a pub but if you want to call in then you'll need to take a short detour up to the green.
In any event, cross the main A68 and head towards Harestanes Visitor Centre. Go straight past the entrance and look out for where St Cuthbert's Way, which follows the Roman road Dere Street at this point, crosses the road and heads into the grounds of Monteviot House. Follow the trail to the east, then south and west to work its way round to the footbridge over the river.
This is a relatively undiscovered sanctuary and the trail follows the riverbank to its junction with Jed Water where it swings R and along to meet the main road at some steps. Look out for a small plaque dedicated to the memory of one 'Colin', a member of 'The Greenheart Posse' - does anyone have any more details?
More or less straight across the road, is a minor road which you can follow all the way back to Jed but, as a more interesting alternative, look out for a path down to the right almost 1.5 km from the main road. It crosses a footbridge over the river and a short way beyond that take a L turn to follow a narrow path which is, in fact, joining the old rail route into the town.
Take a R turn just past the petrol station and into the industrial estate. This route will cross the river again and go through a park area before emerging at the old bridge at the foot of the High Street.
john b, galashiels
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