DAY TRIP – Exploring the Borders

As much as we love exploring Edinburgh, we also like to head further afield  and explore various parts of Scotland on day trips.  

This weekend saw some glorious Spring weather, so the Edinburgh Spotlight motorbike was brought out from winter hiding and pointed in the direction of the Borders.  

Heading down the A7, we picked up the B7007 (B709) and headed for Innerleithen.  Immediately, we were met with rolling hills and fields upon fields of sheep with their newly born lambs.  

On the open road, passing cyclists and horseriders


As we rode southwards, we passed groups of cyclists on a day out and people riding their horses.  

Our first stop was Innerleithen to stretch the legs and sit by the river for a drink.  

It really is a different world down here and despite it being a weekend, there was hardly another soul around.  

If you take the car (and your mountain bike) on this route, you can take a right at here and head to Glentress Forest.  This is one of Britain’s best mountain biking areas, with paths to suit all levels and refreshments available at The Hub. There are several walking paths here as well.  

We re-fuelled in the delightful town of Peebles, before cutting back on ourselves to head for a brief stop at Kailzie Gardens. You could easily spend the whole day here and explore the gardens or visit the ‘chicken village’.  

We continued along the B7602 and passed Traquair House and picked up the A708 to head for the beautiful St Mary’s Loch.  This area is popular with other motorbike riders who all seem to converge at the road-side cafe and compare notes (toilets available).  Across the road here is the Tibbie Shiels Inn who do full meals and accommodation.  

Innerleithen rest stop by the river


We headed back the way we had come for a couple of miles and turned left at Cappercleuch and onto the unnamed road heading west (single track with passing places).  The road passes the Megget and Talla reservoirs and has the most stunning view over the latter.  It really was a perfect day weatherwise. 

St Mary's Loch, near Cappercleugh


We continued up the A701 and stopped off at Broughton and the rather excellent Laurel Bank tea room. We rode past several more fields of sheep and rolling countryside before picking up the A702 and heading back into Edinburgh. 

Of course, we had been blessed with the most gorgeous of weather, but there’s so much to do in the Borders, that even on a day with sporadic showers, it’s worth heading south and exploring. 

We covered 110 miles but felt like we had been away for longer than a day as we’d taken in so much of the stunning countryside. 

For more ideas, you can visit the tourist website that covers the area. 

Because it’s not dark until 8pm or so just now, you really can spend hours exploring and returning to Edinburgh at dusk. 

We do recommend fueling up in Edinburgh as the prices for petrol in the Borders are around 8p more per litre than the city. 

Suitable for disabled?  If done in a car, all of what we did today is suitable for disabled.  The countryside views are literally on each side of the roads and can be viewed from the car.  There is disabled parking at Kailzie Gardens and Laurel Bank tea room is on the ground floor. 

The view over Talla reservoir


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