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13. Westruther

start: Lauder
distance: 36 miles
OS map: 73 and 74

Westruther route mapThis route finishes in Lauder but would be best done if you could take some transport out to, say, Westruther and start from there. You can, of course, start from Lauder if you wish and the distance quoted assumes that to be the case - if you start from Westruther take off 10 miles.

From the Market Square head S on the A68 and just out of town turn L past Thirlstane Castle. Up to join the main A697 to Kelso. Follow the signs for Duns taking the L fork at Whiteburn and L again half a mile after that. This is the B6456 and you're looking for a track off to the L just past Kettelshiel at (713 518). After a mile or so you'll be approaching some trees and, though it's not obvious, you should aim to the L to pick up a track which takes you down to the road. Go L for Longformacus.

As you come into Longformacus take the road L just before the bridge. This is part of the Southern Upland Way and we follow it now all the way back to Lauder. Shortly after passing the far end of Watch Water it turns L to go down then up quite steeply - this track takes you back almost to Westruther if you wanted to do a shorter circuit from there. The SUW though turns off to the R on a steepish path up towards Twinlaw Cairns. Easy now to Braidshawrig where it seems that a diversion has taken place. Now you have go up through the trees only to turn R, go alongside of them, cross the fence and work your way back down through the field to go over the stream at a new bridge. It could have been so much easier...

The path is heading upwards only to go down again across Snawdon Burn then steeply up - too steep for me. From here follow the signs carefully as the route heads down to meet a road. Cross it, bearing slightly R, for a track leading down through woodland and the Thirlstane Estate into Lauder.

jb, galashiels

Download GPS data in GPX format.

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