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9. Yarrow & Ettrick

start: Ettrickbridge, Selkirk
distance: 24 or 30 miles
OS map: 73, 79

Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys route mapThis route takes you up part of the Ettrick Valley, crosses into the Yarrow Valley, goes down it for a while then crosses back into the Ettrick. There's an option to take in St Mary's Loch which, if you haven't seen it before, is well worth a visit. The hills around this area are particularly scenic - bring your camera.

Start in Ettrickbridge - pub if required on your return. Head W out of the village and follow the road up the valley for 8 miles or so to Tushielaw where there's a R turn to take you over into the Yarrow. The Tushielaw Inn is half a mile past this junction. The road goes W then NW climbing and following the Tushielaw Burn for a while. When you reach the saddle you have a choice of routes. The shorter route follows the road at the sharp R bend and this takes you down to the crossroads at the Gordon Arms pub.

If you take the track on the L it follows round the hill to join what is known as the 'Captain's Road' and this leads down to Tibbie Shiels' Inn. Tibbie Shiels was a local woman and there's a photograph in the bar which purports to show a picture of her ghost. Cross the bridge over the burn which connects the Loch of the Lowes and St Mary's Loch to reach the main road. Turn R.

As you follow the shore of the loch don't forget to look behind you now and again to admire the surrounding hills. As you near the end of the loch you might catch sight of some lamas on the farm on the other side of the loch. This road rejoins the shorter route at the Gordon Arms. Four miles or so brings you to Yarrow where you take the R turn at a sharp L bend just before the church. This is quite a stiff haul up the hillside but offers fine views at the top. A breeze of a run now back down to Ettrickbridge.

jb, galashiels

Download GPS data in GPX format.

St Mary's Loch

St Mary's Loch

the 'Bottom Swire' road, Ettrick Valley

the 'Bottom Swire' road, Ettrick Valley

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